I always end the year by writing about my accomplishments, failure, regrets, and resolutions. I love this time of year because the calendar naturally moves me to reflect and take action. This post is all about 2019 accomplishments.

Some years my accomplishments are practical. Other years, it’s all about personal growth. This year, it’s a mix of both.

Travel was slightly more manageable in 2019.

This year, I had 37 trips to 50 cities and four countries that spanned 99,312 miles. My stats are just shy of Executive Platinum on American Airlines, which means my status will downgrade a smidge in 2020 unless I write them a check or go on a last-minute mileage run. No thanks.

For all your airline points nerds, I’m a million-miler and Platinum Pro. I’ll be fine. It’s an accomplishment to be home more often and focused on my wellbeing. Not a bad way to end the year.

I finished the first draft of my book.

I’m deep into my first round of edits from my editor who reminds me of Dory from Finding Nemo. She tells me, “Just keep writing.”

That advice is harder than it sounds. Thomas Merton once used an aphorism from the Book of Proverbs to describe revising and editing his work: “As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.”

But I’m still writing and revising, so that’s an accomplishment.

We fostered two cats.

Do you know what fostering entails?

It’s when you agree to help find an animal a home, but also love and nurture the little creatures like your own. It’s an exercise in attachment. You must love them enough to spend your emotional time and energy on their wellbeing, but also love them enough to realize that they’re not yours forever.

A lot of people tell me they could never be foster parents. They would never give them up. I think they’re right. Both Scrubby and Emma were “foster fails.” Sometimes it’s hard to say goodbye to animals, so you don’t. But we said goodbye to June and JuJu and they are thriving.

I kicked Xanax to the curb.

I took a small but daily dose of Xanax for nearly seven years, which is a very long time to be on a benzodiazepine. Unfortunately, I cannot take SSRIs for my anxiety. The side effects are too real. But the Xanax made me super stupid, and, in an act of divine intervention, I forgot to bring a bottle while on a business trip.

The withdrawal was real but worth it. I’m now using other tools in my toolkit — avoidance, meditation, mindfulness, neurofeedback, cardiovascular exercise, Pilates, talk therapy — to manage how I feel.

I don’t recommend anybody follow my advice on how to manage their lives, let alone mindset. But even on my worst days when I’m feeling terrible, I feel more in touch with myself than when I was on Xanax.

I met George Clooney.

Honestly, this is my biggest accomplishment.

I met George Clooney at a conference in Nashville called WorkHuman Live where I was paid to help share smart ideas about the future of work.

Once, I was a smalltime HR lady. But for the past five years, I worked with a team to help build a community. Plus, I got to meet my Hollywood crush. That’s how I know that I fixed work for myself.

Have you reflected on 2019? What are your most significant accomplishments? What are you most proud of? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.


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