No one was breathing down my neck imposing this on me… I just felt it. The end of the year has a way of marking the final stop on a journey and opening possibilities for the next. Perhaps the pressure came from a desire to move past 2009… I’m not entirely sure – I just felt it.
2009 was a crazy year for me. I experienced more changes in 12 months than I had in the previous few years. It was hard at times… It was exhilarating at times… It was sad at times and it was spiritual… it was a whole lot of year packed into 12 months!
Then it hit me… I’m happy.
Happy for 2009
I’m happy because it’s December 31, 2009 and I’m still kicking!
The economy has yet to swallow me whole. My professional life has taken a variety of twists and turns for the better. My personal life has been a roller coaster (and will continue to be), but I have clarity and hope for the future.
All in all, it’s been pretty great and I’m feeling pretty happy!
Then it hit me more… I’m grateful!
Grateful for 2009
I’m grateful to a number of people who have significantly impacted my year.
In alphabetical order…
- Alicia Arenas – I’m grateful Alicia because you’ve served as a great pillar of strength for me this year. Without your support, I may have just given up. You and I both know how tough some of the decisions this year have been. Thank you for being a true friend and sticking by my side when I needed it the most. Keep up the great work with Sanera PDC! You’re rockin’!
- Meghan Biro – I’m grateful Meghan because you have been an amazing contributor to this blog! Thank you for your fresh ideas and commitment to making this a special place! (TalentCulture.com)
- Chris Brogan – I’m grateful Chris because you hosted an Inbound Marketing Boot Camp in Austin that has, in many ways, changed my life. The tidbits of wisdom that you so eagerly shared with us made a difference in how I think and act. It also, in large part, impacted my decision to start Red Shoe Project… which will hopefully help many worthy causes over the years! Congratulations on your continued success and thank you for what you do! (Chrisbrogan.com)
- Marci Cush (Sister) – I’m grateful Marci because you always make me feel that you would be there at a moment’s notice… if, for nothing more, than to make me feel better. You are a great Sister!
- Tim Foxworth – I’m grateful Tim because you are an amazing friend. You always make me feel like I could conquer the world – thank you for being that voice in the back of my brain that says “It’ll all work out perfect!”
- China Gorman – I’m grateful China because you said “yes” when it would have been just as easy to say “no.” You represent the first real risk I took with blogging. Yes, I was a bit nervous to interview you… but, you didn’t seem to mind. Thank you for being a great voice for SHRM and sharing your authenticity with all of us – I know that it’s appreciated!
- Stephanie Lloyd – I’m grateful Stephanie because of your tenacity! You inspire me with your non-stop desire to push further, learn more, get more involved and create new ideas! Red Shoe Project Atlanta was a fantastic experience and I really appreciate the opportunity you gave me to be on your radio show! Survey says… good things in your future! (Radiant Veracity)
- Jon Long (Dad) – I’m grateful Dad… just know that I appreciate your honesty and shoulder. You were right… even if it wasn’t always “going to be easy”… it was still “going to be”. I’m thrilled that you have started sharing your wisdom with the world! (Weekend Letter)
- Jeanie Long (Mom) – I’m grateful Mom because you’re doing it and I couldn’t be prouder of your progress! Thank you for listening and pushing me to be a better person! Also, thanks for giving Facebook a try… you’re hooked!
- Jon Long Jr. (Brother) – Dude… you’re a great Brother and a genuinely good person. Thank you for being as selfless as you are and for proving that fortitude is possible… even under the toughest of circumstances.
- Veronica Ludwig – I’m grateful Veronica because you have been and continue to be a great friend! Your help with organizing Red Shoe Project Chicago was amazing and I know that you did it because you care. Your ongoing support is hugely appreciated and I can only imagine excellent things for your future! Thank you, thank you, thank you… you are a gem! (Veronica’s Site)
- Kelly Mitton – I’m grateful Kelly… you know the story 😉 (tHRyving.com)
- Jason Morgan – I’m grateful Jason because you kick me in the ass when I need it and keep me focused on pushing forward. Thank you for being an accepting, forgiving and patient friend… even when I didn’t deserve it. CFT!
- Paul Norman – I’m grateful Paul because you may just be my perfect professional compliment!
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Thank you so much for allowing me to be myself, realize my strengths… and, better yet, use them. The future looks so exciting!
- Mike Owcarz – I’m grateful Mike because you took the time to wander down some crazy brainstorming paths with me. Further, you created an opportunity for me and the blog to branch out further than what would have been possible without your help. You and your team at PC Recruiter took it even further by hosting a Red Shoe Project party and taking all of those awesome pictures! You are a great person Mike and I’m sure that you are going to be an awesome Dad! Thank you!
- Mark Stelzner – I’m grateful Mark because you have proven that it’s cool to be wicked smart! Thank you for babysitting me in New Orleans and hanging in there… I’m not worthy! You are the type of person that encourages thought and pushes an industry forward. Thank you for being Stelzner! (Inflexion Point)
- Stacey Thompson – I’m grateful Stacey because you allowed me and the crew to experience something amazing! Disney Institute was a wonderful experience and something that will surely have me thinking for years to come! Thanks for putting up with us!
- Mike VanDervort – I’m grateful Mike because you are the kind of individual that any person should hope to call a friend. Thank you for being selfless with your time! You have an outstanding blog and your commitment is more than impressive! (TheHumanRaceHorses.com)
- Emma Wallace – I’m grateful Emma for your music. Your generous contribution to Red Shoe Project is very much appreciated… and, I’m sure that your music will continue to inspire others! (iamemma.com)
- Eric Winegardner – I’m grateful Eric because you have inspired me to keep it exciting! Your energy and spirit for what you do is amazing and hugely appreciated. Monster should feel extremely happy to have you as a part of their team!
I’m pretty sure I accidentally left a few people off this list… I’m grateful for you too! I’ll make it up to you!
Bring on 2010!
It’s on… it’s on. Bring on the New Year!
Time to move forward and figure out what kind of crazy shenanigans I can get into next year! I’m grateful for the lessons that I’ve learned in 2009 – even if some of them were hard enough to avoid repeating.
Thank you all for being YOU and for impacting my life in the various ways that you do.
May 2010 be your best year yet!!!
Photo Credit, Optical illusion