Wednesday, January 03, 2024

Recap of 2023 and Onward Forward into 2024

As we enter 2024 here's a recap of what I was up to in 2023.

My Art/Collaging

I have to mention collaging first because this is something that I have really been enjoying and it's so good for my soul. It's soothing and almost like meditating. It's funny because I've always considered myself an artist because I'm a writer, but I've never considered myself a visual artist. Collaging has made me realize I am an artist. Honestly I think all of us can be artists.

I've created over twenty collages since February when I started collaging with Scissors of Texas. Some are good, some are okay, some are simple and some are elaborate. This one is one of my favorites. The prompt word was Magic and I decided to represent everything that is magic to me-Art, writing, corporate philanthropy, cemeteries and books. 

My Novel/My Writing

It's a slow process and I need to be more self-disciplined. That's my goal for 2024. I'm going to buckle down and really work on editing my novel the way it should be edited and not half-ass. I still meet with the Central Nebraska Writing Group every month to read what I'm working on and to push ahead. It keeps me honest and consistent. I'm so grateful to this group for being my sounding board.

Corporate Philanthropy

I've served as the Hearst Gives Back Champion at the Houston Chronicle for almost a year and half. It's interesting to think about what brought me to this point in my career. It all started with Little Libraries in Laundromats and serving on the board of the Westcott Cemetery Association. Those were two passions that I pursued on my own time. 

In 2022 I received a service award for my work with the little libraries. I feel like that was my butterfly effect. After I received the award our HR VP asked me if I was interested in leading our Hearst Gives Back efforts at the Chronicle. Somewhere around that same time I also completed our DEI training called Hearst Conscious Inclusion. When I graduated I became a Change Agent. In 2023 I was asked to lead a team a team of Change Agents in Action and I've been busy organizing volunteer efforts for the Chronicle team, but also to fulfill our goal to volunteer with organizations that empower women and girls. I also lead our United Way campaign efforts.

This volunteer work with the Houston Chronicle and Hearst has really awakened something in me. I've realized how much I enjoy working in corporate philanthropy and it's made me feel like I have a purposeful career. I'd like to explore this in the future, after Seth is done with college.

My Career

I had a phenomenal 2023 and I only hope to match and surpass it in 2024. I'm grateful all the good things that happened in 2023 and I will work hard to keep it going. I'm constantly looking for ways that I can refill the bucket and keep my pipeline full. I believe that the energy I put in is the energy I get out of it. 

Zig Ziglar said, "You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want." I have this quote as a screen saver on my computer. 

As I approach my 54th birthday next month it's hard to believe that I will be retiring from my day job in 11 years. Eleven years will pass me by in no time. I need to make sure that I have everything in place for when that day comes, so I have both a 6 year and an 11 year plan. 

My Family

We had a graduation in the family. Miranda graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences in May. She started working in the Pathology and Bone Marrow department at MD Anderson Cancer Center in July. Seth finished his freshman year and got his first real job during the summer. He went back to school in the fall and finished the fall semester strong. He's home for winter break now. 

I am grateful for all the great things that happened this year.