My Decade in Review Part 1: Celebrating My Wins

Marie Forleo is a goddess. There, I said it! She’s so poised, confident, successful, and just plain gorgeous in every way. As part of my entrepreneurial mindset journey, I happened across her Decade in Review and I’d like to share my notes with you, partly as a way to keep myself accountable. 🙂

Grab a pen and notepad and do this along with me!

My Decade In Review: The 2010s, Part 1

Section 1: What I’m Proud Of

I did a lot of work fixing up the trailer that I (and later my family) lived in for most of the decade. We bought it cheap from a family friend, gutted it and painted EVERYTHING with Kilz to get rid of the cat stink. I painted everything, put new hardware on the cabinets, chose a bold eggplant purple for my kitchen that I still adore, put in engineered cork flooring after pulling up all the old carpet and linoleum, and made it into a home for myself. My parents had a lot to do with that and I can never thank them enough, but I’ll always be proud of how my little home turned out. Now it’s time to sell it so we can move on, but it’s tough to let go.

Quite by surprise, I reconnected with an old online friend who turned out to be the love of my life. Our daughter is a bold, friendly, compassionate, tender, fierce, and highly intelligent small human who continues to surprise me every day. Before I had her, I was terrified (as new moms usually are) because I had NO experience with little kids. I didn’t babysit very much growing up, I had only held a baby once or twice, didn’t have younger siblings so I had no idea what to expect. Luckily, my husband did have experience and he taught me everything I needed to know.

A decade after changing my major to *not* include Music Education, I ended up getting my K-12 Teaching Certificate for Music anyway and taught for 3 years at small public schools. My experience from that gave me a lot of ideas for products and compositions I want to get out into the world.

After public school teaching didn’t pan out so well, I got into early education and earned my Child Development Associate’s degree for Infants/Toddlers and I’m still working in that field. I’m still surprised that I went from someone with zero experience with babies to a certified professional daycare-mom. I get to celebrate first steps, first words, first birthdays, and first foods as a partner with local families and it’s truly a blessing.

Ever since 1997, I managed to keep playing in the Black Hills Symphony. There were a few years here and there where I was living too far away to play, but I always got back in. I eventually figured out that if I didn’t have a performance outlet, I slowly sank into a depression that felt like losing my identity. If I don’t play, then I don’t feel like myself. It’s highly important to me to keep performing, even if it’s just a little local choir.

Recently, I worked in collaboration with my mom and my daughter’s 1st grade teacher to write and compose seasonal programs for their small church school. I have 3 of those little programs written now, so now it’s time to package them to share!

Turning inward, I did a lot of self-work over the last decade. I have always been a people-pleaser, a yes-girl, a doormat. I learned how to say no. Guess what? Setting boundaries did not make people hate me!

More on self-work: I’m not perfect, but I did learn how to shut down negative self-talk. This started when my daughter was born because I didn’t want her to hear me talking badly about myself. The words she hears me say about myself become the voice she hears when she thinks about herself and I didn’t want her to absorb my low self-esteem. As a result, I don’t let self-deprecating talk come out of my mouth. When that nasty voice is stuck in my head, it’s a lot easier to tell it to STFU. By not saying it, the thought loses validity and it’s easier to see it as the lie it is and not believe it.

When I stopped knee-jerk trash talking myself, it was easier to let go of toxic people, “friends” that were takers, and narcissistic exes. I was able to talk to my doctor and get on some medication which allows me to function and do the things.

It was also easier to allow myself to wear patterns and colors that I didn’t allow myself for so many years. For some reason I stayed in neutrals pretty much always for a very long time and now I’m a lot more comfortable with myself and I unapologetically wear bright leggings daily. Bonus, the babies at work love them too!

What was most important and why?

I think my most important accomplishment is learning how to be kinder to myself. As a result, I’ve helped my daughter grow into her own confidence. I’ve allowed myself to try scary things because I’ve already been strong enough to do scary things. I’ve been able to stand for some hard things that weren’t always popular and I’m more comfortable with myself as a person.

Section 2: My Learnings

Other peoples’ opinions only matter as much as I allow them to. Of course I can always take loved ones into consideration when making big decisions, but at the end of the day, my life is mine, not theirs.

You can plan all you like, but always be able and willing to pivot. I can’t begin to describe how many times I’ve had to completely switch gears! Unexpected pregnancy, layoffs, car accident, and a hospital birth that basically ignored my birth plan because of policies. Hospital visits, new jobs, moving back and forth, plans not panning out. Something better coming along, with its own set of challenges.

Multicolored cross-stitch that reads "Stay Weird"

It’s okay to be unapologetically me.