Looking Back: 2015, in list form

After a wild 2014, I expected more adventure and unpredictability in 2015, but the most surprising thing about this year was pretty much that I blinked and the whole thing was nearly over. In immediate retrospect, I feel like I kind of slept on this year. The important thing was that I put a lot of projects into motion and completed several things I started, most of which took a lot of head-down, focused work. Are these things I’m saying from a place of depression to reassure myself that I did not have an unproductive, boring year? Maybe…or maybe it’s also kind of true. 

In 2015, I found a repetitive, predictable routine of productivity that served me really well by keeping my personal life from distracting me from my work. Of course, in my work there is barely a line between the professional and the personal, but doing more team-based projects and trying to align my foundation toward more intentional future success was easier to accomplish without the distraction of being inside my own head. Though I did it subconsciously, I had to define some boundaries and embrace new habits. But I live for a routine. I am always adapting to myself. Here's where it got me: 

  • I started a 501(c)3
  • I saw Britney Spears in concert in Las Vegas
  • I rode a bike down a gravel road in a bikini to a beautiful open-air restaurant, where I had the best Argentinian steak I've ever eaten
  • I spoke before the Omaha School Board four times about adopting new comprehensive sex education standards in our public schools
  • I stayed in a penthouse hotel room with a complimentary bar (Veuve for breakfast) 
  • I hosted 43 guests in my home through Airbnb
  • A noted old white politician referred to me on Facebook as his "problematic fave" 
  • I had four letters to the editor published
  • I helped paint a beautiful outdoor mural
  • I sat by our unhinged sociopathic Nebraska Governor in coach on a Southwest flight 
  • I went to a secret party at a hidden bar under the S-Bahn in Berlin
  • I designed with Alice two beautiful silk scarves for mass production
  • My company got through the final Skype interview to pitch on Shark Tank, but didn’t end up making the cut for the show
  • I got a spontaneous massage on a beach
  • I ate the best dinner of my life in Las Vegas
  • I saw my daughter walk into her first day of Kindergarten and lived
  • I started drinking coffee
  • I posed for a solid half-dozen nude portraits
  • I spoke at 2 conferences, did 3 magazine interviews, gave 9 talks, moderated one panel and one community discussion, was filmed for 12 TV news stories, did 3 podcast interviews, and was on the cover of one local magazine
  • I think I served on 42069 different committees
  • I celebrated my 29th birthday with a candlelit dinner party at a 30-foot handmade table
  • Hello Holiday started an ongoing event called Omaha Hero Forum, bringing together unique groups to join in conversation with a secret presenter each month
  • I joined the board of Friends of Planned Parenthood
  • I ran into the Pacific Ocean with my best friend in the middle of the night
  • My project design work was featured in two books (one more coming out in 2016!)
  • I celebrated the 99th and final birthday of my great-great-uncle Bill Duane Bush, a WWII veteran
  • I partied all night in Berlin and walked right onto a plane the next morning feeling no pain
  • I was featured in the Product of Public Schools campaign from Nebraska Loves Public Schools
  • I bought my first works of art for my home
  • I saw living genius and hero Angela Davis speak about the U.S. carceral system, where she asked us to consider the intersection of capitalism and punishment in our country
  • I drove across New York in a Camaro convertible
  • I inspired a painting that I found in a downtown gallery called "Alice's Mom" (which now hangs in my living room)
  • I heard my own voice in advertisements for my company on Art Bell’s new radio show, which was a complete bucket list moment
  • I got a massage in a jungle
  • I took my daughter on our annual vacation to Chicago where she walked the entire Art Institute in her pajamas
  • I went to London with our team at Hello Holiday for our first international buying trip

More things that I am going to be very proud of are coming in 2016--early in the year, too. This year put so many things into motion that are sure to become defining milestones of my life. Looking back is done. Forward, now!