A Year In Review: Highs, Lows and Everything In Between

As I’m preparing to wind down for a couple of weeks, I can’t help but reflect upon the past year. 2011 has been, well… one of the most interesting years of my life.

There were highs:

We took the kids to Disney World for the first time (it was my first time too).

The plane ride home

In January, I was named to the coveted list of The Top 20 Women in Canada.

My hubby and I celebrated over 10 happy years of marriage and over 15 years of being together.

I watched my children thrive in life and school. It took my breath away, many times over.

I got to hear one of my favorite women, Oprah Winfrey speak in person.

I traveled far and wide, for both business and pleasure, meeting the most incredible people along the way.

I became a radio correspondent.

I made Forbes Magazine, twice in one year – Women On The Fence was named Forbes Magazine’s Top 100 Sites for Women , and I was named Forbes Magazine’s 25 Most Influential Women Tweeting About Entrepreneurship.

I got to hang with one of my favorite entrepreneurs – Richard Branson.

Me and entrepreneur and philanthropist Richard Branson

I got to interview some incredibly dynamic women and share their life lessons with you– Mariel Hemingway, Christy Turlington, Holly Robinson Peete, Mackenzie Phillips, Jill Zarin, Ramona Singer and many more.

Mariel Hemingway

I watched my children grow taller before my eyes, entering 3rd grade, and pre-kindergarten.

I launched The Erica Diamond Jewelry Collection for Ice.com.

I shot my first TV pilot (still in the works).

A fitting

I co-chaired an evening for 650 women that went without a hitch.

I became a Spokesperson for some incredible Brands.

I was given an award for “Outstanding Achievement in Leadership”

I became the Spokesperson for National Entrepreneurship Day (a big deal for a die-hard, ass-working, entrepreneur gal like me).

I saw Women On The Fence become a registered trademark.

 

There were lows:

A breast cancer scare that sent me in a tailspin, but in the end, made me truly appreciate life so much more. And made me so grateful to have this community by my side.

I watched my son not make the A-team in hockey for the first time ever – and saw the disappointment is his eyes. It hurt something awful.

But then watched him make the A-team again this fall.

My husband got into a near-fatal car crash but lived to tell.

I had writer’s block.

I shared my hate mail – it was bad.

I confessed my frustrations.

But that was the past – and the past is gone.

Now we look forward.  We look to a new year. I love a new year as much as I love a quarter-pounder-trio at Mc DonaldsA HELLUVA LOT. A new year represents new possibilities, new beginnings, a chance to start over, and get things right. But here is the truth: I haven’t yet tweaked my Bucket List (which I do every year), nor made one single resolution (which I usually do too). This year, I’ve turned a whole new leaf. I have decided to go through 2012 with no concrete plan at all. Yes.

WHAT you might ask?! This is so very irresponsible.

But as I reflect back upon my life, I know one thing – man plans, and God laughs. I planned to go to MBA School 13 years ago, but failed my GMATS and never got in. We plan in great detail, and life still throws us unexpected curveballs. Or better yet, the flipside- we expect the worst, and things just magically work out.

So this year, I became **GASP**  a believer and truster in the Universe. I’m no longer afraid.  I’ve seen life fall into place in ways I never could have planned. And I know that things happen the way they must – this goes for both the good and the bad in our life. Today, December 19th, 2011, we only know where we’ve been.  We can’t possibly know what the future holds for any of us. And that unknown is both scary and exhilarating. I do know that with hard work, passion and persistence, comes opportunity. And I also know, that without our health and family, nothing matters.

Yes, I have my vision board. I know the dream. But this year, I will not be so rigid. And I urge you, perhaps, to not be so rigid either.  In looking to the future, I challenge you to make your resolutions, make your Bucket Lists, your life plans. Make them. But pencil in a little room for failure.  When you leave room to slip, I truly believe that’s when your best self shows itself. Plan to succeed, but plan to fail. I have found failure to be game-changing.

And one more thing– in working my ass off in 2011, I also realized something else. We get do-overs in our careers, and actually in many things in life. But we don’t get do-overs as mothers and wives. Our children are small for a very short time, and we truly only get one chance to raise them right. No do-overs there. Same goes for our relationships. So a quick tongue, or a fast word can hurt. Remember: be kind, be generous, be loving, be playful, be forgiving, be honest.

You get out of life what you put in. Every time. No shortcuts.

I’d love to know what YOU realized in 2011, and what you hope for in 2012?

xoxEDxox

 

22 Comments
  1. Erica, as usual, your words are truly inspiring, but more important than your inspiring words are all the actions you take backing up everything you say with good deeds and intentions. You gave me a wonderful opportunity to put my words out into the world and became a catalyst for many, many good actions that I took that followed. You are part of my 2011 highlight reel and I can’t wait to see what we do together in 2012! Many blessings this holiday season, get ready for 2012 we are going to have a great year, hopefully together!

    1. Thank you Lia. It was an honor to have you guest blog on this site in an incredible Sept. 11 blog post. it was a bigger honor to meet you in Atlanta at The Oprah Conference. Keep up the amazing work. I do hope our paths cross again in 2012! Happy holidays!!

  2. I learned to listen to wisdom and not compare myself to others who are successful but rather allow them to be an inspiration and help me grow.
    Thank you so much for sharing this!!!! Merry Christmas and much success in 2012!!!

    Erin

  3. Incredible words Erica. What an amazing year you’ve had.

    It is true that we only get one chance to raise our children the right way. It’s hard to always do the right thing in the heat of the moment when life gets hectic but this was a great reminder.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  4. Hi Erica,

    A Year In Review: Highs, Lows and Everything In Between- Once again, a master piece! Thank you for sharing your past experiences and for reminding us that life can only get better. My greatest achievements in 2011- Embracing my celibate -making my kids my number one priority-opening my heart to let new people come in (only the good one!)-trusting life

    Resolution for 2012: trusting life even more

    Have a great day

    Cathy

  5. LOVED LOVED LOVED this! What a wonderful account of your honnest highs and lows.
    Keep them coming. Cant wait until your first blog of 2012.
    Happy New Year!

  6. This made me cry. You are so honest and candid and yet successful all in the same breathe. I am sure your family is very proud of all your accomplishments.

  7. This year my boyfriend moved away, I graduated with no job, I lost my cat =( and just yesterday my Christmas tree decided to fall and break! But also this year, I started blogging and have found a lot more to myself than I ever thought I had. I learnt to be bit more selfish with myself and learnt how to be myself. Great post Erin, very inspirational and thought provoking. Sounds like you’ve had a pretty epic year and I hope your next year will be filled with even greater things. Have you thought about any resolutions for the New Year ahead?

    Dinx @ Lovely in Random xoxo

  8. Thank you all for your words of encouragement. I wish 2012 to be an epic year for all of you. Aim high. Reach for the stars. The sky’s the limit.

    Lots of love,
    Erica

  9. Wow! What a year..I was exhausted just reading it:-). It’s so wonderful and encouraging to see other women succeed. Thank you for all you do. As for what I learned about myself..I learned that I’m stronger than I ever imagined. The year began with major lows..I was in a black hole. As the months rolled by I regained my perspective and my dreams and purpose collided. I watched my boy grow into a great person with character and a loving heart..for a single momma that means the world. My faith in God is stronger than ever and fear no longer stops me. My hope for 2012 is romance and to be with the man who inspires me and to help single moms locally, nationally and globally realize their worth and see their lives changed for the better. Thank you for the opportunity to share and continued success to you!

  10. I loved reading your entry. I cringed at the hate mail. So cowardly. And hopefully you didn’t lose any sleep over the “b” word. The same characteristics would be applauded in a man. As women and moms, we need to be unapologetically bold and successful and model this for our daughters (and sons). To strong women in 2012.

  11. Wow Erica! I have been following along your journey this year on twitter but to see it all in one post is so incredible. I was so happy to have the chance to meet you and hear you talk at the #140conf tweet-up in Montreal with Jeff Pulver. It was truly a pleasure, you have worked so hard for everything and it shows. I am also working hard on getting myself out there, I have 4 little ones and I always think of something someone once told me, ” For all the times you say Yes there are loved ones you have to say no to.” I try to keep that in perspective even though what I am hoping to accomplish is for the family as well as myself. I look forward to meeting you again in the future as we share the same home city. All the best to you and your family in 2012, may all the positive things of life always come your way. Wishing you enough. Happy Holidays!
    Patty

  12. I vary with most people the following I came across this blog post We couldnt stop until I completed, even although it wasnt exactly what I used to be trying to find, was still being a good read though. Ill immediately get a website give food to to remain in touch associated with a revisions.

  13. I’ve been surfing on-line more than three hours as of late, but
    I by no means found any interesting article like
    yours. It’s lovely price sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all web owners and
    bloggers made just right content as you probably did, the internet will be a lot more helpful than ever before.

Leave a Reply to Patty Klein Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.