Today is my birthday. I decided to take some time to think about how this year has changed my life. So, a year ago. A year ago I had quit my position at the Anita Borg Institute though I was working out my two week notice. I was so ready to move on to the unknown. It had been a heck of a two years - I had lost several friends and one of my cousins to a variety of illnesses and I had lost several of my favorite co-workers to other organizations. I was in need of a life change, I knew that deep in my heart, but I was not really sure what I was moving towards. Little did I know what adventures were coming.
This year featured an amazing vacation in Hawaii where I got to swim with dolpins for the first time. It was an incredible experience but what I enjoyed just as much was that each morning I was able to eat my breakfast with the group of dolphins at the hotel. Those dolphins reconnected me with my love of animals, over the years of cat allergies had gotten me into the habit of avoiding animals for fear of a reaction. After the dolphins I realized that perhaps it was time to pursue getting a pet, I had the time working at home and the resources. And as readers know - that led to the advent of Bizz.
At the same time I launched my consulting business and began working with my friend Deanna on Global Tech Women. The consulting enabled me to use my marketing skills for new organizations and in different ways. I edited a book, which led me to realize that perhaps writing my own book was not an impossibility. Global Tech Women allowed me to pursue my passion for helping and I learned a lot about new technologies and expanded my horizons globally. My network is amazing.
I've also focused on deepening relationships. I went to my college reunion for the first time and made new friends and reconnected with old ones. I got to spend some quality time with my nephew and learn just what an amazing person he is. I've been able to connect with women I met during my ABI days and deepen those acquaintances into friendships.
Bizz expanded my world by bringing me into the dog subculture of the Bay Area. I've joined in the group discussions at dog parks and met wonderful and entertaining people. I know all my neighbors when previously I didn't know anyone. And I have come to enjoy having the time to just relax and enjoy spending time taking care of my little dog.
Spending this year in a very different way gave me a lot of time to think and discover what is important to me. It makes me realize how much I envy academics who get a year's sabbatical to pursue their interests and research.
Bizz and I are off to celebrate some more. here is a picture of a happy little Bizz (pre grooming and tail wagging).