After reading Ellen of the Tenth's favorite moments of 2008, I have been inspired to reflect on the year and write my own. Like the sexy men post, these are in no particular order.
Certainly no "favorite moments" post would be complete without mentioning November 4, 2008. I've never been so proud to vote in my life. It was a sunny day and I felt hopeful from the moment I woke up. Standing in line, waiting to vote for now President-elect Barack Obama, I was proud to be American. (Note: This was not the first time I was proud, but it's a moment of pride that stands out.) I was proud that we have a tradition of orderly change of power in our country. I was proud of where we'd come since Martin Luther King stood at the Lincoln Memorial telling the world of his dream. And even though the candidate was African-American (and in spite of Sarah Palin on the GOP ticket), I felt, for the first time, that it's possible for a woman to become President in my lifetime. The soundtrack I heard in my head all day was inspiring.
Fast forward a few hours when I was standing in Grant Park with my dear friends Tim, Tony, and Colleen and we were part of history. We weren't close to the stage and we couldn't see anything not broadcast on the jumbotron, but we were there. We were there when Barack won the presidency. And damn I was proud. My heart was overflowing with joy and I don't think I ever got to sleep that night.
This year I also went back in the water at Watervale. I got over my fear of kayaking and faced the icy waters of Lake Michigan like a woman. My brother Dave pushes me out of my comfort zone and I'm always a better woman for it.
2008 also brought me quite a bit of professional success. I was selected to join the Board of Directors of the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce and asked to be the co-chair of the Professional Women's Council. Being introduced to the Professional Women's Council as the co-chair for 2009 (and the chairwoman for 2010) was a moment of pride I'll never forget. And I'm sure it will be the same when I'm inducted to the Chamber Board in front of the entire Chamber in January.
For the second year in a row, I was #1 in sales in my area in Mary Kay. I was also named Miss Go Give, again for the second year in a row, in our area. This is a really big deal and the highest award in all of Mary Kay. The Miss Go Give Award is awarded to the consultant who most emulates Mary Kay's principles of working by the Golden Rule, and caring and sharing through her business.
Early in 2008 I was asked to join the Alumni Board at Lake Forest College. I remember when that phone call came, I really felt like I'd "made it." I remember being a college student there and feeling very much like an outsider. I received a ton of financial aid and it seemed like everyone else was from an uber-wealthy family and attended boarding school. I was never quite sure I belonged there, even though I had a great experience and made some of the best friends I've ever known. My education and lessons I learned at Lake Forest College have served me well and now through my service on the Alumni Board, I am able to give back in ways other than just writing a check.
As part of my volunteer work for the College, I was the chairwoman of my 15th Year Reunion Committee. Our reunion was in October and a huge success. I remember standing in the back of the almost over-crowded room watching people reminiscing, renewing old friendships, and making new ones. Yes, I had a committee and they worked hard. But I know that my leadership played a huge part in the success of the night. I'd be lying if I said that night wasn't a favorite moment of 2008.
Finally, after all the writing I've done about it, probably my favorite moment of the year was "my book." Well, okay, it wasn't MY book, exactly. But I did have a small (very small) part in The Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer. I loved that he mentioned me in the Acknowledgments, which was a huge surprise. And then when Brad was in Chicago on his book tour, he called my mom to wish her a happy birthday as he signed a book for her. She's a huge fan of his and was really touched that he personally called her.
As we move into 2009, I am filled with hope that President Obama will lead us into better economic times before millions more people lose their jobs and homes. I am hopeful that we are able to finally provide all Americans will equal rights in every area of their lives and that healthcare becomes a right and ceases to be a privilege. I am hopeful that as a nation, we will come together and support our new president and that the hatred will subside. Personally, I'm hopeful that my business continues to thrive and that Mr. Right and I finally meet.
Here's to 2009.