Well, 2013 is over. Just thinking back, it didn’t seem like a monumental year at all. I stopped speaking at lots of conferences, so my travel schedule was much lighter than in previous years. I guess it just felt like I didn’t do a lot, but looking at the list below, 2013 was full of ups and downs (just like any year). Lets recap…

Settling In

2013 was the first full year in our new home. We got it furnished and decorated (mostly), and made it ours. It’s my new favorite place to relax and unwind. I used to go out after work for a cocktail to unwind, but I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been out in the last year. We spent much of the year looking for funiture and home decor, but now that it’s almost where we want it, I’m looking forward to just enjoying it this year.

Winter in New York

A few years ago my wife and I started a kind of tradition. For our anniversary every year, we take a weekend trip somewhere exciting–just the two of us. Last year, I took Tracy to New York City. She’s always wanted to go, and it seemed like a fun trip. It was a little cold, but we got to see Central Park covered in snow, went to the World Trade Center memorial, rode the ferry around the Statue of Liberty, went to the MET and a whole lot more. It was a great trip overall–we had a blast.

Saying Goodbyes

After struggling with dimentia for over a decade, and several years in a nursing home, my grandmother fell and broke her hip and never fully recovered after surgery. As a boy, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents, and lived with them for several summers growing up. It’s really hard to watch someone you love slowly lose their capacities. Dementia and Alzheimers are horrible diseases.

When we realized my grandmother wasn’t going to make it, we stayed with her around the clock to comfort her in her final hours. I’m so grateful that I got to be with her in those final moments, and I know she’s in a better place now.

Learning to Change the World

I finally attended World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon. I had wanted to go to WDS in both 2011 and 2012, but it sold out in record time. I made sure to snag a ticket for 2013 right when they went on sale, and I’m glad I did. The conference was truly inspiring, and the people I met are amazing. It really opened my eyes and lit a fire under me. The whole premise of the conference is to live a remarkable life–whatever that means to you. It was a wonderful change of pace from the technology and business-related conferences I’m used to attending.

Making the Best of a Foiled Family Vacation

We usually rent a beach house during spring break for a family vacation. We’ve rented the same house for several years, and really love it. Last year we waited too long and it was already taken, so we changed things up. We stayed home for spring break, and took a trip to Savannah, Georgia in July. The girls really loved visiting the Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low’s birthplace and taking the tour, and we did a lot of sightseeing as well. It wasn’t as relaxing as the beach, but it was a nice change of pace.

Giving Back

In April I was asked to serve as the chairman of the Workforce Development Committee, a role I was honored to accept. The committee has achieved a lot this year, and we have even more ambitious goals for 2014.

I was also recently asked to serve on the board of HYPE, a subset of the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce for young professionals, and was asked to be on the CTAE Advisory Committee of a local high school to help improve programs and curriculum.

I’m looking forward to continuing to give back to the community in the next year.

Lessons Learned

2013 really flew by. If I’ve learned anything this past year it’s that the older you get, the quicker the time passes! If you’re not careful, a whole year can pass in the blink of an eye.

I’ve also learned how to slow down. I stopped traveling as much, and at first I had withdrawals. I love being constantly on the go. But I also love being home, having dinner with the family, playing board games or watching a movie, and just spending time with my kids.

What’s in Store for 2014?

This year will be a transition year of sorts. I am still finalizing my business and personal goals for the year, but I do know they are all focused around trimming the fat. I want to delegate what I can, evaluate what’s left and cut what isn’t absolutely necessary. I want to free up as much time as possible to work on what’s really important. I want to make every day count.

What’s in store for you in 2014?