2019 – A Year of Gratitude!

I tend to love the “Year In Review” shows and articles, etc. It’s easy to forget how much actually gets done or happens in a year! It seems like it goes by in the blink of an eye, the next one starts, and most of what happened is forgotten.

I had a lot happen in 2019, but as I began to write about all those things, the things seemed less important and the people involved in those things were really the things I remembered. So, I thought, Oh, I’ll just write about all the people I’m grateful to have interacted with and met in 2019. Yeah, that was way too long of a list!

And I’m stuck. Stuck in regards to what to write, for a person who never gets writer block! Probably because the big thing that happened in 2019 was I lost my mother, unexpectedly in February, and in our culture, and being a man, that should be over ‘by now’. We move on. The year certainly did. There are a few months that I’m not even sure what really happened. It’s all a blur.

The people in your life when tragedy happens are never appreciated enough. You aren’t in a space where you can appreciate them and by the time you are, so much time has passed it seems strange to even mention it. I’m so grateful for so many people surrounding this, I just need to show some of that gratitude:

My wife. I was stuck in Las Vegas on February 21, 2019. Vegas had measurable snow for the first time in a decade. I got the call my Mom had died. I was stuck. No planes in or out for 24 hours. My wife and sister had to take on the responsibility of the most terrible thing that has ever happen to us. I’m always in control. I’m the one the family turns to. I was locked in a hotel room in Vegas. Helpless. She did it. She handled it all. I’m beyond grateful for all of that.

My right-hand lady in business, Teresa Carper. I have this awesome, smart, caring, woman who works beside me. She lets me big ideas, and she executes. We’ve worked side-by-side for a decade, and she was also close to my mom. No way I make it through the year without her. Really the entire HRU team has had to put up with me basically being someone else for the most of the year. I’m beyond grateful for their patience.

My best friend, Kris Dunn. I’ve taken Kris’s call when his mom passed and had plenty of talks about his parents and their impact on his life. KD had to take that call from me this year. Two grown-ass men talking about feelings (that could be a great podcast I think!).  It’s unusual in our world where guys can have this and I’m grateful for my friendship with Kris.

My family – I’ve got this super weird, extended family dynamic that is a sitcom waiting to happen, but I had so many of my family step up in great ways. It’s too much to go into each one, but I’m so grateful for their support.

My friends – The night in Vegas when I got the call I was just walking out of my room to dinner with Carmen Hudson. I was speaking the next morning at Recruiting Trends. I called Carmen in shock, told her what happened, and this amazing woman took control. I don’t even really remember the conversation with her. She just made all of that stuff I was responsible for go away. I’m grateful for friends stepping up at the moment.

My mom. Since I was little, my Mom put me in a position to have high confidence in myself. She didn’t do that with everyone, but she did with me. That helped me succeed at a lot of stuff. She also fired me, which probably was the single biggest thing she did to help me become successful. I wasn’t ready, as a business person, to run her company. I was an asshole. Or at least I acted like an asshole way too often. Getting fired by your mom sticks with you for a while!

When the time came on February 22, 2019, to take over the business (for real) and take on leading the family, I was ready because of all those things my mom did for me. It wasn’t always fun. I didn’t always like her for doing what she did, but I was ready. I’m grateful for my Mom helping me be ready to take on all of this responsibility.

I could have listed a thousand people I’m grateful for. It’s a bit overwhelming and heartwarming that I have so many. I can definitely count my blessings in so many ways. I don’t think 2019 was my best year. It was good, but I was really knocked off-center for a bit. My hope is 2020 will be a better year in terms of focus. My plan is to write my second book and have it launched in 2021! (Oh, God, I’ve been contemplating this, but now it’s out in the universe, I better make it happen!)

I’m also launching a new podcast with my friends, Kris Dunn and Jessica Lee, called “HR Famous”! You should see episodes up by Mid-January. I’m speaking all over the place. I want to do more video work. Of course, I’ll be writing and sharing my thoughts, ideas, and reactions. Thank you for being with me on this journey. I’m grateful to have this platform and so many people who find it interesting.



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