This weekend it's been one year since we lost Tim Russert. It's only fitting that I'd happen to be in DC this weekend with friends who are celebrating some very big events in their lives - weddings, new jobs, and a general sense of hope despite a tough economy. When Tim passed away one year ago, what stood out to me what the comment that he lived every day as if he had just won the lottery. I wanted to live my life that way, too, so I set about doing that.
I thought about every area of my life and put some ideas into action to improve each. One year later, I'm doing pretty well. It's not the lottery feeling just yet, though there are many, many things that I am grateful for:
I have certainly expanded my writing: blogging daily with an eye toward publishing a selection of posts at year-end as a free e-book and blogging about entrepreneurship for my Examiner.com column.
With my friends and family, I have put forward a significant amount of effort to spend quality, individual time. I used to run around as much as possible to try to fit time in with everyone all the time. The trouble with that method is that I ended up short-changing each, and short-changing myself. The quality time method is working much better.
In my volunteering, I wanted to extend more effort in areas that really interested me. Along with a colleague at work, I am beginning to put together a social media plan for a theatre company I admire. I took my social media interest and knowledge, my background in theatre, and roll-ed it up to do some pro-bono work that will help me build up a portfolio in this area. Using a little creativity, I created a win-win situation for all.
The work side of my life is always a work in progress. With the economy in tough shape, it's the area of my life where I've had to make some compromises. I am learning a lot every day - about product development, what to do and what not to do (I've found the later to be just as important as the former), and I've learned what kind of work is best suited for me going forward. I've really developed the insight that I am passionate about small business (thanks in large part to my Examiner.com column); whether that means working for a small business or working for a large company that helps small businesses, I'm not sure. At the very least, it feels good to finally have that direction in my career and it keeps me looking forward.
Winning the lottery in life is a process - every day, we have to make choices and renew our commitment to living the best life we can. It takes courage to get up and follow our hearts in each area of our lives. And no matter how much work it is, there is no more worthwhile pursuit. I hope Tim would agree.