I’ve never done a year in review before – not because I’m not reflective (which I am, overly) but because I’m not one to pat myself on the back for all my accomplishments. But so much has happened this year in my work, my personal life, and my plans for the future that I don’t want to forget how far I’ve come:
In my primary job, I wrote over 270 articles about startups and tech and started developing beats around the psychology and harsh reality of entrepreneurship, happiness at work, work-life balance, digital nomadism, and women in tech. Close to my heart, I finished helping our CEO Frank Gruber write and launch the book Startup Mixology: Tech Cocktail’s Guide to Building, Growing, and Celebrating Startup Success.
I didn’t make it to our big annual event, Tech Cocktail Celebrate, but I do have awesome coworkers who Photoshop me into pictures – thank you Ronald, Camila, and Will!
The Positive Psychlopedia
After struggling to find information on the basics of positive psychology and cobbling together my own autodidactical curriculum, I started The Positive Psychlopedia as a guide to the science of happiness with lists of experts, books, and terms.
I also created The Year of Happy, a free online happiness course for 2015. It’s designed to be simple, fun, and low-commitment – two hours a week or less of readings, videos, and discussions around themes like gratitude, optimism, meaning, and goals. I’m delighted to have hundreds of students signed up to participate.
Sitting in a cafe in Toronto, I was struck with an idea for how to combine some of my favorite things – cafes and discussing happiness. I started the CaféHappy meetup in April and, thanks to Meetup’s amazing automated promotion, we now have over 130 members. We’ve held nine events and are still going strong even though I’m not in Toronto – thank you Rob!
Greater Good Science Center
In the fall, I took UC Berkeley’s edX course “The Science of Happiness,” created by their Greater Good Science Center. A self-paced version of the course relaunched and I’m now a course assistant for it until the end of May, moderating discussions and coordinating all the volunteer TAs. I wrote my first article for GGSC in December called “Variety Is the Spice of Emotional Life.”
I visited or lived in 10 foreign countries this year: Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore (does a night at the airport count?), Canada, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, and Greece. The majority of that time was spent in Bali (6 weeks), Toronto (6 months), Berlin (1 month), and Rome (1 month).
Lots of views like this in Bali
A cruise around Toronto
Seeing the Berlin wall
Colorful buildings in Prague
A gondola ride in Venice
Visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Seeing the Colosseum, the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, and (here) Raphael’s “School of Athens” in Rome
A long hike on the coasts of Santorini
Climbing up to the Acropolis in Athens
We loved Toronto so much that I applied for Canadian residency in September, and I’m patiently waiting for the results. If I’m accepted, I may finally settle down somewhere this summer!
Fred and I managed not to kill each other on countless plane rides and in apartments of varying small sizes. We celebrated our 7th anniversary this December:
I made some new friends in Toronto that I can’t wait to reunite with:
I also connected with some old friends around the globe:
New Year’s resolution
My 2014 New Year’s resolution, “Pursue truth and beauty,” has a lot in common with my 2015 resolution, “Practice acceptance.” Even 12 months later, I still struggle with many of the same things – uncertainty, worry, control. I did think about many of these themes last year, and gratitude journaling did help me become more aware of the beauty around me. But I didn’t have a concrete plan to put my New Year’s resolution into practice. Although my 2015 resolution is still a bit intangible, I think I’m better prepared this time.
I also broke my arm, discovered the most awesome fitness class ever, went to lots of cafes, read more than one book a month, made friends with countless cats, tracked my mood every hour for a month, ate lots of yummy food, and got happier. I’m excited for 2015!