I’m Grateful For These Things That Got Me Through This Year

May we never ever experience a year like the one we have just had. But if we can focus on the positive, even if for a moment, I’d like to acknowledge the things that made this year more than tolerable, at least for me:

Reach Out Parties – I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, participating in the daily act of virtually meeting with a group of amazing humans for a short period of time for the sole purpose of connecting was a game-changer this year. Thank you Carly Valancy and Molly Beck for your vision and leadership on this movement. The next one starts January 10th.

Sleep – I know, I know, I know.  Most people have already figured this out but I’m a little late to the game but I have officially crossed over into the appreciating and understanding how getting enough sleep can transform a person’s psyche and health so the reset of 20/20 allowed me to discover this and will be something that’s important to me going forward.

Kelly Corrigan –  I knew I was a fangirl of Kelly Corrigan when I heard her speak a couple of years ago but it wasn’t until reading her books this year and starting to stalk her on social media that I realized I found my spirit human. Kelly always seemed to have the answers or was asking the right questions this year when life got to feel overwhelming. I also admire how she experiments with new media and mediums in the pursuit of asking interesting questions, learning more and always driving to make the world and her life a better place.

Being near the water – To get out of the forest that I couldn’t see for the trees and beyond the walls of our house was hugely important.  It always has been but even more so this year and since we weren’t able to go on vacations or trips, so escaping to the water, taking a few overnights on a boat and seeing a few sunsets and sunrises made it feel like we were truly able to get away.

Earrings – I’ve been wearing the same pair of earrings for almost 9 months. I treated myself to them with the intention of not wanting to make an extra decision everyday. One less stress point. 

Client work – This year I was blown away by the work that my clients were doing to make the world a better place: whether helping people adjust to the new corner office; inspiring others with their personal stories of humor or human spirit; helping them to figure out their legacies; teaching them ways to handle stress and burnout; helping people find jobs or work better in their organizations; or even powerfully and authentically sharing their stories of motherhood, marriage and general life challenges; I’m continually inspired by their depth, brilliance, grit and vulnerability.

Social Media – Stick with me here. Yes, way too much time was spent doom-scrolling but social media also allowed me to nurture relationships I was able to make virtually this year since we weren’t able to gather in person. When not overused, it was a valuable tool. 

Road Trips – Though blessed with a home and home office that does allow for space, grace and productivity, the ability to sneak away for a couple of long weekends to be with my sisters or deliver our youngest son to college were just the change of scenery and perspective that was needed when the days started to feel like they were running together. 

Gathering Experts: Priya Parker and Monica Kang – Discovering people who were equally interested in creating dynamic and engaging ways to gather even while we are physically separated was critical to helping me get through and see creative ways for the second half of this pandemic year.

AccountabilityReach Out parties, Lou Bortone Video-A-Day Challenge, Carolyn Herfurth’s Refer-o-Rama, #25DaysofGiving, Jen Lehner’s Front Row VIP Accountability Challenge, 7 App – What can I say? I am an “obliger” so the more I can show up for other people, the more likely I am to make things happen. Finding opportunities to get engaged and stay on track also kept me from feeling alone or so far removed during these past 9 months.

Church – Yes, I’m a church lady. But not in the sense that I go to mass every day, but in the sense that I see church as a community that supports us but also needs our support. Finding ways to help our church community continue to gather during this COVID crisis was certainly challenging but also very rewarding. And yes, I believe we all need to feel part of something bigger than ourselves. 

Tech Upgrades: Particular favorites were Loom and my UBeesize ring light tripod. Loom helped me to create “instructional” videos that kept me on track with clients and my assistant, when I didn’t feel like typing. The UBeesize ring light tripod gave me a place to put my phone (no more shaky camera) for selfie videos and lots of fun FaceTime conversations in our kitchen!

Support: No woman is an island and it truly took a village this year to make things happen. Some of the key players who helped were Chelsey and Lizzy of Peachtree VA; Phyllis and Jessica of Sound Advice Strategies, my intern Irene McLaughlin and my coaches Patty Lennon and Robin Ordan.

What about you? Before you slam the door on this year of years, what or who are you grateful for? What silver linings have you discovered. What changes have you made that you are bringing forward into 2021 with you? 

I’d love to hear from you and see how I can help you make 2021 your best year yet. Head over to my calendar here and let’s schedule some time to chat!


  1. Phyllis says:

    Ah Nancy – what a great list. Kind of you to include SoundAdvice for our very small contributions.

    Because of you, I’ve been introduced to Carly and Molly and others with your interview series.

    You also shared a great book via your bookclub and I so appreicate that as well.

    Here’s to a great 2021 for you and the whole Sheed/Saltzman family.

  2. I totally clicked on this without any expectation to see my name! Thanks for your kind words, Nancy. You found ways to thrive during a crazy year! And yes, sleep is EVERYTHING (says the new Mom) 🙂

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