small fish bigger bowl It’s been an interesting year. Law firm merger. Sports dude started doing his thing for a local radio station. My oldest kid began driver’s training. The youngest turned 13. And I changed jobs. We’re juggling new schedules, new attitudes, and new expectations. I’ve had a new culture, new people, and new personalities to which I’ve had to acclimate. And now the holidays are in full swing. This has brought on a lot of stress, and it was a tough few weeks for me on all fronts: work, family, HOA, and those pesky Girl Scouts (and we’re still a month away from the beginning of Girl Scout Cookie season). Thank goodness for good friends and good colleagues. I’m pretty much on the other side, and now I can reflect on it all. I’ve been doing this legal marketing thing for a long time. It will soon be 18 years since I was hired at JMBM (when the last M stood for Marmaro). I’d already been in the work force for 10 years, and my skill set fit what Frank Moon was looking for in an assistant manager, and I excelled. I’ve had a “few” legal marketing jobs since then. I have had many opportunities for growth from within these firms, and through my service positions in LMA. Life has also provided me many opportunities to grow. This has just been one of those growing years. I had been at my last firm for nearly eight years. I knew the firm’s ebbs and flows and had adjusted myself and my life to work well along side it. Learning a new firm, a new culture, a new system for doing things wasn’t a shock to my system, but it was like a big jolt of caffeine. This year has really reminded me that when I go charging in with my ego leading I run the risk of hitting the wall of resistance. Hard. My greatest strengths are no longer my ability to multi-task organize and perform, my keen strategic thought process, or my ability to figure out what’s wrong and put in place a way to fix it. My greatest strengths are my ability to self-reflect and to be self-aware. To listen and hear what is being said, and not said. To adjust myself to be of maximum service. If I cannot stand apart from myself and see things clearly and truly, I will never find comfort, nor will I succeed. So my takeaways for this year of opportunities for growth are: Faith. I have to have faith that I am where I am for a reason, and that the reason might not be what I think it is. I have to have faith that I will be where I am until it is no longer time for me to be there. And while I am here, my priority is to do what it is that needs to be done. Grace. I have to ask for the grace to do things differently; the grace to make a mistake; and the grace to do better next time. I have to be kind to myself and others when things don’t always work out as planned. And if I am expecting grace, I need to give it. Humility. I have to humbly respect what was here before I arrived, and that my way might not be the right way in any given situation. I have to have the humility to ask questions and LISTEN to the responses. And I have to have the humility to be wrong. Respect. There were people here before me, and people will follow me. I have to recognize that respecting all these people who have given as much, if not more, than me is the better way. Forgiveness. I have made mistakes.  And as I expect others to forgive me and move on, I must forgive others. I cannot hold on to past grievances. Compassion. I can be a bitch. I can be stubborn. I can be relentless. I can be judgmental. To find a true compassion for others took a lot of work on my part over the years. I cannot rest on my laurels. I have to expect right motives every single time. No exceptions. Ever. Trust. I am a pollyanna person working in an industry that trends more skeptical than the general population. Finding people to trust can be a challenge. I choose to trust them all. Yeah, that runs the risk (see faith above) of biting me in the ass, but I choose to trust first. If you prove me wrong, there is always compassion. Attitude. There are many attitudes out there, I choose to have a good and positive one. Fearlessness. If I come from a place of fear, I will never succeed. Success takes faith and hope. Collaboration. I am just one member of a team, and I am a member of many teams. The life of a mom, wife, legal marketer, daughter, Girl Scout leader is not always easy. Some days I question if it is rewarding. Those are the days that I have to stop. Just stop. My life is blessed on every front. If I cannot see that, then I am the problem. It is on those days that I have to step away, reflect and remind myself: marigold hotel