Today is my 50th birthday. As I sit here and reflect back on the past decade, I’m overwhelmed, humbled by, and grateful for the past ten years.
In fact, the past ten years were damn hard. My twenties were hard, my thirties a bit harder, but my forties were on another level. The decade began, on my fortieth birthday, with a snowstorm. A brutally cold, snowy, and dark December day. The only thing I had requested for my birthday at the time, from my then husband, was for him to coordinate a party where I wouldn’t have to do anything but show up. That did not happen. I ended up sending out the invitations, making the food, cleaning up the house afterward etc. Our marriage came to an end shortly thereafter, for reasons that were much more complex than what the party represented.
But despite the heartbreak, and other failures along the way, there were successes. In my forties I built, along with my two business partners and an incredible team, one of the most successful agencies and consulting firms in the country. Rational was born just after my fortieth birthday, and as we look to 2019, we will be celebrating our 10th anniversary. Today, the company employees over 300 people, on three continents. I’m so proud of what we have become, and the company we have created! As I reminisce about the past decade, for me personally, Rational played the star role.
As I focused my time and attention on Rational, in the background, were three wonderful kids, all now young adults, who loved and supported me. They were my rock, with me every step of the way. They saw what it took to build a business, to pour yourself into something wholeheartedly. They helped, they learned, and they grew themselves. Now, looking at each one of them making their way into the world, I know they learned as much as I did. They learned about life, love, family, and about the risks, challenges and rewards of being an entrepreneur. In addition to my kids, I also had the support of forever loyal family and friends, all of which are still in my life today, and will always be.
Today, as I welcome the next decade (I can’t believe I am 50!), I am thriving. Rational is thriving. My kids are thriving. We’ve come through many storms together, and the light ahead is bright. I welcome these next years with open arms, anticipation, hope, health, and happiness. I am ready for what’s next. I have finally found the love of my life in Ben Skrainka, who is one of the most high-quality individuals I have ever had the chance of knowing. His brilliance, gentle and generous nature, high integrity, and wacky humor, make all who are around him a little bit better simply by proximity. Time with him is a blessing, and a joy.
As I look to the years ahead, I hope for the following:
- A kinder, gentler world where generosity, gratitude and tolerance are at the forefront of our thinking.
- A world where women, men, and people of all races, religions and genders are valued at the same level.
- A world where girls are educated and paid equal to their male counterparts.
- A world where people are valued, at every age in their lives.
- Peace, prosperity, health and happiness for all.
I will do my best to positively impact each of the above points, even if by just a little. Personally, my focus will turn a bit inward, having spent so much time in the past ten years focusing outward. I will love, honor, and prioritize my husband first and foremost. I will cherish, and invest in my family and my friends. I will continue the work in my graduate studies with Parsons. I will support Rational as the team needs me, and I will invest time to help nurture my other budding business, Metiza, into its next chapter. I will work to achieve my goals with confidence, grace, understanding, and kindness to all who I encounter along the way. I am sure I will falter, but I have 50 years of beautiful experience to lean on. I don’t have to prove anything to anybody. I am happy with who I am, what I have done, and where I am going. If I can leave a positive mark in the world, sometime in the next decade and beyond, I will consider that a success.
I am beyond grateful to be celebrating my 50th birthday. Each day is a gift! I hope for many more days, weeks, months, years, and birthday celebrations in the future.
Pop the champagne. Time for a toast! #ThisIs50