Throughout the year, I started to hear, see, and experience more about recycling, reusing, and repairing. More about wellness, clean water, and weight loss. More about family, friends, and wholesome food. More about common good, creative solutions, and less consumption. More about local, listening, and less. More about social consciousness, community, and home cooking. More about neighborhoods, necessities, and nurturing. More about bonding, beginnings, and basics.
The harsh realities of our changing marketplace and world have unwittingly created softer, gentler and simpler human souls, in my opinion. So, 2010 was a great year because it forced some changes in our focus from one of self to one of community. From one of me to one of many. From one of using to one of reusing. From one of amassing to one of sharing. From one of building to one of creating. From one of abuse to appreciation.
For me, however, 2010 was more about solidifying my newly minted priorities – which were not catalyzed by economic conditions but by a personal paradigm shift in 2009. My new focus on natural wellness created positive change in pretty much every aspect of my life.
As a result my year was exploding with growth, exploration, learning, and adventure. Unlike most years in which international travel was a highlight, this year my highlights were closer to home and heart. To give you an idea of what I’ve been up to while I’ve been away from this blog, here are a few 2010 highlights:
- Enjoyed developing my fledgling hyperlocal news site, MyEugene, into avalued community resource, as well as its own web-based community. Also, with the help of five interns from the University of Oregon, I finally “officially” launched the site with a PR campaign and special event in June (even though the site had been running since January 2009!) Although MyEugene still demands most of my time, I am thrilled with its progress, as well as how much I’ve learned, over the last two years:
- Awarded a scholarship (one of five online local news sites in the country!) for an Investigative Reporting workshop at the New England Center for Investigative Reporting at Boston University.
- Selected by J‐lab, the Institute of Interactive Journalism, to join its national Knight Community News Network – which is funded solely by the Knight Foundation.
- Applied to become a partner with The Oregonian during a one-year pilot program sponsored by the J-Labs Networked Journalism project.
- Applied for a Knight News Challenge grant – this was quite fun!
- Launched a guest contributor program and an ad sales program.
- Enrolled in a business class so I could learn how to write business plans and create a sustainable, viable business model for MyEugene.
- Obtained some decent “ink” from the local print media (finally!) after two years of growth that occurred solely due to word-of-mouth and social media.
- Attended two social media events, both of which I highly recommend for different reasons: Social Fresh and Red Chair. Social Fresh is a social media conference that was created by Jason Keath. The Portland event featured a killer line up, useful format, and practical information. Red Chair, which is run by Olivier Blanchard (aka The Brand Builder), is “operational social media training for senior managers and executives.” Red Chair is not your garden variety social media event. The workshop is designed to take your existing social media skills and knowledge and evolve them to the next level for your organization. The interactive training addressed crucial strategic elements such as scalability, cross-departmental integration, company-wide program measurement, and even legal considerations. Both educational events are offered in different cities around the country for those of you who are interested in attending in 2011.
- Increased cooking skills dramatically; I love cooking now and I am most surprised that I actually love the way my food tastes too! Much of the credit, however, goes to my husband who tends our garden – where we get most of our wonderful spices and vegetables for our meals.
- Took some short trips to the coast and also up to Spokane to camp on our property when we needed a breather. These mini vacations proved to be invaluable.
- Attended our first wine-bottling party at a tiny, but fabulous, local winery. Everyone brought a dish, sampled wine and got premium wine at a discount.
- Continued our education about sustainability / green building (one of our shared passions!) by attending local talks and tours in both Portland and Eugene.
- And last, but not least, we had a wonderful visit with family in Salt Lake City during the summer. We went for my mother-in-law’s 70th birthday celebration. Everyone – including extended family – was able to attend (which was rare) and it was fun! My husband and I were also lucky to squeeze in a hike on our favorite Alta trail on a mostly beautiful day.
So I am grateful and lucky for my experiences in 2010. And, although 2010 was cloaked in a dark cloud of uncertainty and economic downturn, I could still see a distinct silver lining of positive change in progress that was due to shifting priorities.
Did your priorities shift in 2010?