A Year in Review: 2018

Before this year got started, I had it all mapped out in my mind of what 2018 would look like. One thing I knew, this would be the year I’d push myself outside my comfort zone.

“Stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things is the best way to grow”. – Author Unknown

In the first month, my path crossed with this very inspiring HR pro who I’ve come to know and love, Claire Petrie. In my quest to get outside of my comfort zone, one of her #SynergisticRevolution videos popped up in my LinkedIn newsfeed, and without knowing, she introduced me to the #HRTribe. So, in late January, I resurrected my Twitter account, and found a goldmine of awesome HR talent on the Twitterverse!

Then in February, I launched my blog, Pocketful of Chelles. I still can’t believe I went live! I had the pleasure of connecting with a famous HR Rockstar, Steve Browne. He gave me some awesome tie-dye pointers on what worked for him when he started his blog, and even connected me to a few more awesome HR pros: Jazmine Wilkes (a.k.a. HR Jazzy) and Carlos Escobar. These three talented HR pros have different expertise in the field of HR and I was amazed by their view of the profession. Each of them shared what worked for them when they launched their blogs, and their advice was instrumental in getting my blog out of my head, and into the Interwebs. If I’m being honest, when I officially launched my blog, Pocketful of Chelles, I was nervous and even a little scared (mainly because the thought of putting myself out there for the world to see made me feel vulnerable). Blogging was so different than anything else I had done in my career, or in my life for that matter. I was willing to take the risk. Because it was my hope that through my blog, I’d connect the dots of what it means to enjoy life beyond the nine-to-five grind. It’s about being brave with telling your own story, making memories that count, and being intentional with your connections!

Over the next several months, I would get to know so many amazing HR pros through different social media channels. I began participating in Twitter chats like, SHRM’s #Nextchat (eventually being invited on as a special guest) and the monthly #HRSocialHour chat. I was even invited to be a guest on the #HRSocialHour Half Hour Podcast (my podcast debut). I had my first meet-in-real-life experience with one of the #HRWonderWomen, Anne Tomkinson. I was her #roadie to #DisruptHR_RVA, where I met Jon Thurmond from the #HRSocialHour Half Hour podcast, and he introduced me to an HR pro that he’s known for many years, John Kates. It was these new-found friendships that made my first ever Annual SHRM Conference in June, Chicago style, a truly one-of-a-kind experience. While at the conference, the meet-in-real-life connections grew tenfold! I’ll never forget meeting Jolene Smith at the airport as we both walked outside to catch an Uber into downtown Chicago. She was one person who I literally met on the fly, and introducing her to this goldmine of stellar HR pros, made her conference experience even better. Then there were the speakers at #SHRM18, what a phenomenal group of talent is all I can say! I enjoyed so many of the sessions and what an eye-opening experience it was. And on the heels of #SHRM18, the one and only Mary Kaylor (who makes SHRM’s #Nextchat happen), invited me to be a regular contributor to the SHRM Blog. I never expected that Pocketful of Chelles would take me to a professional outlet like the SHRM Blog. HR is a big part of who I am and who I’ve become, so if you’re interested in hearing more about how I view the world of HR, follow #ChellesHRCollection on the SHRM Blog. I know I am leaving so many great stories out. Just know that if our paths crossed this year, it was because we took the time to discover something beyond just ourselves. We made an intentional connection!

A year in review would not be complete if I didn’t write about our camping adventures and the fun we had making memories with our little dude. We started the season off at Fort Wilderness in Disney down in Florida, then took off to the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee. We paused for a brief beach vacation in Tybee Island, and my older sister, my best friend, was surprised with the “Will you Marry Me?” question! We also took advantage of some weekend getaways to our favorite local camping destination, Jellystone in Luray, Virginia.

At the end of the summer, the hubby and I celebrated our 20th anniversary together. Each year that goes by, I am reminded by how this life we’ve built began. You see, our love story started earlier than most, but what a fun-filled adventure it has been. I am blessed by how he just gets me, how he makes me laugh, and how he just goes with the flow with the silliest ideas I have.

In September, our little dude started Kindergarten, and he rocked that transition like a champ (I think it was harder on me and Daddy🙂)! So far, he’s had a great first half of the year. We started the little dude in Boy Scouts and he is really enjoying the scout life, followed by music, then swim.

As I sit here and look back at 2018, I think to myself, what would these past twelve months look like had I stayed in the ole’ familiar comfort zone? What if we had not taken the road less traveled? I know that without the experiences and adventures of 2018, the year would have looked completely different. So, the change in the rhythm of life is essential to growing professionally and personally. I’m closing this year with my heart and mind full of nothing short of gratitude, and while I am not sure of what 2019 will bring, I know that I will put my best foot forward. Because as one year closes…a new year begins.

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year”. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I want to wish you all the happiest New Year ahead and may 2019 bring you endless opportunities to grow, learn, and dream…so go dream big, my friends.

This is the New Year!

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