Since starting a victory journal a year ago, it’s been easy to review my successes and remain motivated. In 2013, I partnered with a diverse set of clients, connected with other designers, developers, and entrepreneurs, and remained dedicated to personal and professional development.
Over the course of the year, I launched several WordPress-powered websites, including those for professional organizer, Christina Loescher and music industry pro, Roger Gordon. I began overhauling a site for SE Works, a fabulous non-profit which helps Portlanders find jobs. The redesigned and reorganized SEWorks.org will launch later this year. I assisted the sales department at Peak Solutions, a company that specializes in 3D printing, scanning, and software products. After optimizing their site with key phrases such as “3D Printers Portland,” Google listed their company on the first page of search results.
Last spring, I decided to stimulate more brain cells by changing my office environment. I toured every Portland co-working space I could find and joined the most welcoming and light-filled one, Collective Agency. Now riding the bus or Max to Old Town regularly, I’ve made a satisfying dent in my audio book collection. It’s also been easier to attend interesting meetups downtown, such as those through PDX Web & Design and Portland WordPress Meetup.
Conferences are one of my favorite forms of continued education. In 2013, I attended the Portland and Seattle WordCamps. As usual, the open source community fostered by Automattic and WordPress makes these conferences both fascinating and entertaining. I also went to Wordstock, a local book fair that includes marketing sessions for authors. I took many notes, particularly in the “Publicity and Publishing Secrets” seminar.
One of my personal passions is the humane treatment of animals. The past 10 years I’ve contributed to this cause by embracing a vegetarian diet. (I’ve yet to convince any family members to do the same. Better leave that to PETA.) Sensing an opportunity to do more, I started volunteering for the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon. This amazing non-profit provides low-cost spay and neutering services for feral cats. Since its inception in 1995, FCCO has helped over 60,000 cats. When volunteering in their Sunday clinics, I’ve monitored dozens of cats coming out of anesthesia from spay/neuter surgeries. I’m continually impressed by the tireless devotion of the staff, caregivers, and other volunteers.
My big trip this past year was to Brussels. In September, I traveled to several cities in Belgium, as well as Amsterdam, Cologne, and Paris. Being a city person and having studied French from 7th grade through the first year of college, Paris was my favorite destination. Versailles with its Hall of Mirrors and gardens was unforgettable. Throughout my trip, I took hundreds of photos and enjoyed learning about and experiencing different cultures.
I’m thankful for all of 2013’s achievements and blessings. I look forward to a successful 2014.