As I’m preparing to wind down for a couple of weeks, I can’t help but reflect upon the past year. 2011 has been, well… one of the most interesting years of my life.

There were highs:

We took the kids to Disney World for the first time (it was my first time too).

A Year In Review: Highs, Lows and Everything In Between
The plane ride home

In January, I was named to the coveted list of The Top 20 Women in Canada.

A Year In Review: Highs, Lows and Everything In Between

My hubby and I celebrated over 10 happy years of marriage and over 15 years of being together.

A Year In Review: Highs, Lows and Everything In Between

I watched my children thrive in life and school. It took my breath away, many times over.

I got to hear one of my favorite women, Oprah Winfrey speak in person.

I traveled far and wide, for both business and pleasure, meeting the most incredible people along the way.

I became a radio correspondent.

A Year In Review: Highs, Lows and Everything In Between

I made Forbes Magazine, twice in one year – Women On The Fence was named Forbes Magazine’s Top 100 Sites for Women , and I was named Forbes Magazine’s 25 Most Influential Women Tweeting About Entrepreneurship.

A Year In Review: Highs, Lows and Everything In Between

I got to hang with one of my favorite entrepreneurs – Richard Branson.

A Year In Review: Highs, Lows and Everything In Between
Me and entrepreneur and philanthropist Richard Branson

I got to interview some incredibly dynamic women and share their life lessons with you– Mariel Hemingway, Christy Turlington, Holly Robinson Peete, Mackenzie Phillips, Jill Zarin, Ramona Singer and many more.

A Year In Review: Highs, Lows and Everything In Between
Mariel Hemingway

I watched my children grow taller before my eyes, entering 3rd grade, and pre-kindergarten.

I launched The Erica Diamond Jewelry Collection for Ice.com.

A Year In Review: Highs, Lows and Everything In Between

I shot my first TV pilot (still in the works).

A Year In Review: Highs, Lows and Everything In Between
A fitting

I co-chaired an evening for 650 women that went without a hitch.

I became a Spokesperson for some incredible Brands.

A Year In Review: Highs, Lows and Everything In Between

I was given an award for “Outstanding Achievement in Leadership”

A Year In Review: Highs, Lows and Everything In Between

I became the Spokesperson for National Entrepreneurship Day (a big deal for a die-hard, ass-working, entrepreneur gal like me).

A Year In Review: Highs, Lows and Everything In Between

I saw Women On The Fence become a registered trademark.

A Year In Review: Highs, Lows and Everything In Between

 

There were lows:

A breast cancer scare that sent me in a tailspin, but in the end, made me truly appreciate life so much more. And made me so grateful to have this community by my side.

A Year In Review: Highs, Lows and Everything In Between

I watched my son not make the A-team in hockey for the first time ever – and saw the disappointment is his eyes. It hurt something awful.

But then watched him make the A-team again this fall.

My husband got into a near-fatal car crash but lived to tell.

I had writer’s block.

I shared my hate mail – it was bad.

A Year In Review: Highs, Lows and Everything In Between

I confessed my frustrations.

But that was the past – and the past is gone.

Now we look forward.  We look to a new year. I love a new year as much as I love a quarter-pounder-trio at Mc DonaldsA HELLUVA LOT. A new year represents new possibilities, new beginnings, a chance to start over, and get things right. But here is the truth: I haven’t yet tweaked my Bucket List (which I do every year), nor made one single resolution (which I usually do too). This year, I’ve turned a whole new leaf. I have decided to go through 2012 with no concrete plan at all. Yes.

WHAT you might ask?! This is so very irresponsible.

But as I reflect back upon my life, I know one thing – man plans, and God laughs. I planned to go to MBA School 13 years ago, but failed my GMATS and never got in. We plan in great detail, and life still throws us unexpected curveballs. Or better yet, the flipside- we expect the worst, and things just magically work out.

A Year In Review: Highs, Lows and Everything In Between

So this year, I became **GASP**  a believer and truster in the Universe. I’m no longer afraid.  I’ve seen life fall into place in ways I never could have planned. And I know that things happen the way they must – this goes for both the good and the bad in our life. Today, December 19th, 2011, we only know where we’ve been.  We can’t possibly know what the future holds for any of us. And that unknown is both scary and exhilarating. I do know that with hard work, passion and persistence, comes opportunity. And I also know, that without our health and family, nothing matters.

Yes, I have my vision board. I know the dream. But this year, I will not be so rigid. And I urge you, perhaps, to not be so rigid either.  In looking to the future, I challenge you to make your resolutions, make your Bucket Lists, your life plans. Make them. But pencil in a little room for failure.  When you leave room to slip, I truly believe that’s when your best self shows itself. Plan to succeed, but plan to fail. I have found failure to be game-changing.

And one more thing– in working my ass off in 2011, I also realized something else. We get do-overs in our careers, and actually in many things in life. But we don’t get do-overs as mothers and wives. Our children are small for a very short time, and we truly only get one chance to raise them right. No do-overs there. Same goes for our relationships. So a quick tongue, or a fast word can hurt. Remember: be kind, be generous, be loving, be playful, be forgiving, be honest.

You get out of life what you put in. Every time. No shortcuts.

I’d love to know what YOU realized in 2011, and what you hope for in 2012?

xoxEDxox