Oh, 2016, I can’t say I’m sad that you’re over. While you brought me my best work year to date, you also delivered a number of gut punches, many of which stemmed from my dad’s ischemic stroke on Valentine’s Day.
To get over you, we retreated to the mountains of Washington for a week of reflection, to push the reset button and to set out intentions for a much better 2017.
But to be honest, 2016 wasn’t all bad if I think about it. It had plenty of highlights, a number of awesome trips, and a lot of time with friends and family. And what more can you ask for than that, really?
The year started off in Knoxville as we’d been at the wedding of a friend, immediately after flying home from our now-annual work retreat in Washington, where we spent the last week of last year, as well. January is always a slow month of travel, so we use it as time to catch up with loved ones. We went to Memphis for an MLK weekend getaway to see my cousins and Team Mayhem came down to visit from Ohio.
In February, Dad’s stroke happened and Mom and I stayed by his side at Centennial and Vanderbilt for the better part of five weeks. It was a blessing I had no trips planned that month as my schedule was fully open to devote to my family, though we did still welcome some beloved visitors during that point as well.
April was when my work travel really picked up and didn’t really abate until late fall. First, I went to Panama City Beach for a girlfriend getaway project with my bests, then on a coastal road trip to California to see SVV’s family, then straight to South Dakota where we stayed in Sioux Falls for a campaign with the state tourism board.
June brought a girls’ weekend at Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts with Angie and Alex—during which we squeezed in a quick 48 hours in New York at Alex’s home in Albany—and my favorite event of the year in hometown, Bonnaroo, one of the biggest music festivals in the country.
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