By no means was 2016 perfect and I’m thankful for the friends, family and women of agriculture who listened when I needed them, but overall it was a pretty good year for me. I count my blessings my family and I remain in pretty good health.
I know not everyone was as blessed and I sincerely hope the coming year brings much peace and comfort to those who are in pain or struggling.
I am grateful for the opportunities that came my way in 2016. They brought change, personal development and stronger relationships with friends, old and new. A love of learning, particularly by doing, led me to take the leap and leave my former job of 10 years to lead the Global 4-H Network Summit for 4-H Canada.
I’m excited for the year ahead and all that 2017 will bring; from the Summit, to our great nation’s 150th birthday celebrations to “what’s next” for my career, my focus will be on the “doing” thanks to some inspiration from Amy Poehler.
In fact, Amy’s words are at the top of the list when it comes to content that impacted me in 2016. And funny enough, of all the books, articles, videos and social media I consumed this past year, there are a handful that stand out. These are them.
The 5 Most Impactful Things I Read / Saw in 2016
I listened to Amy’s book in the spring and laughed out loud while also shaking my head in disbelief at some of the bullsh*t she put up with. I also loved the wisdom she shares. On judging other women (and ourselves), she offers simple advice we can all use: Good for her, not for me.
As the year wound down, I also found myself pondering her words on creating and work: “The talking and thinking and worrying is not the thing. The doing is the thing.”
As I continue to push myself to add value to this world, I want to do more and talk less. Blog more, tweet less. Give more, worry less.
2. Simon Sinek on Millennials in the Workplace
This interview from October has been shared on Facebook lately and when I finally watched it, it made so much sense. It felt bang on. And I realized I have a phone addiction (and possibly social media). I have thought about the video for weeks now and how I will curb this in 2017.
3. A Political Party for Women
I heard this TED talk first on their podcast while driving and I was enamoured with the speaker’s passion. Her bold suggestion was exactly what I imagine Deb Stark had in mind when she addressed the Advancing Women Conference audience in October encouraging us to “own our boldness”.
There is every reason, including economic benefits, for organizations (and government) to advance women into leadership. We need to stop skirting the opportunity and get to it.
4) Save the Children Still the Most Shocking Second a Day
It’s impossible for us to understand the uncertainty and fear millions of people around the world live in everyday. This video stuck with me. We are really all the same, humans.
A little closer to home, this story of Somali refugees entering Canada in Manitoba was also one with which I was fascinated. Life for new immigrants to Canada is not easy. Often they don’t know the language. They may not be able to easily find work and they are often on their own, far away from family and treated as outsiders. The hope and possibilities of a life without fear keep them going though.
Although originally published in 2015, after the year we just had, this article seems as important as any to highlight the ongoing sexism women face. We talked a lot about unconscious bias on the Ag Women’s Network blog this year to empower women to both realize their own bias and overcome it when they face it.
This article helped make the connection for me between seemingly harmless comments to the ingrained bias within our society, which leads to damaged self-esteem and self-worth. Maggie McCormick also did an awesome job making this connection in her blog post.