Happy New Year! Words, Numbers and Intentions

Wow, 2015. A blur of beauty, experiences and great moments, from my first week in January at the GEM Awards and then faceting my own gemstone, to winning the Award for Excellence in Media from the Women’s Jewelry Association, to ending the year officially launching my new company ANZA Gems. Countless, priceless interviews with jewelry designers. Panels, discussions, trade show shenanigans. At least 140,000 miles flown to 6 countries and over 30 cities on 5 continents.

GEM Awards

Beginning the year at the GEM Awards in January of 2015 with my partner-in-crime Barbara Palumbo…my jewelry friends are everything.

Tanzania travel

I spent a LOT of time on planes this year, like this prop plane from Arusha, Tanzania to Nairobi, Kenya.

As one year winds down and another spools up, there are the inevitable lists and numbers (Top 5 Blog Posts! 521 Instagram Likes! 2000 more Twitter followers!). But do all those digits, countdowns and lists really tell our story?

Wendy Yue Couture 2015

I saw so many spectacular jewels in 2015, like these Wendy Yue rings at the Couture Show in June.

I found myself wondering something a little different at the end of 2015. How many breaths did I take? Who did I connect with, what did I learn, where did I make a difference in someone’s life? It’s a different sort of measure.
Rough gemstones from Africa

Just a tiny sampling of the beautiful rough gems I purchased this year as part of my ANZA Gems project.

In 2016, I’ll be focusing on the roles that I’ve parsed out for myself: Wife, Mother, Daughter, Entrepreneur, Friend, Editor and Athlete. Decisions of what to invest my time and energy in will be seen through the lens of these roles. I’ll be planning romantic date nights, helping with homework, calling my Dad more, and leading the charge for GNOs (Girl’s Night Outs). As an Entrepreneur I’ll be traveling to Africa several times a year and planning to make a difference through my business. In my Editor role, I’ll be supportive of the jewelry industry, particularly independent jewelry designers who need a voice. And I’ll do a shit ton of yoga and go for my fastest time in sprinting.
Elephants in Kenya

Elephants in Kenya.

Japan Torii Gate

Family travel to Japan. We’ve had some incredible travel experiences!

I’m a believer (no surprise) that words matter. Last year I had a series of words I intended to live by, or at least filter through. These words were Ease, Fearless, Fun, Curiosity, Wonder, Play, Expand, Perspective, Saturation, Strong and Wings. I still believe that living by those words, principles, ideas are worth it. Some, like “ease” and “curiosity” I truly embraced in 2015. Others I would like to explore a little further this year, like “fearless” and “fun”. I’m going to add another phrase for 2016, ’cause this year made me believe it: DREAM BIG. Whatever it is, it can happen. Dreaming is not the same thing as actually doing, of course, but ideas have to start somewhere: a word, a phrase, a thought that manifests itself.

Words of Intention

My words to live by for 2015. I did pretty well using these as a starting point.

So yes, I’ll still measure and count. It’s part of our nature, to gauge. But I’ll try not to just recount those numbers that are relatively easy to sift, like followers and likes and reposts. Instead, I’ll focus on how many school children in Tanzania I can support. Or how many people will discover a designer because I featured them. I’ll do my best to be present for my family in those hours between dinner and bedtime. 2016 will hopefully be measured in heartbeats: my own, my family’s and my friend’s.
20 Year Anniversary

We celebrated 20 years of marriage in Paris in August.

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