Make it Count

As I look back at 2022, like any year there were highs and lows…but as I sit here trying to sum it up, I keep coming back to one phrase: make it count. I have a bad habit of getting so focused on my routine, and letting “busy” be an excuse that keeps me from taking the scenic route, or stopping to smell the roses. But there were several moments this year that served as reminders that life is short, and we can’t take anything (or anyone) for granted. We never know what tomorrow holds, so we have to seize the moments and make the memories while we can.

I love how much family time I got this past year. We kicked off 2022 with a surprise visit from my out-of-state brother (and nephew) for Dad’s milestone birthday. I took an unexpected road trip detour on a business trip where I got three days with my TX extended family (sadly, as we said goodbye to my adoring Aunt). I made the most of my last-minute mileage run just this week to visit my recently relocated nephews in Ohio. We celeberated Thanksgiving AND Christmas with our son. And there were more Palm Springs visits from my baby brother and little bestie, G, than I can count. My heart is definitely full!

On the work front, I couldn’t be more grateful for all that 2022 brought me professionally: a new company, incredible boss and mentor, amazingly supportive global team, FINALLY getting back on the road after a 26 months travel freeze, and a handful of accolades to boot. This year I took a leap and wow did it pay off! It’s so incredible to look back on a year ago, when my comfortable (albeit demanding) work world first started to shift. I had no idea what was in store for me, but I’m feeling so confident that I’ve made the absolute most of every opportunity!

After years of talking about it, we finally decided to flip our lives upside down this year, as we added four feet to our family. Brian and I have definitely been on our toes as we navigate puppy-parenthood, and sheepishly admit that our world now revolves around our 7lb furry roommate. We’ve also added new dialogue to our household such as, “Ruthie, we don’t eat Christmas!”. Thankfully (Grandmas to the rescue), we still got to sneak away, twice (for the first time in years, but who’s counting?), and enjoy a few weekends out of the desert celebrating the weddings of several friends. After the past few years of being grounded, we’ve definitely got the travel itch again, and we’re excited to see where 2023 will take us (literally)!

I’m typically not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. Everything in me says that we should be setting goals for ourselves every day of the year, not waiting to stop bad habits or start good ones each January first. But there’s something about this new year that has me gearing up for something big. I feel like I’ve got so much momentum and I can’t help but be excited for what’s to come…

Here’s to a New Year and the chance to reset, regroup, and remember to make it count!

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Orange is the New Blue

Have you ever made a decision, then watched as everything around you seemed to fall perfectly into place ─ and step by step you saw, felt, and just knew in your heart it was the right choice? Well, let me tell you a story about the last few weeks…

It’s certainly not the first time I didn’t see the curve ball coming my way. I had just been promoted, and was happily humming along my merry way. One Friday afternoon, at the end of a very long week, my wiser half reminded me that there’s a big (Orange) world out there. In an attempt to prove his point, Mr. @AustinNexus asked me to make a phone call. After the last 12 years together, if I’ve learned anything at all, it’s to always do exactly what Mr. @AustinNexus says to do.

That 15-minute phone call turned into another, and another (thank you, Sona Akmakjian)…and before I knew it, I was falling in love with the thought of taking a leap, of joining a hungry team, of building something that years from now we’ll look back on with incredible pride, and most of all, of wearing Orange and officially becoming an Avalarian!

Today I begin a new chapter, as I accept the role as Director of Global Strategic Accounting Partnerships at Avalara. As the kids would say, I’ve got all the feels. I’m anxious to dig in and get to work building out our strategy. I’m excited to partner with new teammates and have the opportunity to learn and grow. I’m so looking forward to getting back on the road, finally, and being able to make eye contact and sit in the same room again with accounting partners. I’m quite frankly petrified that I’ve forgotten how to walk in stilettos (people, it’s been 25 months since my last business trip!).

Amid all these mixed emotions that I’ve navigated the past several weeks, three reminders have sustained me and become the perfect tag lines for this season:

Everything happens for a reason

I’m fully confident that although change can be uneasy, stressful, and even uncomfortable, God put me right here, right now for a very specific purpose.

Timing is everything

I’ve known Avalara longer than I’ve known Mr. Austin, and even talked about joining the “A Team” several times before (always indebted to Marshal Kushniruk), though it just wasn’t the right moment of harmonic convergence…until now!

The best is yet to come

If we don’t get uncomfortable, we don’t grow. I can’t wait to see all the ways I’ll be stretched for the better in the new role. I’m looking forward to this next season where I get to become the best version of me!