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Hello to 2017!

Dear friends, Happy New Year! I hope that 2017 brings you all that you wish. I am very happy we are starting another New Year. It’s time to make plans and to begin the best year so far. Some of us would like to re-write our stories and perhaps some only want to make small edits. Certainly, though, we need to keep on learning, growing, and living our purpose.

Personally, I am excited about the opportunities a new year brings. I did not complete all of my 2016 tasks because of a full schedule, but I plan to finish them now and keep living my dream. Although I am excited for the new start, I am also a little sad to see 2016 end. Professionally and personally, I felt 2016 was exciting, and the few things that I missed doing – besides winning the lottery - will not overshadow the many wonderful things that did happen as a consequence of my new life as a writer.

In February, I explored beautiful Portland, Oregon and had my first live interview on KATU-TV, AM Northwest. You can find it on my website. Downtown Portland is awesome, and I was particularly fascinated with Powell’s, the best and biggest book store I have ever visited. The building stretched across an entire block. That month, we also returned to Michigan to close a chapter in our lives – we finally sold our Michigan home thanks to the amazing realtor Anthony Djon. Sadly, we left behind many friends and family members as well as our dream home located on a beautiful small natural lake in Shelby Township. We now have a new life in Arizona and the sale makes our financial lives a little easier.

Besides these personal events, my professional life has been filled with new discoveries and recognitions. In April, Dr. Vu H. Pham, Chair of Spectrum Knowledge and faculty member of the University of California, asked me to be one of their UCSD Elevate Ambassadors. Consequently, I attended their ERG Summit & Elevate Forum held in San Diego, CA where I met many professionals and also learned some great management tips. This opportunity encouraged me to join several diversity associations at work and help to facilitate events designed to inspire and train participants.

In August I earned an Augmented Leader Series certificate after completing a Rady/UC San Diego School of Management program. Because I joined the Women in Leadership group at work, I met many executives and listened to their stories about moving their careers ahead. As a supporter of diversity and inclusion events at work, I was invited in October to attend the Phoenix Diversity Leadership Association (DLA) conference and workshop. This insightful and educational event left me touched and inspired and I decided to do a presentation at work on unconscious bias. I also attended another one of their events in December on Emotional Intelligence where I met a new group of friends. I am especially excited about meeting a particular person there, one of the presenters, Dr. Anita Rowe because we share the same cultural background. I hope to participate in more DLA events in the future.

A recent event I attended and wrote about in my blog was the Phoenix Fashion Show, my first ever fashion show, which I captured on camera while positioned right by the runway. The designs, limelight, and crowd were very exciting. Also, I did a number of charity events such as baking 200 cookies and participating in Ohana Hair Salon’s Cancer Charity event in Scottsdale, AZ and in the Sunshine Acres event in Mesa, AZ.

In December, I met one of my singing favorites, Haris Berkovic, a 2015 winner of Zvezde Granda competition. I blogged about attending a fun concert and three amazing singers who arrived from Zvezde Granda Productions (located in Belgrade, Serbia) who toured U.S. All three were excellent, but Haris was my husband and my longtime favorite singer. Haris Berkovic, Bubi, and Aleksandra Mladenovic kept the audience on their feet singing. I gave Aleksandra a copy of my fun picture book “Gateway to Inspirations” and Haris, my first book, “Good Bye Job, Hello Life”, so he can give it to his girlfriend, another famous singer, Rada Manojlovic. I heard that she likes to read books. I now have lots of pictures and videos to enjoy.

The year ended with a very exciting New Year ’s Eve party at Hilton’s Embassy Suites. How can you top all this? The only thing I can think of is meeting Ellen DeGeneres or Oprah and perhaps being on national TV in 2017!

Because of all these events and my full time job, my writing fell behind schedule. I finally have a website and blog, but I am behind in completing the workbook based on my first book and my second book, “Good Bye Expectations, Hello Reality”. Sadly, I have people waiting for both of these projects. I promise, however, that this will be the year to complete both and to publish new photos from my European trip. I really would love to see Barcelona, perhaps Rome (among a long list of places) and visit family in Croatia, Serbia, and Macedonia. I also plan to continue supporting diversity groups, learning, creating as well as inspiring and connecting with people, especially globally.

Be safe, be happy, explore creativity and be inspired to keep rejuvenating your life.

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