2017…another year in the books

2017 has reminded me just how grateful I should be, how thankful I am for the amazing people in my life and how blessed I am to live this life I have!

I’m not going to lie, 2017 started out as a rough year. 40 days in, my life changed forever. Dealing with my mom’s passing was rough, and I really thought it was going to define the year. While I am sure I will always remember that as the most influential part of my 2017, I have been blessed with a multitude of other experiences to make this year enjoyable in the days since. Here are my top 17 highlights from 2017:

  1. Monroe got a new yoga studio – Blue Lotus Yoga, opened by a dear friend of mine who has entrusted me with help her with her social media and website, and all the while it has only made Elaina and me better friends.
  2. My friend Mary came to visit from down south just to keep me company and be with me for a tough weekend. While it was a short visit, it is one I will always remember as she but her own life on hold for the weekend to be there for me at the drop of a hat.
  3. I got my 3rd tattoo – it’s my mom’s handwriting and says “Love, Mom”, taken off the Christmas card she wrote me last year.
  4. Tom and I went to see Jake Owen in concert! (I have to get at least one country concert in each year.)
  5. Once I finally had a chance to leave home for a bit, I visited Jenna and saw Oregon and Washington for my first time! We went beer tasting around Portland (along with whiskey and wine tasting) and even had a flight across the gorge in Washington! I was also able to see Mulnomah Falls and the Columbia River Gorge before they were hit with a devastating wild fire. Also, while in Portland, Jenna took me to my very first professional soccer game – and I will admit that I loved it!
  6. I spent Mother’s Day weekend in DC with Emily – wine tasting around Virginia and taking in another Nationals game.
  7. I completed my 2nd Warrior Dash with some awesome ladies from my softball team.
  8. I got a dirt bike!!!
  9. Spent Labor Day up on Cape Cod with Tom, Jenna and her family to wish her farewell before her next chapter of life and adventures in Cambodia! And since it was me and Jenna, rum, gin and wine tasting were all on the menu! Along with a 20+ mile bike ride on the rail trail. And we even caught a sight of seals off the coast in Provincetown.
  10. Finally took in a Bridgeport Bluefish game at Harbor Yard before they left town for good.
  11. And even though Hurricane Irma rained out the Tampa 2017 installment of #ktomandlamargotimlbtour, we booked a last minute trip to Cleveland where we saw the Indians win 21 straight games (and then break their win streak two days later). Plus we saw the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and cruised on the Great Lake to see a different side of Cleveland.
  12. I finally made it to Canada thanks to a work trip to Montreal. And though I didn’t have time for sightseeing, there was time to pick up pure Canadian maple syrup to bring home! Work also sent me to Atlanta, so I finally stepped foot outside the airport. And was able to experience some southern BBQ while we dined. My final work trip sent me to Torino, Italy for a week. And included a 7 hour layover in Frankfurt, which gave me ample time to go walk around the city instead of just hanging out in the airport.
  13. After wanting to learn for a long time, I dove in and took a calligraphy class at Joyful Noise Paper and have been enjoying practicing my new hobby ever since.
  14. I spent November writing my 30 Days of Thanks and looking back on all of the blessings I have in my life.
  15. I was elected chair of Monroe Youth Commission.
  16. I survived 3 straight days of Christmas baking – making 100 raspberry thumprints + 121 chocolate chip cookies + 3 Irish soda breads + 81 meringues + 45 chocolate covered pretzels…all for the weekend before Christmas. And that doesn’t include anything I made for Christmas itself, which we hosted for the 1st time this year.
  17. The Gotimer family grew again as Lizzie and Brian got married!

High Culture Needs to Play Catch Up

My first post for TNGG of the new year, as originally posted here

To be cliche, “we are the future.” We are going to run the world some day. We are most likely going to take care of the older generations some day, or at least pay your social security checks. We may even solve world hunger and find peace. But today, it is about us ensuring a future for high culture. It’s simple marketing, really. We are the generation that is going to support the industry as our parents get older and we are the ones with the means to support the industry now.

It is time for high culture to cultivate a relationship with Millennials, because as the calendar turns each day, their collectors and long-time supporters are aging (and becoming closer to death — not a pretty thought, but it’s true). High culture needs us and our rising discretionary income to become their next great generation of collectors, patrons and art buyers.

By hooking into us now, high culture is able to ensure a demand for their products for years to come — it makes for good business to market to us. Under the high culture umbrella, the wine industry has welcomed us with wide-open arms. By attending wine tastings, you learn what goes into making certain types of wine, and you are able to learn what you like and don’t like about particular wines. This allows you to walk into a store and buy a wine you know you will enjoy, not one that you will suffer through. Teaching us and helping shape our pallet will benefit the entire industry now and for years to come — especially as some think this generation will have the next greatest number of wine aficionados. According to the Wine Market council, we make up 21% of core wine drinkers, and not all Millennials are even of legal drinking age yet.

The art industry has also caught on and realized that they need to change up the way art is displayed and how we experience exhibits and gallery spaces — we want to feel involved. Artspace in New Haven, Conn. seems to understand that. And the MoMA has listened too. We say we want to be praised when we do good, well how about throwing a party for us when we support the arts?

The wine and art industries seem to have figured it out. The issue at hand is it’s time for high culture to catch up with the times and re-brand itself in order to not become extinct. We are a great resource, as we don’t have families to support (yet), and we’re not starting families as early as our grandparents did, nor our parents. We have the discretionary income to buy artwork, tickets to shows and donate to their endowments.

Now it’s time for the ballet, symphony and other high culture industries to learn how to get us there. By hooking into us now, high culture industries are just investing in their own future.