Hendricks family at Lexi's graduation.

Reflecting on 20 Years

It’s been an incredibly busy spring season. I’m just now catching my breath at the end of June. I’ve had a few milestones—including 20 years of business, five years of local news, and a kid graduating high school—that make me a little introspective.

The past two months have included a member drive, a five-year anniversary, a bike safety event, a bike ride, a parade, a mural unveiling, a massive four-day community event, launching a summer contest, a high school graduation, a grad party, the 20th anniversary of my business, and my brain has now shut down so I can’t remember anything else.

Whew. That’s an understatement.

So when I get a moment, I’m reflective. A few thoughts…

Don’t do that: So first of all, don’t do that again. Some of those things I couldn’t control, but many others I could and I made it worse—way worse—by stacking them all up.

Get help: I’ve been running events for a few years now, and asking for help is an ongoing lesson. I know that every year, but there’s a difference between getting last-minute help for the day-of stuff and getting ongoing help so you’re not juggling everything. Figuring out how to effectively do that is a challenge, but I think I learned the hard way this year that you need to find people to help and put the in charge of major components. And then step back.

Graduation: Oh my gosh, my kid just graduated high school. This is a weird milestone. I’m convinced that school, and especially high school, is a weird, compartmentalized part of our lives that we’ll never truly experience again. It’s rare that you’ll be lumped in with a group of your peers. Many of us hate it at the time, but you’ll never have anything like it again. More than feeling old or a sense of accomplishment (is it really that hard to graduate high school? I mean, yay and good job, but it’s kind of a low bar), I’m excited (and anxious) for my kid and looking ahead to what’s next. Seeing your kid become an adult (and relating to them as an adult) is pretty cool. It’s a transition I didn’t really think about or know what to expect, but so far I’m pleasantly surprised.

Grad party: Best decision ever—renting an indoor space and hiring a food truck. Didn’t have to worry (much) about the rain or stress over prepping food or cleaning/setting up.

Business: 20 years ago I officially started freelancing with Monkey Outta Nowhere. This is maybe a dubious anniversary, since technically I’d been freelancing before, but I think this is when it became LLC official and I was fully committed with no turning back (six months before when I was really getting started, it maybe wasn’t so clear if this was going to work). Twenty years! I don’t know what to make of that. Though more than ever it makes me think of what’s next. I don’t really have a business that gets passed along (except for West St. Paul Reader, and that’s a whole other thing), but it does make me think about legacy, about teaching the next generation of writers and entrepreneurs and communicators, about what we leave behind. I don’t have any answers, but it does make me think about doing more than just the work.

Community: What a win for art and bikes. You know what’s crazy? Things can change for the better. Five years ago we didn’t have public art and biking was a lot harder. When things feel stuck, it is possible to move forward.

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