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My Lessons This Year + A #FireMeUp11 Birthday Gift From Me To You - Debra Trappen
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My Lessons This Year + A #FireMeUp11 Birthday Gift From Me To You

Wow!  Another scrumptiously spectacular birthday week is almost at an end.  First, I am so grateful for the love you showered over me this week with all of the thoughtful calls, cards, notes, Facebook posts, texts, voxes, dinners, coffees, wine bottles, and wacky videos!  You truly know how to make a gal feel special and loved.

If you have been a reader of my d11 blog for a while, you know I love birthday week/month.

Not because of the parties and attention… (although, let’s be real – I am a LEO and adore the love!) I truly revel in this time of year because I give myself permission to slow down and reflect.  I take quiet time to review the year’s experiences and soak them all in.  This process reinforces and revisits the blessings and lessons I experienced over the past year and reminds me of the wild, adventure-filled journey I am on with all of you!

This year, I did something a bit different.  

As you know, I am always looking for ways to take things to 11.  To shake it up, I decided to take my “year in review” a different direction and actually go through my calendarday by day.  I looked at the multitude of things scheduled: visits to family, travel with friends, birthday celebrations and birthday weeks for framily, #FireMeUp11 client sessions, accountability dates for book writing, writing reminders, author interviews, speaking gigs, wine tasting, business planning meeting, theatre date nights, IVF appointments, shot reminders, friend shenanigans, WomenOnWine.TV adventures…  There were also some “not so joyful” reminders in there: dates when loved ones went to Heaven, birthdays of people no longer in my life, and some missed opportunities like meetings that were never rescheduled, calls that never happened, prayers that weren’t answered “my way”, vacations that are still in “planning” mode, etc.

This exercise reminded me that the last year has been magnificently and wonderfully filled with adventure, laughter, growth, success, pain, loss, healing, risks, lessons and lots of letting go.

It also left me with an impressive list of people I need to reconnect with to reignite our conversations. I believe it is never too late to pick up the phone or shoot an email to say – Hi! Can you believe we started our chat 9 months ago? Where does the time go? I really do want to connect with you, does next week Tuesday at 11am work for you?  Let’s grab a coffee… glass of wine… or jump on Skype for a chat!

Let’s never forget:

  • We are ALL human.

  • We have ALL missed appointments, played “let’s reschedule” pong with no wins, and unintentionally let things slip.

  • Life is crazy.


Let’s never let shame hold us back.  Let’s shake it off and rekindle those opportunities!


I also learned a big life lesson.

I learned is it takes me a couple of years to heal from a lost friendship.  My heart was broken a couple of years ago by a friend I was very close to.  I have never had an experience like that (as an adult), so I felt incredibly lost going through the healing process.

I am finally at peace with the journey. The connection was in my life for a reason. I see it now.  I embrace the painful lesson now.  In the end, the relationships that grew out of that time have been life-changing.

For that, I am forever grateful.


“My Birthday 11”

For several years now, one of my personal “Birthday Traditions” is to take some quiet time and answer 11 questions about the year behind me, as well as the year ahead.  Birthdays are our very own “personal new year“.

Each one of these questions deserves time for reflection, success celebration, and intentional course correction where/when needed.

My heart’s desire is for this to inspire you to answer these questions on your next birthday… or do it now and then revisit these answers on your birthday.

Find a spot that inspires you. Reflect on where you've been. Revel in the journey. Focus on the FUTURE!

  1. What was my most joyful experience this past year?
  2. What was the toughest lesson I learned?
  3. What was (is) the single biggest time-waster in my life, and how will I deal with it?
  4. What am I holding on to that I need to let go of… immediately?
  5. What impact do I want to make on my world this year?
  6. What is the one fear that is holding me back?
    *How will I take it DOWN this year… and who will I ask to help me do it?*
  7. What habit would I most like to establish this year?
  8. Who are the people I most want to encourage this year?
  9. What’s the single most important thing I could do to improve the quality of my marriage this year?
  10. What is the number one thing I commit to doing for my business this year… that will STRETCH ME?
  11. What’s the most important decision I need to make this year?

If you use Evernote – here is a note for you to add to your ME notebook!

Now that I am officially the “answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything” let the magic happen.  (My fellow #SciFiGeeks totally get this one… lol)  I have never been as confident, happy and tenaciously focused as I am right now.  The next 11 months and 30 days will be the best of my life.  I wish the same to you…

If you embrace this – join me in saying:

Watch out, World… Here I come!

Santé and Smooches!

Debra's signature :)

ps. If you have a fun birthday tradition, I would love to read about it in the comments below!
Share, if you dare! :)

1 Comment
  • Rita
    Posted at 22:45h, 31 August Reply

    Loved your Year in Review. For me, even just looking at the past month or two can be an eye opener. I am always amazed how much I manage to pack into a day, let alone a whole week.

    Just in the past few weeks, I was able to celebrate my sister’s success as a newly graduated and licensed Nurse Practitioner in the State of Washington, while at a similar time, a friend died very suddenly of an obscure disease. I recognized how many of my clients were successful with my help, to select and buy a new home when other agents were still struggling. I am grateful for the Perfect Health that I am channeling at this time in life. I’m grateful for a home, my remaining family members, my animals, stable & steady income, the opportunity to learn, teach, and serve. I am blessed.

    Do I wish MORE could’ve been accomplished? Oh HEAVENS YES! I just know I have to work within the limitations of those around me and cut them slack. That was one of the learning lessons. Just because I am at “11” does not mean most people are jacked-up to even 7. Heh, heh…..

    Good post. I always appreciate your insight and perspective on things. Keep up the good work and God bless you.

    Hugs from the Seattle side of the pond!

    Rita Harris, Broker
    Seattle, WA
    WP & Associates

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