Almost three years into the global COVID 19 pandemic, life has returned to a new normal including socializing with friends, family reunions, traveling and yes, getting COVID. There are many things to be thankful for. Therefore, per tradition, I want to share this year's highlights with you.
We knew it would hit us sooner or later, so we were almost expecting it when we tested positive for COVID 19 in January. Luckily our symptoms were cold like and manageable. However, we experienced the struggle as working parents with a toddler at home during quarantining.
On the bright side, having just recovered from COVID 19 allowed us to travel without quarantining afterwards, so we booked a spontaneous trip to Maui's West Coast in February.
The German and French Consulates hosted a joint panel in celebration of International Women's Day. I left the audience with some pragmatic tips of small things everyone can start doing right away to promote gender equity:
- call out BS
- don't accept lame excuses like "there are not enough female speakers/candidates/etc"
- celebrate women and female role models (not only on 3/8)
- seek out female networks of peers, mentors and role models or start one
- recruit/promote/fund women and URM whenever you have the chance - it will be worth it
It is fun to explore cultural holidays and traditions through the eyes of a child, so we didn't think twice when Carlos' colleague invited us to his family's annual easter egg hunt at his Hillsborough farm. Turns out I still know how to spot some colorful eggs.
My parents were visiting us for three weeks in May, spending a lot of time with their grandson and exploring California as well.
While I am no longer hosting my own podcast, I really enjoy being a guest on other's. Here are some of my 2022 highlights:
- Wunderbar together podcast: Wie gründet man richtig, Kati Schmidt?
- Deutsche Welle interview: Volatility is an 'opportunity‘ for startups
- Elpha Spotlight: How to build a thriving remote work culture
We spent our summer break close to Almería, Spain, right at the beach with Carlos' family. Lucas turned 2 during that time, which earned him his own seat on the plan (and the full fare). Just an hour after our return, my cousin Anja and her family visited us for a week as their last stop of their California road trip. We enjoyed having the house filled with people and laughter.
My employer Course Hero has become a virtual first company post pandemic. Field Day was one of the occasions for the team to get together, volunteer and socialize.
Here are some other causes I supported in 2022:
- When We All Vote
- ACLU Foundation
- Weave Incorporated
- Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Fund
- Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund
We got some great news in September - stay tuned.
My sister Nina and her high school friend Jessica visited us for two weeks in October. We enjoy having people around and Lucas makes sure to keep them busy. My other sister Susi gave birth to her second daughter Nora, my goddaughter.
Since I moved to the US, fall is my favorite time of the year thanks to Halloween, Thanksgiving and Pumpkin Patches. Per tradition we celebrated Friendsgiving with our closest German friends in the Bay Area.
We closed the year out with Course Hero's holiday party at the Exploratorium and a trip to Germany where I caught COVID 19 again - coming full circle.
There's a lot to be thankful for this year. Aligned with one of Course Hero's values 'Always Learning' I want to give a shout out to my coach Cindy Greig and the Reforge community. I highly recommend investing in personal and professional growth via coaching and taking the Growth Series and Finding Product Market Fit classes - even if you're not a product manager. Hopefully your employer is as supportive as mine.