10 Triumphs of 2018!


This fabulous year of 2018 is coming to an end and there are so many things to look forward to next year. However, I want to take a moment to reflect on the top 10 triumphs and wonderful things that happened in my life 2018. Through this my hope is that you will share your triumphs with all of us as well. Many times at the end of the year we can get caught up in thoughts about what didn’t go well and how we are so ready for the next year to come. It is great to have things to look forward to, but at the same time, let’s take a moment to bask in the things that did bring us so much joy in 2018.

  1. Going to the 3 Michelin Star Restaurant: Alinea in Chicago in June of 2018:

    This is definitely my #1 highlight of the year. I was seriously in awe of this experience and at many points during the meal I looked around and it seemed as if it was a dream. Many months before coming to Alinea with my husband, sister in law and one of our friends from Chicago I saw an episode of Chef’s Table that featured Alinea. It seemed like one of the most magical restaurants I had ever seen! Everything was thrilling, surprising, delicious and quite a theater show. Shortly after our first course we even got to go into the kitchen. I remember the moment where I looked around and I actually saw the chef that was featured on the show I watched. For a few moments I could not hear anything that anyone was saying because I was so entranced by that moment. That is a night I will never forget. I am so very grateful for my husband for making this dream come true by stalking the website until we could make a reservation! Now we talk about other 3 star restaurants we want to try!

  2. Riding on the Millennium Wheel in Chicago in June of 2018:

    Because I am pretty afraid of heights I had never ridden a Ferris wheel before this year. When our son Adam saw it he was so excited! He loves heights and loves rides too. He really wanted both my husband and I to ride it with him. Even right before getting in line I was so nervous. I considered not going on it. But, I didn’t want to disappoint him. I am so glad that I let myself have this experience. It was amazing to see the beautiful views of Chicago from the ride and my son was so delighted at the same time. Since then I had a vivid dream about going on the London Eye in 2020, so another experience yet to come for me!

  3. Working in a Coffee Shop for 4 months, 6 days a week:

Although in the end it was a mixed experience, I am glad that I gave myself the chance to work in a cafe/restaurant setting for a long period of time so that I could experience it for myself. I worked crazy long hours producing all of the pastries, quiche and Saturday brunch items for the coffee shop. It gave me the experience of doing something very new and very different for the first time. It opened up my eyes to the responsibilities of owning a place. I was not the owner, but I was there so much that I could really see what it took to run a place like that. I could see the positives of it and also the drawbacks. It was a great learning experience for me and I am very grateful for that.

4. Ending a nearly 2 year meal service business with the platform Josephine:

From January till the end of March I finished nearly 2 years of providing a gluten free meal service to lots of clients. It was a great experience to have seen a platform work through lots of issues but do it with amazing grace and care for everyone involved. I met many wonderful people both locally and from other areas and I grew as a chef and as a person. I really did love the 2 nights a week when clients came for meals at my home. It was a lovely experience to serve them.

5. Going Through Two Major De-clutterings of our Home:

I had a very interesting experience this year with our home. At one point either this year or last I felt like I really wanted to move to a different kind of home with more land and other features. However, I decided in all of that to embark on a de-cluttering mission. I went through each and every area of our home, gave away many items and was able to get so much in order. Then, I did the same thing again after the closing of the coffee shop. Now, as December is here and there is so much in “flux” as far as stuff goes I feel another wave of de-cluttering beginning. I believe that clearing the path for success begins by removing any physical items that do not serve you in your life anymore. It is a symbol of becoming more of who you really are. I believe it is a flowing process. I have learned that it must be done not once, but many times in a year because when you have a full, rich life with family- stuff accumulates. :)

6. Spending Every Wednesday Afternoon with my son for Special Snack Day:

There is a very special tradition that I have with my son that we have kept for at least 2-3 years and that is Wednesday: Special Snack Day. On that day after school we go to a different restaurant, or sometimes to one of our favorites, get some food and drinks and have a fun chat together. It’s our special time together and I really treasure it so much. Usually, we will do a “story” which means that we will dialogue out loud like we are different characters in a story. It is such fun and I just love my son’s imagination!

7. Finding a Wonderful Accountability Partner:

I knew my fantastic accountability partner from the U.K. last year, as we were in different Facebook groups for business together, but this was the year that we decided to have weekly Skype calls every Friday to check in on our progress on projects as well as short daily check ins on Whatsapp. It has been amazing the progress we have both made in different areas. I am so thankful for her! Let me introduce you to her- She is Harriet Morris and she has an amazing podcast called The Eating Coach. You can learn more about her podcast here: http://www.theshiftinside.com/podcast/

8. Enjoying Food Adventures with my Husband and Son:

I just love that my husband and son are always up for a good food adventure! When a big lot of food carts opened up in our area in the first week or so we went several times to try out all of the food. It is so much fun! There is still more to explore and to see in the world of food in our town and neighboring towns and cities. We always look forward to trying more!

9. Enjoying Time with Family and Friends:

I am so very grateful that I make it a priority to spend time with friends and family. I am so happy to mark on my calendar dates for coffee, breakfast, afternoon tea, lunch and more! I feel that social connection time is extremely valuable to me and I really treasure every moment of it. I look forward to all of those beautiful social connections over meals, coffee and tea to continue next year and in the many, many years to come. Here’s to friendships!

10. Finding a Great Baking Job at Our Table Cooperative Farm:

I feel so very lucky that one of my dear friends found a great job ad for a baker at a farm! It is a dream job for sure! I just love that I get to work in a kitchen with other chefs and sous chefs/kitchen helpers. It is great to collaborate on projects, catering and more! It is also so beautiful to see the farm thriving, growing and also supporting people in a very meaningful way.

I would love to hear about your amazing moments of 2018! Please comment below or email me at: info@thecheerychef.com

Trista Ainsworth

I am a professional organizer and decluttering expert. I help clients create more peace, joy and freedom in the spaces in their homes and businesses.