It’s the time of year when I list my top posts of 2009. When I first started doing this top-posts-of-the-year thing, I felt obligated to actually give you the real version of what was most popular. Now I don’t feel so obligated.

If you’re wondering, some of the posts that brought in more than 400 comments are:

But whatever. I feel like I’ve been talking about those posts all year. What about some other posts? One’s that are so well researched and I love what I learned from writing them:

Here are some firsts for me during the past year:

Here are two topics that have been in my head for years. And I finally figured out how to address them in my blog.

A big deal for me this year is that I started a few story lines that pop up repeatedly, and I sort of like it. If nothing else, it makes career advice more interesting.

A good story line is that I brought my company from almost bankrupt, to funded, stable, and growing, and while I was doing that, my kids were basically okay, and I was able to keep giving career advice, even if I got a little impatient at times.

A not-as-chirpy story line is the one about the farmer: Back from a breakup, engaged, ensuing mess, and breakup. All in one year.

I want to say something upbeat about 2010. You know, start on a good note. But it seems so artificial. I don’t think we need to magically be in a great place at the end of a year. Or magically know our goals to start off a new year. I think, sometimes, that it’s already magical that every day we wake up with the strong belief that we can make things better.

24 replies
  1. Mark Dykeman
    Mark Dykeman says:

    It’s tempting to look to the number “1” as a motivation to start fresh and get things in order. That’s fine if it works for you. Real life doesn’t usually work like that. I imagine taking these day by day can be even more powerful, just trying to get a little bit better each day.

    Best wishes for 2010.

  2. Karen
    Karen says:

    I’ve only just discovered your blog this year, and although I am a frequesnt reader without commenting, I just wanted to say thank you for your awesome writing this year.

    You’re an inspiration with the brilliant rawness in your words as a blogger, business person, and woman in general. So, thank you.

    Karen

  3. Sosympl
    Sosympl says:

    Come on… buck up. This post was almost as sad as the breakup post. I’m not looking for 10 perky ways to improve my life in 2010 or 5 tips for keeping New Year’s resolutions… but you can do better than this. I’ve been in and back out of a 10 year relationship TWICE this year, changed jobs …again, had an 8 week case of labyrinthitis (inner ear thing) and my father stopped talking to me in February 2009. So basically it was a painful, humiliating, and eye opening year. I learned a LOT. And I’ve bounced back… again. Pretty well rounded year, I’d say.

    There must be a glint of good advice left in Penelope Trunk… please try. Write about how to be true to yourself, when stuck working in a rigid corporate structure. Encourage us again to start our own blogs because I’m sooooo close, but just haven’t found my niche. Write about how it’s never too late to start over. Never.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Guess what? This post *is* about how to be true to yourself. That’s what the last paragraph is about.

      So you got everything you wanted from me in this post today. You must be my happiest customer :)

      Penelope

  4. Tzipporah
    Tzipporah says:

    I so love the registering your car post. Funniest thing I’ve read in a long time. (Not to make light of another person’s problems, but really, you’re good at making difficult stuff funny.)

  5. Marsha Keeffer
    Marsha Keeffer says:

    What I’ve liked best about your blog in 2009? You keep doing the footwork, one step in front of another – no matter what. Best of everything to you, your boys and the BC team in 2010…

    Warm regards,
    Marsha

  6. Jill
    Jill says:

    I’m a teacher and I have had a few students with Asperger’s, so your posts have been very enlightening. They have really helped me to be more open minded an accommodating. I also love the New York posts, because I am a New Yorker and it helps me justify why I am always running out of money. It really is that expensive!

  7. Tanya
    Tanya says:

    I love the last paragraph of your post! It’s very authentic, and I’m sure it makes alot of us feel more relaxed about our own goals and ‘resolutions’.
    I also loved the alcohol & hugs post. I missed that because I started following your blog after it. I’m glad you brought it up!

  8. neko
    neko says:

    PT: Appropos of absolutely nothing ….

    As a ’83 New Trier grad, did you happen to know Seiji Oyasu ?

    (We were classmate pals at Madison, way back when the state drinking age was 18 and bands like U2 & REM were considered “alternative” /their fan base was college kids like us.)*

    *[Man. I feel old just typing that ….]

  9. Katelyn Sack
    Katelyn Sack says:

    “Miscarriage is a workplace event” and “How to decide how much to tell about yourself on your blog” are my favorites.

    It’s really a wonderful community service for so many people, on so many levels, when you articulate so beautifully what some of the unspoken realities are for [women, children in abusive homes, adults who experienced childhood abuse, people with Asperger’s, etc]. And it’s the best type of advocacy precisely because you’re just writing about reality and not claiming to be a victim (since that’s not how you see yourself). Thanks for another eloquent year.

  10. Margaret
    Margaret says:

    Too true about not needing to magically tie everything up at the end of the year, because really, like so many other labels in life, Jan. 1 is just a number. We only recognize it as the beginning, because of the Gregorian calendar. There are so many other calendars to choose from that begin in March, April, September, what have you, and to subscribe to the notion that you have to be on a certain path by a certain date is like saying you have to have a Valentine on Feb. 14 and that you have to give said Valentine a present on that day. If you do have a Valentine, you should be giving him or her something sweet every day, just like you should be waking up every day with that optimism that you can make things better. Things can always be better, just like they can always be worse. Thank you for your illumination on life, Penelope. It is much appreciated. Here’s to 2010.

  11. Jay
    Jay says:

    I agree with Katelynn,”Miscarriage is a workplace event” and “How to decide how much to tell about yourself on your blog” are my favorites, too.

    But, I still maintain that it’s a lot easier for a woman to be vulnerable in this realm than it is for a man.

    Women are inherently vulnerable: women get pregnant, and men never do, though an arc-feminist friend of mine once countered this fact with news from the inexorable march of science front, positing that, “Yes, now men can become pregnant, if they’d like.”

    That was in 1985. Not saying it couldn’t/won’t happen, but…

    Maybe I’ll reach that conclusion you reach, Pen, “And when you think you cannot tell someone something about yourself, ask yourself, "Really, why not?"

    But there’s the math, and then there’s the aftermath.

    I’m pretty good at operations, and great at geometry, but functions and calculus sometimes trip me up.

    We’ll see how comfortable I am revealing myself in 2010.

    A great year for vision, methinks.

  12. veeb
    veeb says:

    I love round-up posts, even though I’ve read (and re-read) every post on your blog. It’s like a greatest hits album or a really incredible movie soundtrack!

    I never comment, but I wanted to show my support. You don’t need to be perky or upbeat about the new year – that wouldn’t be true to PT. That being said, while crappy things happen, you have many things to be thankful for: a career that is fun, interesting, and profitable; loving kids; and Madison! I went to college there and reminisce about the simpleness and all-around fun attitude of that city.

    Best wishes to you. Happy new year!

  13. Brant Choate
    Brant Choate says:

    Recently found your blog and have spent many countless hours searching through your posts. Great stuff for a young college student who’s entering the real world soon.

    Question: What do you think of Tim Ferriss’ latest plan to get on the NY Bestseller list? Just curious.

  14. econopete
    econopete says:

    Your plastic surgery post is awesome. At least I can blame the fact that I’m unemployed on being ugly :p But seriously, it is insightful. I won’t add to the ~90 comments already listed on it.

  15. Turning Winds
    Turning Winds says:

    Frankly, what I think it is really a popular posts. They are very informative. Continue to give more of your thoughts and hoping that we could anticipate new and fresh post from you.

    Seemingly you will have a great year (again) this 2010. What I’m looking for is here!

  16. matchmaker
    matchmaker says:

    Your plastic surgery post is awesome. At least I can blame the fact that I’m unemployed on being ugly :p But seriously, it is insightful. I won’t add to the ~90 comments already listed on it.

  17. Nike shoes history
    Nike shoes history says:

    That being said, while crappy things happen, you have many things to be thankful for: a career that is fun, interesting, and profitable; loving kids; and Madison! I went to college there and reminisce about the simpleness and all-around fun attitude of that city.

Comments are closed.