Matters of Perspective: 2020

by | Dec 31, 2019 | Travels and Tribulations | 8 comments

Perspective matters. The cool thing about getting older is that you gain more of it.  In 2020, I will turn 45, and I am finally ready to fully embrace “middle age.” That term has always sounded synonymous with “old” to me – when I was younger, I would picture “middle-aged woman” very similarly to how I would picture “old woman”, and since I don’t consider myself old, nor do I feel old (on most days, anyway!), I never felt that term had anything to do with me. Also, I plan to live well until I’m at least 100, so that means I won’t even hit the middle of my life until I’m 50.

So, now that I’m entering the decade in which I will pass that milestone, I’m recognizing the incredible gift it is to be this age. I am ready to OWN middle age, this unique and exciting time in the middle of life, when I get to look back at over four decades of experience and learning and discovering my purpose. Of recognizing who I am and what I can contribute – and what I can create. And, I get to look forward to another five+ decades of continuing to experience life, to learn even more, and of taking action, creating traction, and making a real IMPACT on the world. I get to learn from those older than me who have gone before to show the way, and from those younger than me who are entering their lives with energy and new ideas. I want to draw from the best of the old and the young, to create more VALUE. Truly, I’ve never been more excited to start a new decade. From the ages of 45 to 55, I plan to make some serious impact, and I’ve never been surer of my purpose, my goals, or my ability to reach them.

A Look in the Rear-View Mirror

2019 was one for the books. This year perfectly punctuated the end of a decade which for me can be described as nothing short of a wild ride. The highs were high, and the lows were… deep.
2019 Motorcycle Adventure: Wolin, Poland

To sum it up, let me give you the broad strokes:   Along with my collaborator, the multitalented Tessa Witmer (founder of Hattie Rex and Lightbox), I co-created and executed one of the coolest and most beautiful things I’ve ever been part of, the first You’re Worth It event for women in Bozeman. Then, along with my partner of five years, I packed up and stowed all my belongings while renovating the house, put said house up for rent, and took off for Europe for 6 months. I visited four countries, rode a motorcycle long-distance for the first time in my life, touring parts of Europe. I vacationed on a Swedish island and on the French Riviera, spent the fall in Oslo with my native Norwegian family, navigated family emergencies, came back to Bozeman for the funeral of a loved one, and then, unexpectedly, faced and survived a breakup. I spent the last few months back in Oslo alone. Alone, but never lonely. I’ve been surrounded by family and by lots of love both near and far. This year brought some of the most incredible, most enriching experiences of my life, and some of the deepest pain and sorrow as I lived through grief – my own and that of people I love. This year also contained some of the most meaningful, real and raw moments. Moments in which relationships were deepened and my personal growth and learning made exponential leaps. I got to experience the love and care of my Bozeman community as my people rallied when I needed support. I got to meet my new baby nephew and watch him grow, begin to smile and respond. I got to spend more quality time with my own family than I have in over two decades. I got to host the most amazing Christmas celebration with some of my nearest and dearest. I emerge from this year more sure of my purpose in life, and more motivated to meet my goals than ever before. Heck, for the first time, I’ve actually set real, big, scary, audacious goals for myself in this next decade. I know without doubt that I am made for more. 2019 was a hard year. And, it was one of the most incredible years of my life. Both are true statements. I get to choose my focus, and from which perspective I look at this year as it moves farther back in the rear-view mirror.

Reality is a Matter of Perspective

Here’s how perspective matters to me as we enter this new decade: At the end of 2009 I was broke, single, had no children and no financial assets. I was starting from scratch, building a new life after a divorce. Now, on the outside, according to some measures, things don’t look that different for me at the end of 2019. I’m broke, single, have no children and no financial assets to speak of. I even still drive the same Volvo I did ten years ago! I am starting from scratch again in a lot of ways, and building a new life once more. I could choose to look at those similarities and get depressed and discouraged. Yet, on other measures, things look completely different. And on the inside, I’m in an entirely different stratosphere. It’s all a matter of perspective.
Then Now
I lived in Oklahoma I live in Montana 🙌🏼
I didn’t have a career I have built my dream career
I was an employee I am a business owner
My goal was to earn a living My goal is to build wealth
I was looking forward to starting a new job I am looking forward to new business ventures
I was happy to rent a place to live I am excited about buying real estate
I had vague, short-term goals I have concrete, long-term goals and plans
I hadn’t proven anything to myself I have evidence that I am capable of way more
I was emotionally shattered after a divorce I am emotionally healthy and more in tune
I was sad about not having children I am excited to be able to impact more lives
I was rootless and aimless I know where I belong, and where I’m headed
I didn’t have a why I have a clear purpose

You see the major differences here? The 2020 version of me that is emerging from this decade chooses to focus on the learning, the growth, and the incredible opportunities in front of me. How about you? If you were to make a similar list of then-and-now perspectives through the lens of a growth mindset, what would it look like? Take a moment to answer the following questions for yourself: 🌟 In what ways is your life different now, than ten years ago? 🌟 What have you learned, where have you grown? 🌟 What are your goals for the next decade? I’d love to hear your thoughts! 👇🏼Drop me a note in the comments below 👇🏼


  1. Brenda

    Looking forward to what is ahead for you in the future.

  2. Jeff Ikler

    A beautiful message and great questions.

  3. mark thomson

    my first time on the blog. impressive, personal, and brief! 🙂 Thanks for writing that up, and taking the time to share your new perspective and a bit about your journey.

    • Hannah Bratterud

      Thank you, Mark! It’s great to see you on here, and I appreciate your input 🌟

  4. zed14

    Thank you. That was very thought provoking and I had to let it sit for a couple of days.
    As I’ve got older I have been able to look back and see how events, jobs, circumstances have shaped who I am today, even the crappy ones – the ones that you just wished would go away – you can see how each thing was a stepping stone that brought you to where you are today. I was reflecting on some of these issues when I was looking back on 2019 in a post I did and realising just how important it is to grab hold of life with both hands and give it a good shake as you just never know where you end up. The 30 year old version of me would not believe what the 50 year old version has achieved or places I’ve travelled.!
    Thanks again and all the best for the 20’s.

    • Hannah Bratterud

      Yes, exactly that – grab hold of life with both hands and give it your best! I read somewhere recently that people tend to overestimate what they can accomplish in a year, but underestimate what they can do in a decade. The other cool thing about reaching the middle of life is the ability to think in decades, not merely months or years… which is why I’m so stoked at this opportunity to start a whole new decade with some incredible experiences under my belt. Appreciate your thoughtful input, Glen 🌟


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