At the start of each new year, I unwittingly set myself up for failure, with full gusto! There are the usual promises of exercising more, making the effort to spend more time with close friends and family members, various household upgrades/remodels, and so forth.

But for 2012, I decided to pursue a slightly different route by promising myself to play more and stress less. As a mother to two young boys, a wife, daughter-in-law, good friend and “sister” to many, I inevitably find myself in situations where I needn’t be - beleaguered by thoughts of not being “there” for anyone that needs me for whatever reason.

Days prior to leaving for an industry event (conference/trade show/exhibition), both work- and home-related items must be in put into order. Given the mobility of my work, the tools of my trade include a laptop and my phone, therefore, stressing over an incomplete project shouldn’t be a problem - realistically. The same applies to my home affairs where cooking and freezing food so the boys have a home-cooked meal in my absence borders on time-consuming madness (for some). Secretly, I know they would rather have an In-N-Out Burger and fries with my husband rather than eating what I “planned” for them. And there lies the problem: planning. Too much planning on my part adds to my stress level, and to those around me. So now, I shall play, without guilt.

The first quarter of every year is always busy, especially in the tile industry. With five shows within four months - Surfaces in Las Vegas, Cevisama in Spain, Revestir in Brazil, Unicera in Turkey and Coverings in Florida - it shouldn’t be surprising why there are days when editors forget what time zone they’re in.

Nonetheless, I love what I do and the industry I serve. I’ve met hundreds of people over the years, and all of them have been solid, down-to-earth individuals who are willing to share their passion and knowledge of the tile sector with anyone who takes the time to ask a question. To those who freely offer their expertise and time to anyone who asks, whether a fellow professional or consumer, I say thank you! Thank you for realizing that in order for our industry to move forward, we must work together and support each other in our daily quest to educate and be educated.

The next time you find yourself at a conference, show or convention, take the time to either share the knowledge you have gained, or sit in on a demonstration/seminar presented by one your peers. I promise you, it will be time well-spent.

Much happiness and health for the new year!