By Ben Higgins
I’ll be honest; this post is mostly for me. I want to reflect on what became my biggest issues in 2018 — like isolation, relational confusion, and anxiety — as well as accomplishments.
Regardless of how your year unfolded, I hope you can celebrate knowing you were a part of many of these things for me in 2018. I hope you to reflect on your accomplishments from the last year because they are worth celebrating. Happy New Year!
The Indianapolis 500
After years of suffering from Parkinson’s disease, my grandfather passed away this year. He was a massive race fan and even owned a car dealership in Indiana. His love for racing transferred to his son, my uncle, who passed it down to his son.
For the last 30 years, my uncle has dragged his cooler through the crowds of Indy 500 fans, attempting to find a seat on a turn and get a decent view of the cars zooming by.
In 2018, my parents, uncle, cousin, and I got to attend with Relay rewards and walk onto the track for the race. We smelled the burnt rubber, felt the heat from the cars, and wished the drivers luck before they sped at 200-plus miles per hour down the track. As my uncle said: It felt like a dream.
What started as an idea is now a force in the socially responsible “conscious consumerism” space — and one of the biggest blessings of my life. Since it began in 2018, Generous has surprised us. We blew our goals for 2018 out of the water.
Generous is now a community of over 30 active volunteers who give up their time and skills to spread this idea. I am unapologetically a massive supporter and fan of Generous. Thank you for your support in 2018.
As a child, I dreamed of opening a restaurant. This year, my dream became a reality. Ash’Kara is a restaurant focused on connection and community. The food is terrific and unconventional, the atmosphere is vibrant, and the staff is genuinely excited to see you, so go check it out!
I will save my dad’s list of heart ailments for another post. But I will say that before his triple bypass in 2015, we discussed his bucket list. My dad’s No. 1 wish: to smell the flowers at Augusta National Golf Club — a seemingly distant and expensive dream until an angel and friend, former Masters Champion Zach Johnson, offered us tickets.
This year, my dad and I headed south to enjoy three full days at the historic golf tournament that will far outlive both of us.
Humanity and Hope United Foundation
The past year brought one of the most successful years in the history of Humanity and Hope United. Every day, through God’s vision and our efforts, Humanity and Hope serves more than 464 people as a force for good in the world. Built on the passion and motivation of volunteers, this organization continues to show the world that sustainable change can happen.
The Wedding Party
The best part about love is that it’s unexpected, unplanned, and until we experience it… unknown. I’m currently working on a new project involving 12 couples, one wedding event, and a massive celebration of love. I’ve never helped plan a large-scale event, so it has not come without struggles, but it’s worth it.
The American Century Championship
Ten years ago, I sat on my coach in Indiana and watched a bunch of amateur golfers play in a tournament that felt like a PGA tour event. I remember thinking how amazing it would be to compete in the American Century Championship.
This year, I got the invite and it was nothing short of surreal. Athletes and entertainers I’ve watched since I was young were listed on the same board as me. And my dad was able to caddie for me just a few months before his hip was replaced.