Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ten things I learned in 2012 (Monday listicles)

Last month just before I turned 48 I wrote about my 10 life lessons, so I feel like I've already been there, done that. But this list will focus on the things I've learned in the past year.

1. Never give up...even if it takes 22 years! In January, my husband Mike (who has been writing steadily since 1990) landed an agent contract. No book contract yet, but we are hoping his agent will be successful soon!

2. It always pays to follow your heart, and 25 years passes in a blink! In January, we celebrated 25 years of our meeting at a wonderful Robert Burns party. The night I met Mike, my life was changed forever for the better! I still am amazed at my pure luck to end up with such a wonderful man and life partner.

3. There is nothing, nothing like a night away (or at home) with your girlfriends. From getting away in February for a night at the beach with the girls, to visiting Shelia and family in Boisehanging out on the porch at Holdencelebrating special occasions, and painting with wine...I never get enough time with my girlfriends. They add such depth and spice to my life. Thank you, friends!

4. Never underestimate the efforts of a creative child! Kieran continues to be our thoughtful, sentimental child...from surprising us on Valentine's Day with letters under our door to providing breakfast in bed on our birthdays. Sometimes he doesn't adequately clean up after himself, but he has such a big heart!! My lesson is to allow him to use materials creatively without worrying too much about the resulting mess. Then there's our musical teenager (blasting out the neighborhood with his drumming) and our always-clad-in-Indiana-Jones-garb Nicholas.

5. It is a good thing to try to refrain from complaining. I attempted a complaint-free Lent this year and I'm not sure I was terribly successful, but it was a good practice. I think I will try it again next year. Maybe I will see some improvement!

6. It's always possible to change one's life. This year we celebrated the fact that my brother has been one year sober, after spending most of his life addicted to drugs and alcohol. We are so thankful to have him active and present in our family life again! He'll be two years sober in January!

7. I can never get enough of getaway time with my honey. In March we went to one of our favorite getaways, the Sylvia Beach Hotel, and the night after Thanksgiving we are planning to go the the Hotel Grand Lodge in Forest Grove for another getaway. It's always so precious to have child-free time, and I'm grateful to my parents to helping us accomplish those precious getaways! This is not something I learned in 2012, but one I am continually reminded of.

8. Life is too short to hold a grudge or refrain from expressing your love. Again, not a new learning for me but this year I've had too many reminders of this. My aunt died of melanoma this past spring, Mike's aunt died around the same time, and my dear friend is battling Stage 3 breast cancer. You never know when your life changes completely, giving you a whole new perspective on things and turning previously important matters to trivia.

9. Children grow up before you know it. I can't believe I have a sophomore in high school, a fourth grader, and a kindergartener. Life gets so crazy sometimes that it's easy to let things pass you by and not really appreciate them. Children, most of all. Soon they will be going off to college and I'm sure to regret not appreciating this time more.

10. Shit happens. And all you can do is just deal with it and try to make the best of it. Even though a good rant can be cathartic, having a negative attitude, complaining incessantly, or worrying too much can eat you up inside. I'm not a naive Pollyanna. I complain with the best of them. But I have found that settling down and accepting what's happening, and trying to be positive about it if I can, is the best avenue for my sanity and well-being.

Thanks to Stasha at http://www.northwestmommy.com/ for organizing Monday Listicles. Read about other 2012 lessons by checking out the other participating bloggers.



19 comments:

  1. Wonderful, thoughtful, detailed list. you learned much this year!

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  2. We are in very similar places in life. How great about your husband and the agent. You are right, never give up.

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    1. Nice--so glad to be blogging with like minds!

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  3. It seems as your life is so rich and full of loved ones! Beautiful.

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    1. Thank you, Jill--yes, I feel very blessed!

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  4. What a cute little guy you have! I love my kids like crazy but they've never brought me breakfast in bed. At least I still get hugs :)

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    1. It's the nine-year-old who brings me breakfast in bed. He is very thoughtful and independent!

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  5. I concur! Kids grow up so fast! I can't believe we have a sophomore in college, HS senior and sophomore, and a middle schooler. Feels like we were just changing diapers yesterday!
    What a thoughtful list!

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    1. Wow--that is really a trip. College especially seems mind boggling!!

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  6. Re: #4--your kids sound like great boys!

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  7. I very much enjoyed reading this post. It radiates happiness, wisdom and comfort. A great place in life to be!
    (Glad you liked "Wild" as well, I just love the way she writes!)

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  8. I totally agree... there is nothing like spending time with your girlfriends. It makes me relaxed and ready to take on the world again.

    Julia

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  9. Every one of those rings true in my life as well. Life IS way too short. That one rings the loudest for me. I wish everyone had learned that lesson.

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  10. I love all of the milestones, celebrations, and love in your list.

    You have inspired me to give up complaining for Lent. That would surely benefit me and everyone around me.

    Ellen

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  11. What a wonderful year you have had with some truly wonderful milestones. Children do grow up way too quickly! Great list!

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  12. Your year does seem to be quite filled, and still one month to ago. I have found #10- Shit happens to be the mantra recently. It's all about the reactions right?

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  13. You really celebrate life. And I love the idea of complaint free lent!!

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