Lessons Learned

4 Jan

I’ve already written about how much I was ready for 2013 to be over. Because I was ready to move in to another year, a better year. I never go through anything  without looking back on it and reflecting on how it changed me, made me stronger, what it taught me. So, today I’m going to think back on the lessons 2013 gave to me. These are the things I learned throughout the year.

I learned that, no matter how hard you try, you can’t make someone (not even yourself) fall in love, or out of love, with someone else. Why and how one falls in love is a mystery. It’s the most beautiful and most painful of emotions. And, if you’re lucky enough to be in love with someone who is in love with you back, nurture and protect that love. That is the most beautiful of fairy tales.

I learned that people can be cruel. Over the last couple of months, there have been an influx of visitors to Life As I Know It. And I am so thankful for each of you that take the time to read the words of my heart. I am thankful for the people who lift me up and tell me I’m doing something right. I am thankful for the people who disagree with me, but do it politely and with respect. I am thankful for the people who think I’m right and those that think I’m wrong. But there are a few who have left words that I refuse to give light to. People attacking me for my thoughts. People saying hurtful things about my children. People who left me questioning whether continuing to write was something I could do. And I came to this conclusion: we are all beautifully different. We all have different parenting styles. We all have different belief systems. We all have different outlooks on life. We all have different lives. I celebrate that! I read every comment written on this blog and some of you have made me rethink some things. I appreciate people who challenge me to think outside of the spot I live in. I appreciate people who have differing opinions than mine. But, as you post on my blog, as you live day-to-day with other human beings who may see the world differently than you do, please remember this: Honesty is never a good excuse to be cruel. We should all be more kind to one another.

I learned that lip gloss will never come out of clothes after being in the washing machine.

I learned that, eventually, those old favorite jeans need to be retired for new favorite jeans.

I learned that, no matter how far away your mom is, you always need to go running to her when your life turns upside down.

I learned that I am not as breakable as I thought I was.

I learned that, when your child is hurting, it is amazing the amount of personal pain you can set aside to be a rock and a safe place for them to be.

I learned that there are people in this world whose hearts are bigger than any disease they may be fighting.

I learned that children are far stronger, and far more resilient, than most of us adults.

I learned that life is far too short to take one minute for granted.

I learned that red wine, music I can dance to, and an empty kitchen are the perfect environment to cook in.

I learned that God works in ways far more mysterious than I ever realized before and that when His plans unfold slowly and you can’t figure out where life will go from here, it is the scariest, yet somehow most peaceful, place in the world.

I learned that people will take any opportunity they can get to jump on opposite sides of a cause and belittle and demean one another in the name of defending their beliefs.

I learned that watching my son turn 6 and become more and more independent brings about more feelings of pride, and sadness, than I expected.

I learned that the stomach flu has to have been created by the devil and is an effective and horrible method of torture.

I learned that chronic back pain is not something that can be explained to anyone who hasn’t lived it.

I learned that infertility seems endlessly painful.

I learned that the right set of underwear brings about an unexplainable confidence; even if no one else ever sees them.

I learned that movie nights are better with comfy pjs, popcorn, and far too many people smushed onto one couch.

I learned that the internet is a fantastic resource for fantastic new recipes.

I learned that some things never change. Some things are constantly changing; sometimes for the better, sometimes not. And some things, and people, need space and time and opportunity and patience to change and grow and become better versions of their awesome selves. And that if I can continue to allow myself to grow and change and become better, it will be an amazing ride on this ever-evolving Life As I Know It.

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11 Responses to “Lessons Learned”

  1. marisaporter January 4, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

    I love this line: “And, if you’re lucky enough to be in love with someone who is in love with you back, nurture and protect that love. That is the most beautiful of fairy tales.” It is because of the pain I went through in relationships before I met my fairy-tale love that I value and treasure him so much. We’ve been married 6 1/2 years, and I don’t know of anyone more in love with each other.

  2. marisaporter January 4, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

    Agreed on the underwear bit!

  3. Tina O'Brien January 5, 2014 at 2:24 am #

    You are full of wisdom and knowledge, you are an inspiration, continue being who you are and don’t let anyone get in your way 🙂

  4. Jennifer January 5, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

    I love this post and all the references to your learnings throughout the year. Keep writing, it helps! Your words of wisdom allow me to think and put things into perspective with my own life….so thank you! Your thoughts on love couldn’t be more true. I finally fell “in love” for the first time 4 years ago. It is indeed the most complicated of emotions….but now that I know what it is I hold it very dear to my heart! I also like your comment on kids and their resiliency. They are indeed resilient. I do believe this is what shapes us as adults. I know throughout my adult life I question whether I have the needed resilience only to find when I have made it through any given situation, I indeed continue to be resilient! Finally, I love how you look back onto your year and write about what you have learned! I am a therapist and will often ask my clients what they can learn from the tough situations they are going through. There is a lesson to be learned in all that we experience…..good, bad, indifferent. Most often when I am struggling, this is just the question I ask myself! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. They are inspiring and stimulating!!! 🙂

  5. Tracey January 5, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

    I have only read two your posts and absolutely love them. Both times Ive read have brought tears to my eyes and tears are cleansing for the soul, right? PLEASE don’t quit writing. There will always be haters out in this “wild world”. For me, your words are very encouraging and heart felt, and I thank you for that!!!

  6. Linnet January 6, 2014 at 6:37 am #

    Parts of this describes my year perfectly – especially the scary peaceful waiting for Gods plans to unfold. Have a great year.

    • Mary Denise January 6, 2014 at 4:32 pm #

      Thanks to a beautiful friend, I read your posts for the first time. You are on the right track. Your words are heartfelt and well thought out. As a blog writer myself, it reminded me that while I am writing for the joy and love of it, there will be others who will wish to squash me. It’s not easy to search your soul and share that with others; it makes us vulnerable. However, to those that we reach, to those that “get it”, or see the light go on, or experience the tears of cleansing, you realize that you have a gift — USE IT! Before every speech, before every column or post, I pray that God leads me to the audience that HE intends for me to reach. And it is those cruel people who probably need my post and yours much more than they realize. God bless. I hope to continue reading your posts. Feel free to visit my blog 3RedRoses.

  7. Musings from a Tangled Mind January 7, 2014 at 2:18 am #

    I love this post and I love your insight. I am so glad I found your blog….it’s inspiring.

  8. caitlinallard January 7, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

    We learned some of the same lessons in 2013. Learning the hard way hurts, but it definitely left a life long impression on my heart. Here’s to a better 2014! Full of possibilities and hope!

  9. Susan Saraf January 8, 2014 at 4:59 am #

    SO AWESOME. THANK YOU, YOU ARE A GREAT WRITER. IT’S NOT EASY. i also learned after reading my last comment that my words did not sound as ‘happy’ as they did when I wrote them and reviewed them. So, for what it worth, sometimes ‘voice’ gets lost in comments, at least mine did- yikes. Stay true. xx

  10. SusanB January 16, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

    Lovely comforting, contemplative and insightful thoughts.

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