What I Learned in 2014

This time of year (even more than most) the internet is full of lists.

Lists of what to buy; lists of how to be a better host (or a better person in general); lists of best Thises and Thats.

Lists of how you’re living all wrong. Lists of things to do differently next year. And this last type always gives me a twinge.

I’m not morally opposed to improving oneself or one’s circumstance via finite goals, but saving resolutions up for the hardest, coldest, shortest days seems unnecessary, possibly detrimental.

Putting it off until a magical arbitrary date and then piling them all on at once seems down right silly.

Not living the life you want or being the person you want to be is hard enough. Don’t make it a looming punishment of deprivation. Don’t make it a crime for wanting to change.

So I’m starting the festive season with a gift to myself. I’m taking the short days and long nights to look inward. To reflect on what came before and celebrate all that there is.

First by replacing the conventional Resolutions for 2015 with What I Learned in 2014.

Let’s look back. Find the good. Pat yourself on the back for what worked. Make the most of what didn’t.

Rinse. Repeat.

If you’re game for a challenge, do the same and link back to here. We can quietly rebel together.

Let’s do this.

What I Learned in 2014

  1. I like being alone a lot more often than I realized.
  2. I found new ways of being with my birth family that don’t feel like denying my grown-up self.
  3. As a result, I feel closer and more connected to my most cherished people.
  4. I miss Britain both more and less than I expected.
  5. I learned new ways to support and connect with Bean.
  6. I found out daydreaming is invaluable to my mental health.
  7. I realized I don’t need Stuff as much as I used to think.
  8. I reaffirmed my aversion to stifled office work.
  9. I became a more grounded, vociferous, sophisticated reader.
  10. I became a better writer. Not perfect, but better.
  11. I learned 9 and 10 are directly correlated.
  12. I LOVE explaining things, and teaching has proved to be a surprising and significant influence.
  13. I discovered I’m a dirty whiner (and that I don’t like it).
  14. I admitted the ugly depths of my vanity.
  15. I discovered the impeccable short stories of Alice Munro.
  16. I learned a lot about positive psychology and psycho-social behaviors and I love it.
  17. I don’t like watching television as much as I thought.
  18. I now know Thanksgiving Dinner’s epic greatness is directly proportional to the number of side dishes and variety of vegetables, and inversely proportional to the amount of stress in the kitchen.
  19. I got better at being afraid and taking risks. Not good enough yet, but better.
One Response to “What I Learned in 2014”
  1. Anika says:

    Love the list


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