Monday, December 29, 2014

Reflecting on Lessons Learned in Past Years

Several years ago, tired of making New Years' Resolutions I knew I would never keep, I decided to start writing lessons I had learned in the past year instead. This is always written either late December 31st, or shortly after swapping out calendars. In other words, as it is only December 29th.... this post will not be my "lessons learned in 2014" post. But, I was giving some thought to what would be included in that post, and decided to look back on previous "lessons learned" posts. I only had access to the past 3 years, but found them rather interesting to reread. Therefore, I have decided share...

Lessons Learned in 2011:

  1. Watching your child rolled away to surgery is probably the most difficult thing a parent can do (other than lose a child).
  2. Sitting up until 4am desperately waiting to hear news on your husband/whether or not surgery is going to happen sucks.
  3. Attempting to work after getting a grand total of 30 minutes of sleep since 7am the day before is just plain stupid.
  4. Drinking and bleaching your hair when already feeling a little nauseous is also just plain stupid... and will lead to a 3 day puking spree.
  5. A 3 day puking spree is an effective, although really crappy, diet plan.
  6. People who feel it is within their right to judge others should be judged (and sent to hell) before anyone else.
  7. 3 sisters, 1 vehicle, and a trip taking twice as long as it should is a helluva lot of fun, and the best adventure ever
  8. 17 years is so long to wait to hold a brother again..
  9. Hugging your sibling again after so many years is such a beautiful (yet somewhat bittersweet) feeling
  10. Finding old friends often turns out different than one would expect
  11. The past is rarely what you believe it was
  12. Making the decision to say goodbye hurts - but is sometimes the only decision
  13. Losing someone you love is always difficult - no matter the reason, distance, or years. I love and miss you Grandma.
  14. Having lost someone close to you is a hurt that never goes away... no matter the reason, distance, or years. Brandon - it's been 11 years; Matthew - it's been over 2 years. I love and miss you both.
  15. ALWAYS make sure the people you love know how you feel. They may not be here tomorrow.


Lessons Learned in 2012:

  1. Beer tastes so much better in Germany/Austria.
  2. Martinis are GREAT! Especially when enjoyed with good friends in Austria.
  3. Schnapps in Austria is not as good as in the US... but packs a much better punch, and isn't half bad when you've already had a few very tall glasses of beer
  4. German/Austrian chocolate is the best. As is coffee, and expresso, and pretty much everything over there.
  5. Trains are fun!
  6. Ghosts really do drain camera batteries.
  7. Nothing feels better on a hot summer night than a dip in the pool.
  8. I know how to grill! AND… I’m damn good at it!
  9. Kids really can be very giving… very selfless.
  10. A 3 hour car ride with a pastor while running on very little sleep and a lot of physical labor (i.e. emotionally and physically totally drained)… can be very oddly spiritually uplifting.
  11. A 3 day drinking spree can lead to a 3 day puking spree.
  12. The saying “If it can go wrong, it will”…. Can and does happen.
  13. The saying “God only gives you as much as you can handle”… is bullshit. However, somehow, it does seem the strength to continue handling what is given is strangely there. 
  14. There are such things as angels… they may not have wings or a halo, but they are here with us, giving us strength, holding our hands when we need it, lending us a shoulder when we need one, wrapping us in their arms and in love when we need it the most. Thank you.
  15. A little spirituality/church/Bible reading/believing isn’t such a bad thing.
  16. Cancer is evil and needs to die.
  17. I hate emergency rooms/hospitals.
  18. Trusting/caring for people isn’t a horrible idea.
  19. Losing the one person you’ve allowed yourself to trust is one of the hardest things to deal with, but…
  20. When you truly love and trust that person, you know that you will never truly lose them (even if you try obnoxiously to push that person away... stubborn brat).


Lessons Learned in 2013:

  1. Children have hard heads...
  2. When said hard head meet mama's face... bad things happen...
  3. Three teeth pushed to where they're pointing to the back of your throat? Yup... that really really hurts!
  4. Sitting through 8 hours of softball tournaments while hopped up on Vicodin due to 3 rearranged teeth... well... I can't really remember if that's a horrible thing or not...
  5. When basketballs meet mama's head... bad things happen...
  6. Yeah, I still don't like concussions. Who would have thought a basketball could do that to a person?
  7. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS check the expiration date before eating frozen chicken dinners.
  8. Food poisoning sucks. I mean, really really sucks.
  9. Ringing in the new year making snow angels in the yard once again proved to be a wonderful way to start the new year (and will be done again tonight I hope!).
  10. Saying goodbye to a dear friend is one of the hardest things to do.
  11. I am so incredibly blessed to still have this friend in my life, especially considering all my attempts at sabotaging the friendship.While some of what I've learned through this friendship is in this list, there is no way I could write all the lessons I've learned from it.
  12. I can be a real manipulative bitch.
  13. I truly appreciate those people who will tell me I'm being stupid... the ones who will give me the "Gibb's slap"... but still stand beside me. All my best friends have been and are this way.
  14. Bible study can be incredibly wonderful, satisfying, instructional, beneficial, and can make me feel loved. This Bible study has helped transform me this year and I look forward to continuing with it in the weeks/months to come.
  15. I have truly wonderful children. While I have always known this, every year I'm reminded how great they are. They would give their shirt off their back for a friend, enemy, or stranger and never ask for anything in return.
  16. It IS possible to get through a year without any serious medical issues (other than those which are always there).
  17. Walking in blizzards and/or rainstorms is still so much fun! As is walking through water puddles when there's still snow on the ground... running barefoot through 2 or 3 feet of snow... swimming in the rain... singing and dancing in the middle of the road while it's pouring rain...
  18. It IS completely possible to lose a sewing machine in your own home.
  19. I like puppies (especially our new baby Sadie)! but, I like Muggles and Gilly - my turtles - better. They don't attack me every time I'm eating. Or sleeping. Or talking. Or...
  20. Babies are, perhaps, the best therapy. Well, at least, if you like babies... and they aren't your own. But, if you're really depressed... hold a baby for a few minutes... instant anti-depressant!
  21. Never assume you don't need to pack a particular thing when you're going out of town. It's pretty much a guarantee that as soon as you say/think "I won't need this".... you'll need it.

Stay tuned for Lessons Learned in 2014.... coming in approximately 48 hours!

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