It’s that time of year again when many of us set out goals and resolutions!
Let’s face it, that resolution is bound to be broken and that goal probably won’t be reached. As Dilbert cartoon author says, in his new book, How to Fail at Everything and Still Win Big, “Goals are for Losers.” He says goal-oriented people exist in a state of nearly continuous failure.” Even if you reach that goal, he says, you wind up losing the thing that gave you purpose, set a new goal, and reenter the cycle of permanent pre-success failure!
Even if you don’t buy into Adams’ thesis, I’ve got a better idea: Reflect, instead, on the year that has just past and the lessons learned from your experiences. Call it a bit of “positivity” if you will!. No doubt, It will lift your spirits and force you to realize even the “downers” of the past year had some usefulness!.
Keeping to the topical order of last year’s post, here’s my list:
Lessons Learned from 2013:
1. From my injuries and recoveries:
Instead of the O.R., I found myself in an E.R. in 2013. Believe it or not, a golf cart hit me before a group bike ride, and my leg was deeply slashed by the chain ring on my Trek. From this experience I learned the body has an amazing ability to block out pain and that most people are really good!
As I lay on the ground with fatty tissue exposed for all to see, I didn’t feel a thing, and I might have even biked had dizziness not taken over when I tried to stand! Yay for adrenaline! But more to the point, all my cycling buddies were incredibly caring. Who gave me a towel to wrap the wound? Who held my leg up, so blood didn’t flow? Who took care of my bike while I was whisked to the hospital? How many emails did I get from people who wanted to know if I was ok? i have a nasty scar, but I am none the worse for wear. The friendships endure!
2. From M., My Man of 2013
Just when I thought my heart had been too hardened by breakups to love again, I found a good one who loves me more than I ever thought possible. I had a couple of rough, heart-wrenching breakups in 2011, one easier one in 2012, and a quick tough one in early 2013. But I learned from Michal that the heart, like the body, is resilient — able to recover and love, even more strongly, when it’s “right.”
3. From My Daughter
Alex, my little girl, who is now 15, went away to boarding school as a sophomore in 2013 after messing up her first year of high school in the city. From Alex, I learned that “being there” for someone doesn’t necessarily mean constant contact! That growing up requires separating from one’s parents! That failures can turn to success! Amazing. The independence required at her new school has given her the ability to tap the “executive functioning” skills all the therapists told us were absent. Plus, she’s gone from C’s and D’s to Honor Roll! And, best of all, she’s gone from snippy to charming!
4. From the Family I was born into
Although I threw up my hands and “gave up” a few years back, I learned from my family this year that family will always be family. The olive branch is a powerful tool for renewing love and bonds that might have become frayed. My olive branches included reaching out through calls, visits, gifts and cooking. There’s still a little fraying, but it’s just around the edges.
5. From my Ex-Husband
I learned that friendship with an Ex can be built through mutual respect and recalling the good things. There is no reason for post-divorce animosity. Indeed, there were times I wondered why we even got divorced! But as Rick says, “That ship has sailed.” Now we have a tight relationship. There will always be a few bumps when it comes to how we raise our daughter, but we are truly mutual friends.
6. From my Job:
I worked? Most folks seem to think I need a “real” job for structure. I earned a paralegal certification in 2013, but wasn’t able to land a single interview, despite the NYU credentials and earning the position of the only student with straight A’s in my class. But even without a “day job” I’ve found that every day of my life is meaningful. My life is incredibly full though planning and doing activities that involve health, exercise, reading and research. I learned it’s easy to remain engaged and excited about life as long as you never stop doing and learning!
7. From my Horse:
Zip recovered from his laminitis and lyme disease. 2013 was the year of training and getting in shape after over a year of illness. He’s taught me how to read his moods, taught me perseverance and, more recently, reminded me how exhilarating it is (for both of us!) to jump over fences!
8. From the Ex-boyfriends
Once you’ve gotten over them, it’s easy to be friends with an ex-bf. Well, sort of. My friendship with Dan is solid as a rock. We’re each other’s best friends after three years! And, while short early 2013 attempt at re-dating Eric was not such a good idea, we’re now on good and friendly terms. It takes effort, but it’s worth it when a person has had — if even for a short time — a bit of your heart. It make the healing easier.
9. From my book
I learned that while I may be a writer, but I’m no entrepreneur. I feel proud of having designed and written a book from my Xanga blogs on divorce, but I never spent the money necessary to market the book and ramp up sales or turn it into a screenplay. Will I write another? Dunno!