Auld Lang Syne

My girls gave me one of the best Christmas presents ever this year. It was a compilation of all my blogs in a book. Somehow, you feel more like a real writer when random thoughts are in book form—so in a sense, what they gave me for Christmas, was a vision for a new year and a new dream. As I read it, cover to cover, and watched my life unfold on its pages, it was also a little unsettling (and  revealing) to see the changes that three years brings to a person’s life. Then, yesterday, I picked up the Salt Lake Tribune and saw a column “Fifty Things I Have Learned or Relearned in the Past Year.”  Since midnight was fast approaching, I didn’t give this a great deal of thought, but I did scribble down a few of things that I “learned or relearned” in 2011. Thinking about the past year is a good “stretching exercise” to prepare for the actual work of looking ahead to the goals and ambitions for a New Year. Here is my list….

1. Your heart can’t be softened while the rest of your body remains tight and firm…just go with it!

2. I learned I can make toffee that doesn’t break your teeth.

3. Make new friends, but keep the old…one is silver and the others gold!

4. Throwing a pot is a thousand times harder than I ever imagined…(I am going to find my balance in 2012)

5. Evolution is probably the closest theory we will ever have for a “theory of everything!” People change, families change, societies change and adapt…nothing remains the same and that is how we grow and move forward.

6. What your grandkids have to say at your funeral reveals a lot about how you lived your life and what is really important!

7. The early debates in an election cycle are the best because they are about ideas, the later ones dissolve into character assassination and aren’t worth turning the television on for.

8. Blogging, Facebook, texting, iChat and cellphones are God’s compensation for having your children living all over the country (and frequent flier miles help too!)


9.  We all must succumb to “readers” at some point in our life—just buy lots of them so they are floating everywhere in the house.

10. Self-respect and freedom will always be more important than security.

11.Anticipation is half of the fun; surprises are just not all they are cracked up to be.

12. There are certain things you should not try as a grandma, re-learning the Hustle is not one of them.

13. Sibling relationships are the longest lasting relationship we have in this life, keep them strong.

14, Lunar eclipses and meteor showers are worth losing sleep over.

15. Faith is opening yourself up to possibilities; Hope give us the patience to wait for them to happen and Love is the power that keeps us all sane and moving forward in this life.

16. You are never too old to fall in love…even if you’re a great-grandma!

17. Friends accept you for the person you are, not who you were or who you may become…. Facebook and dogs are good filters to help keep track of this.

18. You don’t have to give birth to children to have them totally worm their ways into your hearts forever

19. Those new, chic, faux-fur vests make me look like something that should be stuffed and mounted on the cabin wall and must be avoided at all costs.

20. Always keep a camera close at hand, it makes you look at the world much more closely and with much more gratitude and awe.

And one last thing which I learn and re-learn every year I am alive….the more you know the more you discover how much you don’t know. It’s time to find the readers, face 2012 and get back to work.  So friends what did you learn last year?

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11 Responses to Auld Lang Syne

  1. Carolyn Chase says:

    I’ve learned that you never know which of your words will be remembered – for positive or for negative results. Be the best you can be at every moment, and as Mom used to warn, if you don’t have something good to say, don’t say anything at all!

    • colleendown says:

      Great reminder Carolyn, although sometimes reading old blogs can make you cringe–I guess the new version of Thumper’s admonition is, if you don’t have something good to post, don’t post anything at all!”

  2. chelsea says:

    I learned that I dont know much and need to keep learning:)
    great post

  3. Ruthanne says:

    Beautiful! This year I learned the importance of all relationships, the value of love, persistence, and the need to feel personal worth. I’m excited to have a new year to improve and hopefully become a better person. Happy New Year Friend!

  4. jessica says:

    Beautiful mom! I learn so much from your writing and wisdom.

  5. Cheryl says:

    After blogging so much over the last week or so about my whole last year, it’s hard for me to think any more of what I’ve learned. The problem is that I definitely learn something new every day of my life. Unfortunately, I’m also of an age where I forget several things every day too! It’s hard to keep up!

    I know I’ve learned/relearned that life is amazing. There is so much of beauty to be had if we just look for it. Honesty at every level is, and always will be, the best policy. The human brain is one very complex, intricate machine that doesn’t make sense to me, but it can do incredible things. Different people have different talents and abilities; we’d be wise to surround ourselves with people whose talents are different from our own. My sisters and nieces are a really great crowd to hang with. Most of us are stronger than we think we are.

    I’ve learned so many more things, but I don’t want to take any more space, so we’ll just have to wait until I publish my own blog book!!!

    • colleendown says:

      Maybe that is why we have to “relearn” because our memory is going so quickly, we should probably just surround ourselves with people who remember where we put the car keys. I am looking forward to seeing your book too Cheryl…you are off to a good start this year! And I am with you Chelsea…it is amazing how much we don’t know and should we think otherwise, we have children to quickly remind us we don’t!

  6. Deawuh says:

    I learned that salvation, self-actualization, nirvana, or whatever you want to call it is not achieved by setting and attaining goals; it comes from trying, and failing, and trying anew. In essence it comes from repentance, not perfection.

  7. cathy says:

    Most of the time I feel like Scarlett O’hara or is it O’hare (or is that the airport???) “I’ll think about it tomorrow!” I need to get to the end of this long string of to do’s so I can look at the to be’s for this year! Thank you for giving me some ideas to consider!

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