As I get older, I am finding that it is almost more important to reflect back on the old year and the things that I have learned, than it is to set goals for the New Year. My greatest learning almost always comes from the experiences I would never choose for myself and certainly not from resolutions I make and break on paper. I am not the person I was a year ago and many events in 2012 have changed me, refined me and helped me to grow. So here are a few of things I have “learned” in the past year…..
* The election of a president, the rantings of an incarcerated “prophet,” or the chiselings on an ancient Mayan Dayplanner will not bring about the end of the world. Each night it is important to set your alarm and your Mr. Coffee and prepare for a better tomorrow!
* Little girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice…and really fun to shop for.
* Don’t try to explain the unexplainable. Silence truly can be golden. Sometimes the only prayer that can be uttered is, “Help us to bear, the unbearable.”
* Any “change of life” is best done with a support group!
* “Cool parents” is an oxymoron. These two words should never be used in the same sentence.
* True art, whether it is poetry, a painting, a film or a novel (or even clumsy hands on a potter’s wheel), must push us to the edge of our comfort zone. It must make us make us slightly nervous and cause us to look at the world in a different way. It needs to speak to and for a part of our soul that has not yet been addressed.
*The full and abundant life cannot be poured into a pair of “skinny jeans.” (I speak from experience!)
* Dreams can come true—just put them out there! There is nothing that a lot of faith, hope and love cannot build!
* Some injuries take a very long time to heal, but we can learn much as we trust the process. A massage can heal both body and soul!
* Happiness is not a state of being. Happiness is found in small moments that need to be acknowledged. If it were a state of being there would not be room for sadness, vulnerability, discouragement, yearning, melancholy, anger—all of those other emotions that make us human. However, the more we recognize the moments of happiness, the more content we will be.
* FaceBook is making the world a kinder, gentler, smaller place (except for those weeks leading up to an election!)
*All we must do to keep hope alive in our hearts is to leave the door open so that the “breath of life” can circulate in and around and through us. Even the smallest spark of hope can be fanned and tended until a flame begins to grow and we once again experience warmth and light. Never shut the doors of your heart or hearth so tight that circulation is cut off!
* After thirty-two years, Steve still loves me as much as ever!
* EVERYONE needs a set of wheels!
*Love is tangible enough to hold up a nervous groom walking down the aisle and to hold up a grieving bride following down the aisle to memorialize him a few months later. The love of family and friends can fill a room to the point of being able to feel it wafting through the air and moving across your skin. Hearts and lives are sealed together by tears, laughter and love. Period.
Finally, I wholeheartedly agree with Stephen Hawking who said, “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” I have also learned the more I know, the more I realize how much I don’t know! So here is a toast to 2013 and the lessons that will keep coming!