2017 was a year of transition — a new president, a new boss at work, Sonny graduated from high school and went away to college, a dear friend moved to another city, another friend died unexpectedly. In many ways it was a good year. In some ways it just wasn’t.
Here are some lessons that I learned in 2017 matched with a resolution for 2018.
LESSON: Trying to change somebody’s mind is like trying to teach a pig to dance — it frustrates you and annoys the pig.
RESOLUTION: Take the time to educate myself. Seek out information that challenges my beliefs, instead of reinforcing them. Use the old gray matter as much as I can to assimilate information, analyze it objectively, and make sound judgment calls. That’s what we’uns down here call “critical thinking” and you don’t have to have a wall full of diplomas to do it.
LESSON: A good leader is worth his/her weight in gold. When someone is respectful, humble, creative, and innovative all while being decisive, steady, and reliable, a team can really, truly thrive. A sense of humor helps too.
RESOLUTION: Be that sort of leader.
LESSON: My damn nest is not empty. If one person called me an “empty nester” this year, a thousand did. I heard that term so much that I wanted to stick a fork in the eye of the very next person who said it. Yes, my only son went to college. Yes, I was sad about it. Yes, I miss him. But he’s happy, and thriving, and learning, and all that thrills my very heart to no end. Plus, he’s in Chicago, and I can go whenever I want, and it’s one of the greatest cities on this earth. So there. And I’m still in my damn nest, and Husband is in my nest with me, and my nest is full of all sorts of friends and creative endeavors and life and happiness. Furthermore, my nest is none of your damn business.
RESOLUTION: Not to be so touchy when people are just trying to be nice.
LESSON: Friends come and friends go. That’s a hard one for me because I have two best friends: one that’s been with me since the cradle and one since my freshman year of college. I tend to want to cling to the way things were or the way I think they’re supposed to be. But during one event this year where I was reunited with several old friends, I realized that I no longer have that much in common with them, nor they with me. I’m sure we still love each other and cherish the time in our lives when we were close, but things are different now and that’s just the way it is. And part of things being different, however, is that I now have new friends whom I cherish spending time with and who are funny, smart, interesting people, and bring great value to my life.
RESOLUTION: To be a better friend and stay in contact with those I love and let them know how much I cherish them and our friendship.
LESSON: People die young. All too often. And no amount of “it’s the Lord’s will” or “he’s in a better place now” or “God’s plan” will make you feel any better about it.
RESOLUTION: See the resolution above. Plus we’ve all got to carpe the hell out of every one of our diems because … well … you just never know, do you?
LESSON: Writing is a tonic for my soul. I’ve spent this past year working on a project (stay tuned for more about that in a couple of months) and it’s kept me away from this blog, but deciding to jump in to the See Jane Write #bloglikecrazy challenge this past November really got the creative juices flowing again. It is always a worthy endeavor to set aside time for the things that really breathe life into your mind and your spirit. Plus, if I keep all these words and thoughts in my head, it might just explode.
RESOLUTION: Write more — and not just blog posts. I want to get the short stories in my head down on paper. I might even throw out a poem or two because I love the challenge of rhyming. Things might stray from my usual moonlight and magnolias themes, or they might not, but either way, it will all be ok. Or it won’t. We’ll just have to wait and see.
That’s it for this year. Here’s to the year that was, the year that will be, and us all going forward together! Thank you for reading, for sharing your stories and comments with me, and for going along with me to all the crazy places my mind takes us. Happy New Year!
P.S. Speaking of rhyming, I couldn’t resist the opportunity for a New Year’s limerick:
There once was a green called Collard,
Who with a hamhock had wallered,
In a big pot of likker,
With a pepper sauce kicker.
You know it’s so good that you hollered!