Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Lessons learned in 2013

It may be cliched, but looking back on a year when it comes to an end to see what we’ve accomplished and what we’ve learned is actually a pretty good thing to do. Every time a year comes to an end, I have to ask myself, what did I manage to do this year? How have I made life better? What do I still need to do? How can I grow in the new year? What kind of things did I fail to do this year that I could try to do again in the next?

One question I usually did not ask myself, though, was this: What kind of lessons have I learned this year?

This, above all else, is an important question to ask. And I’ve certainly learned a few lessons this year. They are lessons that are definitely going to have an impact on certain decisions I’ll be making in the new year.

I have learned: It’s important to take care of myself. This year, I certainly DID NOT take care of myself. I have been sad and depressed for quite some time, and I know this sadness comes from certain choices that I regret. But I let that sadness, regret, anger at myself and the depression get to be too bad and I just didn’t take care of myself that well this year. I hated myself and it got to where I wished I was dead. That is how bad it was. So it is a good thing that I had this cancer scare. It made me wake up and realize that I was on a path of self-destruction. I had to be kinder to myself and stop beating myself up over the past. I have to learn to forgive myself and be my own best friend. So I need to take care of myself emotionally, spiritually, physically and psychologically. I need to get rid of bad habits and welcome things that will make me a better person. (So far, I have managed to get rid of one bad habit and I feel pretty good about that!)

I have learned: Sometimes we have to be a little bit selfish to get what we want in life. I know I have allowed other people to influence my choices and have too much control over decisions I have made. It’s time to put a stop to that! I can’t let others decide what I should do with my body and my life. Because they are MY body and MY life! I’m the one who has to live it! So I really think it’s time to step back and just be a little bit selfish about certain choices in my life. I need to do that in a really big way. There are some things I KNOW I want in my life, and some people, too. Why keep putting things off? Why keep tolerating being without certain people we WANT in our lives? And those we don’t want? It just doesn’t make any sense to me anymore. And here again we have that cancer scare playing a role. I just realized, you know, why keep putting these things off? Why keep WAITING? Why keep HOPING? Just do it now. All we have is right now, and if it takes being selfish to go after something, then we gotta be selfish. I know certain people may not agree with what I want to do next year and a lot of people won’t like it. But I really think it’s time for me to get back on course for Dawn’s Life, and not other people’s life. People are gonna say what people are gonna say. What’s important is that I keep doing what I WANT to be doing with my life.

I have learned: Change is good. I saw a change in how I was handling my being an author. I also became a publisher. I was scared to death to get into publishing, but I did it and, thanks to the help of my friends along the way, it was a success. And I couldn’t be happier that I got past that fear and got to where I am now. I definitely feel more confident when it comes to publishing books, and that’s going to help a lot given what I plan to do next year. I was scared at first, but I got over that fear and made it. I also saw change in how I managed things with books being self-pubbed this year. I like that change, too.

I have learned: We need to hold onto the people who matter. Hold onto the people who actually care. I have been paying close attention to the people in my life who have been there and who have not. The people who wouldn’t give me the time of day and those who would drop everything to help. I have to be very careful and very selective of who I allow to be in my circle. Who I allow to be my friend. I have been hurt too many times by people I thought I could trust, or was supposed to be able to trust. I have had too many so-called “friends” treat me like crap and only remember me when they needed something. Or people who are judgmental, dishonest and not trustworthy. No more of that! I can’t keep tolerating the fake friends, the people who have thrown potshots my way and the people who constantly have me on “Ignore.” Same goes for people who take my presence for granted. Because, you know what? You’re either for real, or you’re not. And I have noticed the people in my life who are For Real. The ones who are there, who actually talk to me, the ones who call me their friend and act like it. I am not going to waste my time on fake friends or fake people anymore. Life is too short and we need to keep the people who matter within arm’s reach while we live it.

I have learned: We can’t live life indoors. There is too much of the whole wide world out there just waiting for us to explore it! Part of the reason why I stayed home whenever possible was because I was too comfortable being at home. And I’m not comfortable anymore. Yes, I know I have a senior dog with failing health who does not have much time left, but I also know I just gotta get Out There some more. I need to go ride a bike, go hiking, go fishing, take long walks and just Get. Outside. We are not meant to live our lives holed up in our homes and constantly glued to our computers or TVs. We are meant to get out there into the world and live life! Otherwise, how will we meet people? How will we see this beautiful world God created? How will we find out where that path goes? We won’t unless we actually get outside and take that path or travel that road. I know I have a lot going on that requires time at the computer, but I am working something out where I won’t be at the computer 8-10 hours every day 365 days a year. No more of that! It’s time to get out of the house more often and see all the stuff that’s out there. This is one valuable lesson I have learned this year and this lesson, like the others, will definitely have an impact on changes I’ll be making in the new year.

Here’s to a better, happier and wiser 2014!

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