Life Lessons from 2021 (and Before)
I try to be introspective when I look back at the end of each year. Some years are filled with such happiness and others with unimaginable sorrow. To be honest, the last several years have been full of heartache and just overall tumultuous for me. I have not been very good and looking back or doing much to think about what I have learned or ways I can grow over that time period. However, things feel different at the end of this year. I feel more ready to do big things. That being said, here are some important life lessons that I have learned over the last year, or maybe two. 😉
Life Lesson 1-Actions Speak Louder Than Words
I know, I know-this saying is old. But it is also a million percent true. Talk is really cheap. I have learned that a lot of people will tell you what they think you want to hear but when it comes down to it, they will do exactly what they want to do in the end. It is fairly easy to figure out what is truly most important to people. The way they act towards you in public is one thing. But the way you are treated in private, well that is a telling sign of if they value you. Some life lessons are hard to learn.
I have figured out that a lot of people will claim they will do anything for you, but if your feelings or needs get in the way of what they want and they don’t consider them, it’s a big problem. The best thing you can do is to accept them for who they are, but move on and find happiness elsewhere.
Life Lesson 2-Being Kind Is Always The Right Choice
I hear the things people say about me that hurt my feelings. In fact, most people hear the mean things that are said about them eventually. “She is too prissy. She did (insert whatever you might think I did horrible), or I heard “some rumor about her.” Sadly, a lot of times the most hurtful things are from the people you think are your friends. When you realize those people you thought were friends are not, just be nice but keep them at arms length. It’s a hard lesson to learn; but when you go through things in your personal life, everyone has a speculation or opinion, even though they don’t have the first clue about the actual truth.
However, being kind is truly always the right decision. This one is not always the easy choice, but it is the right choice. I can’t tell you how many times I have told my children to “kill them with kindness”. And it is a rule that I follow, as well. Trust me, I think we all have knee jerk reactions at times when people are not kind to us. We get hurt and we want to hurt them back. But ultimately, I think that when I hold my head up high, show kindness and treat someone that has been less than kind to me with sincere and genuine respect and love that I feel better. It might even bug them that I am so nice to them; so that’s an added bonus and a life lesson you can take to the bank. LOL!
Life Lesson 3-You Can Agree To Disagree
It seems like there is so much division in this world. Political, social, everything under the sun is a cause for a disagreement these days. It is disheartening to me that so much has divided and broken friendships and families. Sometimes it seems as if no one wants to just agree to disagree anymore. But I am here to tell you that you absolutely can have an opinion that differs from another and still respect that person and love them. Don’t let the seed of resentment and division destroy relationships. No one wins when we allow that to happen.
Life Lesson 4-Forgiveness Really IS For You
It is not always easy to forgive others when they hurt you. But I am speaking from experience when I say this-holding a grudge will only hurt you. The best way you can move forward from the hurt is to feel your emotions, but forgive them. Now, they may not care that they hurt you, and they may not care if you forgive them or not. However, it is so freeing for you once you allow the bitterness and resentment to not have control anymore. Notice something though, I never said to forget. Learn from your hurt who you can trust and who you can’t and make wise decisions accordingly.
My 2022 Word of The Year
Some of you know that my life has been a bit rough the last few years and filled with a lot of life lessons. I am typically a very private person. That probably seems a bit ridiculous since I run a blog, but honestly, what anyone shares on a blog or social media is oftentimes not the reality. It is easy to share clothes and recipes without getting into the chaos known as real life. Everyone pretty much knows that I lost my Mama unexpectedly in March of 2019. I was very open with that part of my life and writing memories and about her, helped me in my grief process.
We all know that 2020 was nothing but craziness for everyone with the never-ending pandemic and all that goes with it. 2020 and 2021 were littered with a lot of personal struggles too, on top of the pandemic. I got divorced and became a single mom. (Before any speculation, my ex-husband and I are great friends and get along wonderfully. Things just didn’t work out.) Let me tell you, not having my Mama to go through my emotions and talk to has been horrible. Even though I have great people in my life, there is no substitute for your Mama. For the first time in my life, I am alone more often than not.
I work in human resources and in all my years, I have never faced more challenges in hiring and staffing than I have since 2020. Some days I wanted to just walk out the door I was so frustrated. I worry about my kids and have struggled with trying to help them as they have faced their own challenges. Every mom has mom guilt, but mine has been extraordinary as I have muddled through things. We all want our kids to be happy and healthy, but sometimes they have to find their own way too. There have been many days since March of 2019, that I just wanted to give up and fall into a deep and dark depression.
All that being said, I want to create a life of JOY this year. So my 2022 word of the year is joy! A lot of people think happiness and joy are the same thing. But happiness come and goes. Joy is something you choose to keep in your heart everyday. There is a bible verse (Psalm 30:5) that says “Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning”. So for me, I am claiming this promise! Going forward, I am determined to find the JOY that is in everything. Instead of having the attitude that I have to do something, I am changing the phrase to “I get to do” something. Even if it is going to work, I am blessed with a fantastic job.
By the end of 2021, I was beginning to see the light at the end of the dark tunnel I have felt entrapped in over the last few years. I am so excited and filled with joy when I think about the new things that 2022 is going to bring- new relationships, building the life I crave and desire and focusing on the things that bring joy and happiness in my life. If it doesn’t bring me that joy, I am going to contemplate if I truly want it in my life. My prayer for myself and each and every one of you is to find what brings you joy and focus on it. I am so close to mine; I can see it clearly, and I will not settle for less.