Things I Learned in 2014
To follow along with one of the other blogs I frequently read, I decided to accept the challenge to share some of the lessons I've learned this year. And it goes along with my reflective theme for the week. This is by no means an exhaustive list, nor is it in any sort of order. It's pretty random, just like my life.
1. The darkness really doesn't last forever. 2013 was the year I was diagnosed with Major Depression. 2014 felt like the year I got to really get back to my life. Everything wasn't perfect by any means, but it was a good year, with a lot of GREAT moments.
2. How to make THE. BEST. EVER. WHIPPED. CREAM. Guys… I can whip it up in massive quantities like it’s no big deal. Perfect consistency and everything. Working at a pie shop during Thanksgiving will do that to you.
3. A lot of the thoughts I had about dating when I was single, were just plain wrong. It’s good to have standards. However there comes a point when I had to realize I was dealing with a person. Someone with feelings, and bits of themselves that make up a story. He’s on a journey just like I am. I like the analogy a good friend gave. It’s not like we get to go to the boyfriend store and tell them exactly what we want. Like, “hey I want the black forest ham on whole wheat bread with provolone cheese. Then lettuce, tomato, cucumbers...” Plus, could I meet my own standards I held him to initially anyway? Part of the purpose of dating is to get to know a person, to see if this could be a long term match. So obviously you don’t have to be set to marry them before you even start dating. (Yes, I also have a thing for control, can you tell…) So yes, it’s good to have those important things in mind for what you are looking for, but it’s not necessary to throw those in his face before dating. That kind of makes you a jerk. (Sorry, Greg! Thanks for being patient with me!)
4. Life really is better lived out in community. During one of the toughest seasons of life I pulled out of a lot of things. I just couldn't stand to be around around people. I didn't want to be around people. I felt fragile and frail and not in the mood to set myself up to be hurt. Isolation seemed more comfortable. But in reality I wouldn't have made it without the amazing friends I have in my life. This year I got back in a small group at my church. I met a new friend who has quickly become one of my closest friends. I started hanging out with people again. I took risks to talk to new people again. To pray for people I don’t know. And honestly it brings me insane amounts of joy. Even if getting back to community has been a LONG (like YEARS long) process. And I know I still have further to go.
5. Rest is a struggle and something to fight for. This seems counter-intuitive. Like rest should be easy to do. But it’s not always. I'm an all or nothing kind of girl. So it’s either doing 5 million things at once, or crashed out on the couch being numb. Not good. But rest is important.
6. Few words can sometimes be better than many words. It leaves room to breathe and think...
7. Pie is the perfect breakfast. You know, for those mornings when getting out of the warmth of my blanket cocoon is so difficult and I run out of time to actually make breakfast, but I still want something warm and delicious, that goes well with coffee. Thank you pie. You are awesome. Another lesson learned from working at a pie shop.
8. I was made to write. I like writing. Writing is scary. Writing is lovely.
9. How to clean the crazy salt mess that gets tracked in from from the feet of 1800 people onto the church floors. The reason salt residue from ice melt is so hard to clean is that it has a high pH which normal floor cleaners can't clean. So first you have to neutralize the salt with fancy neutralizer cleaners OR just add a bit of vinegar to the mop water. Boom! I totally thought I defeated the crazy salt mess to make winter so much easier at my job!!!! Well until I found out I would no longer be Building Cleaning Supervisor back in February… Now I get new problems to solve as Childcare Coordinator :-)
10. It’s possible to partially disassemble a queen size box spring, fold it in half, move it through a tight space (like my stairway to get upstairs) then reassemble it. I actually successfully completed this project on my own. New bed was TOTALLY worth it!
11. I feel like C.S. Lewis could have been one of my close friends. Like we could just sit for DAYS and drink tea, eat good food, talk about kids, tell stories and all kinds of silliness. Then take breaks to sit and read and write. The man was brilliant, but reading some of his other quotes makes me feel like we could have been great friends.
12. Things in my life rarely go as expected. I'm also learning to be okay with that. I'm learning that my plans aren't nearly as good as I think they are in the moment anyway. I'm also learning that love goes deeper than any of my mess ups.
13. So many lessons learned being a working single mom of four kiddos for 5 days. I listed out several on an earlier post from this year, which was easily my favorite. Read Lessons Learned for more… The best lesson was probably that naps are of the utmost importance.
14. Sometimes (if not most times) things have to get messier before they get better. I watched this happen, when my house was remodeled. It was painful to go and see my home essentially destroyed and ripped apart. But now it’s beyond anything I could have hoped for. And I've lived this. My life was torn apart these last couple of years. But it’s turning into something beautiful that I never could have even imagined.
15. I like dating. I know this is a story often told, but it’s one I learned is true for me as well. I really was satisfied being single. I honestly had settled my mind and heart on spending the rest of my life by myself. I had times of loneliness, yes. I had times where I felt like it would be nice to have a husband and family of my own. But I really had finally found contentment and peace with the life I was living. And part of me had given up hope on ever finding someone. And another part of me felt scared to death to ever date. I felt too messed up. It just didn't feel possible for dating ever to happen. And wham! On September 7, Greg asked me out. Nine days later I decided I wanted to date him. (Sorry again Greg, for making you wait so long…)
16. There is no shame in going to counseling. I never thought I had any preconceptions about counseling, or people who needed counseling. Well, until one of the trusted people in my life recommended I start counseling. And I was actually offended. I felt like I was yet again being labeled “one of those REALLY messed up people”. Hmm… Since then my thinking has shifted. Counseling has been great for me this year. In fact I would recommend it to anyone. In the right timing, with the right person, I've experienced more growth than I ever could have on my own. It’s painful at times, but I've seen so much benefit and freedom from it.
17. I have a lot of gray hair. LOTS of gray hair. And long ones too. I am 25 years old. How in the world do I have all of these well established gray hairs?? Oh my goodness.
2014, you've been a good year. I've learned a lot. You've done a lot. I have so many small moments that I can treasure for years to come. And 2015, I'm excited for you too. I have a feeling you are going to be even better. Oh this life that we live...