What I Learned Last Year (Even Though Last Year Ended Three Months Ago)

I‘m not usually a procrastinator, but I’m well over two months late in posting this. More like three. I have no good excuse as to why my yearly reflection required three months of additional, well, reflection. I have friends that are professional procrastinators. No really, they would be the first to tell you how good they are at it. Their procrastination skills really are quite impressive. My procrastinating friends would be proud that I too have stumbled upon something worth procrastinating about. But I digress…

10 Things I Learned in 2016:

  1. Barre class will kick your butt and you will love every second of it. Last year I mentioned how much I love Pilates and how ecstatic I was to have finally found an excise routine that I actually enjoyed. But after close to two years of the same three days a week routine, I realized that I needed to up my game. Enter Barre. Barre gives me the intense (and I do mean INTENSE) cardio workout that I needed. Mixing things up – two days of Pilates, two days of Barre – I can really tell a difference. Every morning before Barre I have to mentally psych myself up for the class and I sweat like a pretty pig while I’m there, but it’s always worth the pain.
  2. Safer beauty products matter. If you read my blog, follow me on social media, or are just my friends in general, you already know the passion I have developed for educating others on the importance of using safer beauty products. I share the whole store here.
  3. If your kid shows interests in trying something new, don’t piss on his parade. As we are now officially in high school swim season, I want to kick myself every time I watch my son dive into the pool. I cannot believe that we were so afraid of him failing that we were scared to even let him try. Superbad parenting. Again, I wrote about the whole thing here.
  4. Essential oils make my life better. I have been using essential oils for a couple of years now and it’s taken me those whole two years plus some to really understand how to use them. For a long time, all I did was put some oil in my diffuser to make my house smell better and hopefully reap whatever health benefits I was supposed to be getting. But thankfully one of my best friends has been diligently educating all of us about how to use essential oils properly and I am so grateful every time she shares her knowledge. I have been better and better about reaching for an essential oil to help with a health issue instead of an OTC drug. The learning curve is slow on this one for me, but I am finding it to be so worth it.
  5. I will always choose spending time with a good book over spending time with actual people. In last year’s post, I wrote about being better about saying yes to spending time with people instead of saying no. For the most part, I have been good about continuing to put effort into relationships that matter to me and letting go of those that don’t (i.e., depleting friendships that do nothing but suck the life out of you.) But I have come to understand and accept something about myself: I need time alone more than I need time with other people. I have seen this live and in person whenever I am on a girls trip. I am good the first 48 hours and then I hit a wall. I need to recharge. I need quiet time to myself. I need time to be an introverted extrovert or what some call an Ambivert. Yes, that’s a real thing. It’s those of us that fall in the crack. We aren’t totally introverted but we aren’t extroverts either. We enjoy being around other people, but after a while, this drains our energy and we need to go off and be alone so we can recharge. That’s me.
  6. It is difficult not to cuss while trying to explain the current political climate to your children. I could write a really long blog post about this. Probably more than one. But for now, I will simply say if you hear my children cussing it’s not my fault. Okay, it kinda is. Okay, okay it really is. Just be impressed that they can use such big adult words in correct context.
  7. Minimizing my life is a must. This has become close to what others might refer to as an obsession. I am obsessed with taking out or getting rid of anything and everyone who doesn’t add value to my life. So if you’re still around, that’s a good sign!
  8. I need to stop buying planners. At the beginning of every year, I buy a new planner. And by the middle of January I have already stopped using it and by March I finally allow myself to throw it away. It starts with good intentions but ends with the guilt of a good twenty bucks wasted.
  9. Making wine is fun. We went to our first wine maker’s party back in May to celebrate our anniversary. I didn’t expect to have as much fun as I did and at Christmas, we cracked open my bottle which was met with rave reviews, thank you very much. And it just so happens that my husband has just planted a real, live vineyard in our backyard that includes 96 grape vines. We’re gonna be winemakers, like, for real. It’s the beginning of our retirement plan.
  10. Learn more. I know that people much wiser than me have touted the virtues of continually educating yourself so I won’t attempt any depth with this one. For me right now, learning more means educating myself on the issues that matter. No more coasting. No more assuming that someone smarter, more educated than I has everything under control. For example, there’s been lots of talk about Betsy DeVos and school vouchers, but do I really understand what vouchers are? What about the Keystone Pipeline? What about immigration reform? Right now I think that I have an opinion about these issues, but do I really? Can I have an opinion without understanding what it is that I have an opinion about? I will never be an expert on any of these issues (nor do I want to), but I do want to learn. Learning is good.

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