10 Things I Learned Last Year

2018 Reflections

I’m a reflector. And an over-thinker. And a bit of a worry wart. All of which work very well together when it comes time to look back on the year and access all that I have learned.

  1. A community called Bookstagram made my world bigger and better. Around March of last year, I joining a community on Instagram that is all about books. Finally, a corner of the social media world that is positive and intelligent that enables you to share collective love for books. I love scrolling through post after post of book covers and book stacks, people holding books and reading books. These people are my people and I’m glad that I found them. (If you’re a book lover and on Instagram, search #bookstgram to get a peek into this lovely community.)
  2. Getting drunk on your son’s college tour isn’t the greatest idea. I probably didn’t set the best example when I ended up drunk on a college tour trip. I blame the waiter. After my son’s campus tour, we headed to a little tapas restaurant downtown for a snack. It was happy hour and a pitcher of margaritas always sounds better than just one glass. All I can say is, tequila is made by the devil and both of my children experienced their mother drunk as a skunk for the first time. Considering their ages, I feel like I did a pretty good job lasting this long.
  3. Celery juice matters. I’ve been making my own celery juice and drinking it every morning. (Apparently, a lot of other people are too since Whole Foods is out of celery constantly.) I even have my husband on the celery bandwagon. Is it doing anything for me? I can honestly say I have no idea. But I do know there are a LOT worse things that I could be drinking. Like tequila. Read why it’s so good for you here.
  4. I made up a list of 100 things I wanted to do in 1001 days and I suck at it. I suck at it. I sucked at even making the list. I couldn’t even come up with 100 goals, only coming up with 77. Making a list of goals is a positive thing. I admire people who are good at it. But I have to wonder, if you make a goal list and never revisit that list again, is it even worth making in the first place?
  5. Giving up coffee sucked but has been the best thing I’ve done for my health in a long time. I used to look forward to my first cup of coffee every morning. But when you discover that those delicious cups of coffee are a major cause of your migraines, you make the choice to say goodbye. And yes, those first 10 days or so completely and totally sucked. Like, I hate everything and I am miserable kind of suck. But when you are hurting bad enough, you are willing to do whatever it takes to feel better. I still look forward to my book and a warm cup every morning, except now it’s a warm cup of black tea and a little almond milk.
  6. Nothing is more satisfying than organizing all of your crap. Everyone’s on the Marie Kondo kick right now thanks to her new Netflix show, and all I can say is, WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT!?! I have been purging and organizing my crap to near obsession for years but unfortunately, I never wrote a best-selling book about it (which apparently would have led to a hit show on Netflix. But I digress…) Regardless of how you purge and choose to organize your clutter, it is so satisfying to do so. I highly recommend it. And if you need guidance, then Marie is a nice place to start.
  7. Selling stuff online is addictive. Speaking of purging your crap, sometimes the stuff you have sitting around collecting dust could bring you a pretty penny. I have been selling on apps like Poshmark and Mercari for a few years now and I love it. It’s easy: take a few photos, give some details, and set a price. If it sells, then you pack it up and drop it off at the post office and cash in your money. If you’re willing to put a little effort in, it’s totally worth the time. Maybe you only sell that t-shirt for five bucks, but those five bucks add up quicker than you think.
  8. Your 16-year-old taking his driver’s test will make you want to throw up. It is true. I watched him pull away from the DMV to take his test and I felt like I was going to cry and throw up at the same time. The reason: I was afraid that my son wouldn’t pass and just as afraid that he would. I wanted him to succeed because no one wants their son to have to go to school and tell all of their friends that they failed their test. But if he succeeded then that meant that he would be out in the world driving a car without me in it and I wasn’t sure if I was ready for that. When your teen is out in the world without you, it makes it really hard to protect them from all of the idiots out there. And we all know there are a shit ton of them out there. Luckily for my son, he passed with flying colors. (No errors. What?!?!) Now he is out there on the road and every time he leaves the house it freaks me out a little bit. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if that’s ever going to change.
  9. The Office is a bond between me and my children that no one can take away. If you didn’t judge me about getting drunk on my son’s college trip, here’s another opportunity. We watch T.V. while we are eating dinner. If that makes me a bad parent, well then I don’t want to be right. My mom and I used to watch T.V. during dinner and our relationship turned out just fine, right Mom? (You see, I know that she is reading this because she is my biggest fan.) Sure, there are some nights when we turn off the T.V. and talk like normal human beings and I love that. But I also love laughing with my boys while we recite our favorite lines from Dwight and Michael Scott while watching our favorite episodes of The Office. My boys are teenagers and I will do or sacrifice whatever is necessary to bond with my children.
  10. I love not having any plans and I’m not afraid to admit it. I am sick and tired of hearing how busy everyone is. It used to make me feel bad, like if I wasn’t busy my life wasn’t important but I don’t care anymore. I’ve gotten over that. Being busy causes stress. Being busy keeps you from the things and people you love. I don’t need to be busy. So I choose not to. I purposefully choose not to be busy. I don’t overschedule my life or my family’s lives and I believe that we are all happier for it. It’s another thing I highly recommend.

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