16 things I’ve learned in 2016 (aka life is short, eat pie!)

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So, in the changing of the year reflection upon the past 365 days or so, I’m thinking of how I can reconcile my thoughts about the wonder and difficulty, the awesomeness and challenges, the insanity and groundedness of 2016. A year that bizarre events happened throughout the world; that political polls were shown to be completely untrustworthy (Brexit and Trump, anyone); that insane attacks of terrorism and hatred occurred; that sad natural events cost lives; multiple truly iconic figures in the world of the arts and entertainment passed away; the Cubbies win the world series for the first time in 108 years; the ozone layer showed signs of healing itself in Antarctica; the tiger population started growing again for the first time in 100 years; Panda bears were removed from the endangered species list. As wonderful as my personal year was (healthy family, success at work and school, adding a psycho doggy to my menagerie of furbuddies in my home, watching the twinnies continue to grow up so beautifully), the year globally had very definite ups and downs. So in my attempts to reconcile my feelings about the turbulent roller coaster of 2016, I’m looking at 16 things I learned in the course of the year.

  1. The enjoyment I receive doing things is inversely proportional to the amount of spare time I truly have to engage in said things! Stolen moments truly are golden; I resolve this year to steal even more!
  2. Life is short; eat pie! (Seriously: I think I’ve been on a diet or needing to be on one my entire adult life….HOWEVER, life is indeed short, and indulging on occasion of the things we are most craving and wanting is simply glorious! Thank you Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners!)
  3.  Recognize who your heroes are, and cherish them. With the loss of multiple entertainment icons this year, it leads to wondering what is our society’s thoughts on hero worship. While I keenly felt a serious sense of loss with David Bowie’s death, my heroes still remain the ordinary people in my life who behave in extraordinary and admirable ways.
  4. Leave last year’s mistakes in last year. That allows for the wonderment of making all new mistakes this year! 🙂
  5. The amazing and creative art of the human being is an ongoing process. It is by nature and as nature intended that we grow, change and evolve as we age. Which is something beautiful about aging; we get closer to the ultimate person we are meant to be!
  6. Whoever said that familiarity breeds contempt may have been right, in some respects; however, if we change perspective, familiarity breeds beloved!
  7. The friends of the past who do not continue to travel the path of my life journey were still valuable energy and lessons to who I am today. The friends of today who may not be with me tomorrow are also brilliantly valuable to me.
  8. Knowing some of several languages is not necessarily a bonus; twice in the last year I have had a Spanish-only patient and a Russian-only patient, along with my other patients…..I don’t know who of the three of us were more confused as I would go into one room speaking the other one’s language! 🙂 (However, I’m a firm believer that knowing at least ONE other language, if not being a polyglot, is a brilliant stretch of the mind!)
  9. From everyone who’s path I cross, I learn, I grow, and I become more than I was seconds before meeting them!
  10. The best things in life truly are free! Family, friends, walks outside, being in nature, sunsets, sunrises, birdsongs, the Smithridge ducks, happy pets, the warmth of sun, the smell of rain, walking through sand or fallen leaves, communication……all joys with no price tag!
  11. Maintenance of the best things in life is NOT free! Having a strong work ethic and being financially responsible is important, since I’m the one footing the bill for the remainder of my life! I want to be able to be responsible enough that I can continue to live happily and comfortably!
  12. No job is beneath dignity. All things that I do, no matter what the appearance of “importance”, are worth doing right and as honorably as I can!
  13. No person is beneath dignity. While there are people I may disagree with, even vehemently, they deserve my courtesy and acceptance just as much as people that I have everything in common with. Part of having respect for myself is respecting others.
  14. The more I learn, the more I want to learn. While I will be overjoyed to be done with school, I think that the day I stop learning is the day I die; there is so much in the world that is fascinating and unknown by me thus far.
  15. It is with hardship that we learn. We do not grow when we are comfortable. We do not change when what we are doing is working for us. There is no courage without fear. There is no change without discomfort. The place where the sun is always shining without ever any rain is called the desert; we all need the bad with the good to be complete, to be whole, and to be human.
  16. The accepting of all others is key to accepting yourself; the acceptance of yourself is the key to accepting all others. Again, all folks deserve courtesy and dignity; and hearing and attempting to understand differing opinions may not change my mind, but it does expand it. While I love that I have been shrinking my waistline, I will always cherish expanding my mind even more!

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