What did you learn in 2015?

January 4, 2016

6 Thingsi learnedin 2015Chocolate cake goes straight to my ass.

There’s no escaping it–eat crap in  your senior years and it wraps itself around you and doesn’t want to let go.  It was an indulgent year and therefore Mean Mommy (my internist) has cracked the whip. I’ve risen to the challenge.

But, I do love chocolate cake.


Even if I won’t eat it for a while.

As much as I try to deny it, I miss having a real family in my life.

I go through stages with this.  I have some of the most wonderful friends, but still, I sometimes wish I had family.

I know, intellectually, that the myth of the perfect family is just that, a myth. And I’m always forgiving about people’s flaws, God knows. I have enough of my own. So they don’t need to be perfect.

But sometimes I just wish my family were different.

And in my life.

But, as they say, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

So far, I’ve seen no beggars on horseback. So maybe in another lifetime.

The Universe always tells you what’s best.

What, you think I really want to listen? Usually not.

However, when the Universe stepped in and presented me my first husband for another go, virtually minutes before I was to enter what would likely have been a disastrous marriage to someone else, well, I had to listen. Because it took something that dramatic to get me to hear and to realize that the Universe always knows best. And sometimes has to work overtime to make me act on it.

That’s not to say that I always choose the right thing, even when prodded.  But as far as my husband is concerned, well, it’s the best decision I ever made. Even if it took Divine intervention.

I have trouble letting go.

I act as though some people I know provide spiritual nutrition, even when it’s clear they don’t provide jack. I’m done with that. 2016 is a year to let go of things past their expiration date and make room for new and wonderful things. Speaking of new & wonderful: Have I mentioned that a fun girlfriend and I are going flyfishing in Montana?

Some people come in with more armor than others.

Some people think troubles are a contest they have to win, which makes no sense, because who would want to win that contest?

I’ve come to see that everything is relative. What seems like a life with no problems at all may not be the case at all. If you do not walk in another’s shoes, you have no idea.  Even if you think you know them well.

But more importantly, I’ve learned that some people are more resilient and better equipped to handle bad stuff than others. They are survivors and they come into the world that way.  With armor. I am very lucky to be one of them.

Some of my friends? Not so much. I double up on loving those friends because they so need it.

An open heart is always a good thing.

It’s risky and it can be painful. Not everyone is careful with the open hearts of others. But, for me, there is no other way.

So. What did you learn in 2015 ….and what do you want the new year to look like for you?

38 comments on “What did you learn in 2015?
  1. MStrooper08 says:

    Love it! Yes, sometimes listening isn’t what you want to do. Sometimes you just want to be stubborn and do it your way (at least I do). And isn’t it sad that chocolate cake isn’t a health food? Good luck with your goals in 2016. Mine are to live in the moment and learn French. I did some posts on it over on my page ????

  2. ryder ziebarth says:

    I learned, I think the reason I stayed in a marriage that by all reason should have been trashed a long,long, time ago is that God really did, in fact, have a plan for us. And that plan turned out to concern the three of us, Michael, me and our daughter, Lizzie. On December 23rd when she was diagnosed with MS (which flared–something we knew nothing about, in fact we thought she was having a stroke at 24 ) explaining years odd aches and pains, we rushed her to one ER and Neurologist after another. The diagnose came December 23rd. When the Doctor left the room, I looked at my husband and said ” THIS….is why we are still together, If God has a plan. This is his for us. I couldn’t do this without you.” And he replied,” I need you, too, I always have.”
    Happy New Year.

    • Wow and holy Moses. My warmest thoughts and wishes for your daughter’s recovery are being sent your way right this moment. xoxo

    • Wow, ryder ziebarth, this is a great example of why we should question less that “gut feeling” to do or not do a certain thing (in this case, stay with your guy, Lizzie’s
      Dad) Sending positive thoughts and prayers your way from Georgia in this new year.

  3. You had a terrific year, Carol, with all these fabulous lessons. Thanks for sharing them! I learned that the world won’t end–and, in fact, it gets a whole lot better–when you cut toxic people out of your life, even (or maybe especially) if they’re family. My intentions for 2016 are to achieve a healthier work-life balance, and to get off my ass and onto the treadmill more regularly–with an overarching focus on being more mindful in every aspect of my life.

  4. Leslie says:

    This is a great reflection of last year, maybe I should sit down and think about this. I hope the new year is treating you well!

  5. HI Carol,
    Great post…had to share! Esp love the part about getting rid of things when the date has expired! YES!!! One of the best things I have learned in 2015, is that in my later 50’s , it truly is a good idea to moderate my alcohol …for a dozen (or more) reasons. I’ve also learned to practice the
    Serenity Prayer more…You know the one: “God grant me the serenity to ACCEPT the things I cannot change, COURAGE to change the things I can and WISDOM to know the difference.”
    Wishing you an amazing 2016!

  6. Angela says:

    This year I finally learned how to keep my mouth shut before sticking my foot in it at home! I rarely speak up anywhere else, but with my husband it’s a totally different story. Life is so much more peaceful when I show him the same respect I show others. Only took me 20 years!

  7. Ellen Dolgen says:

    These are great, Carol! I am with you on the chocolate! Mine goes to my hips! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…..I, also, love this one: “some people are more resilient and better equipped to handle bad stuff than others.” I find that sometimes we are able to provide help to others, but there are times that we all need help handling our own difficult stuff. I am lucky to have one of these special friends in my life, that shows up and wraps her armor around me when I can’t find mine!

    • Yes, that one was big for me–that some people really do have a harder time than others. I love using my armor for my friends. In fact, I used it for six years for my friend who just died. It’ll probably be stored away for a while. I hope. 😉

  8. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    Sometimes the only way to save your sanity is to make a break with certain people … it is difficult to make that decision. And that perfect family? I haven’t met one yet.

  9. The chocolate cake? Yes, I learned that lesson long ago – although it hasn’t changed my eating habits. The rest is definitely food for thought. I’m going to think about what I learned last year, and see how that changes what I do this year. Thanks for the inspiration.

  10. I like the concept of new year, new start…I’m not sure what I learned, but it has been a crowded 2015 with my husband in and out of the hospital, and both of my kids getting married and all those events, and my father in law declining…I’m tired. I’d like a year where there is quiet and relaxation and good health and lots of diving.

  11. I enjoyed reading your post and can’t think of anything I learned in 2015 lol. I need to do better this year.

  12. Brenda P says:

    No way! No How! I’m not staying away from the cake! LOL I’m sure I learned a lot of things in 2015. Like how selfish and two-faced people can be. How much I really don’t like leaving the house for work. How much I really love my furkids. And how well I have learned to forgive. IS that good enough? 😉

  13. The learning that has occurred most recently for me is the power of speaking up about things I need to say. Clarifying things, letting someone know when I’m feeling taken advantage of…and finding out that things work just fine when I do that.
    I learned a lot about ‘stuff’ and attachments and memories as I sold my house and moved to a space 1/2 the size. And I’m still learning to have fun and live a little more boldly.

  14. Barbara says:

    I learned this year that I’m a pretty good writer and lots of people enjoy what I write. I also learned to honor my art and stop discounting the gift that it is. Now to (finally) make some money from those gifts.
    Great post for reflection. Thanks!

  15. Carolann says:

    This has got to me one of my favorite posts of yours Carol. I love the chocolate cake part..lol. So darn true! Very heartfelt too. I think I’ll pause and do the same line of thinking too. Wishing you a fabulous 2016. I’m so happy to have met you!

  16. andrea says:

    If there is any ONE thing that I learned – it’s this. God is STILL in control, and He knows what’s best… 😀

  17. Lexie Lane says:

    : Hello @2016! I cant imagine how time so fast! Such a great post you Carol.! Till now thinking What I learned in 2015? LOL! I think those thing that I learned was accepting challenges that came to me harder, and also that I gave a marked of memories that I never missed it! Such a great Reflection:

  18. Dogvills says:

    These are great lessons you’ve learned. Laughing out loud on the chocolate thing.

  19. Jeanine says:

    I learned a lot in 2015. I think this new year will hopefully bring more success to my blog, and hopefully in my life. 2015 was a very hard year, and I’m hoping this one is much better.

  20. RaNesha says:

    Wow all valuable lessons reflection is very important when looking to grow.

  21. You had a terrific year… Great lessons you learned. But I’m not sure what I learned.

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