Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Great Lessons of 2012

One of the nice things about getting to pick the Thursday Blog Project topic is that you usually pick it because you know you have something to say about the topic (or at least that has been my experience).  So, as you might imagine, I had something specific in mind to write about when I picked today's topic: What is the greatest lesson you learned in 2012, and how do you plan to apply what you learned in 2013?  And that was the case.  I was sure I knew what exactly I was going to write about, however as this Thursday drew closer I began to waiver.

2012 taught me a lot of lessons.  I did a lot of things differently in 2012 that I hadn't done before.  I avoided conflict and situations that caused me stress when it was in my control to do so.  I took chances and started living more of a life than I have in a long time.  I also tackled a few challenges that I had always avoided.  (And those are the things I can remember doing - there are probably so many other things that I am not mentioning because I can't remember them at this moment.)

Of all the lessons I've learned, three stick out to me as the greatest lessons learned in 2012.

Sometimes you have to take a great risk
For the past several years I've played things "by the book".  For that matter, I can probably say that about how I've conducted myself my whole life.  I've never done anything that anyone can really say was irresponsible. I'm not the person people would call a risk taker.  That is until now.  In 2012 I took some risks that could have failed and set me back.  Instead, I saw recognized the risks and owned them, but also saw the rewards that could come from taking the risk.

This was a good thing for me.  It opened my mind up to a world of possibilities and made me think seriously about the different things I want to do in my life.  From that I have made a list of things I wish to try in the near future.  It's also made me take a serious look at things in the present and the steps I need to take to change the things I want to be different.

Letting go  of the "Oh Shit Bar"!
Going hand-in-hand with what I just talked about above is letting go of what I call my life's "Oh Shit Bar".  In 2012 I started to live my life again.  Instead of holding off on doing certain things because I really shouldn't have done these things because circumstance weren't what I needed them to be, I just let go of the oh shit bar and started living life again.  I feared doing this mainly because I was afraid of what others around me would say.  I'm sure there has been some criticism from some that I really shouldn't have done the things I've done even though I have the right to enjoy life and relax just as much as someone in a better position.

Removing myself from conflict or stressful situation when I can
I guess that is where the whole avoiding conflict and stressful situations part of my plan comes in to play.  By removing myself.  Some people might call this being passive, but I really saw it as removing myself from unneeded strain in my life.

Does this mean I avoided conflict all together?  Absolutely not.  I guess if I had to really simplify what I did it's that I picked my battles better and recognized situation that could potentially cause me unneeded grief and strain before they were even an issue.

The last great lesson I learned in 2012 was...

Seize opportunity... even if it's just for the sake of saying you had the experience
 I did a lot of things in 2012 just for the purpose of having a new experience.  I strongly believe that you aren't truly living if you aren't constantly trying new things.  There are a lot of things I did this past year that were new experiences for me.  I can't tell you how many times I uttered the phase, "At the very least this is something new to try and I'll have a new story to tell."

I plan to apply all these lesson that I learned in 2012 to my life in 2013.  I feel like they have shaped a life that I enjoy living and have led me to exciting new places and can do the same in 2013.  I think they have also opened up my mind to learning new lessons this year as well.  And have really given me an solid understanding that we are never done learning and that learning can happen in many different ways.

Now that I have talked about the lessons I have learned in 2012 and plan to apply in 2013, please take a moment to read what my fellow bloggers have to say:

 •  Momarock (Sara)

•  Merryland Girl (Melissa)

•  Mom of Many (Susanna) 


  1. Great post! Thanks for giving us this topic to work with. :) I really enjoyed your insight on the subject and seeing what you learned about yourself.

  2. Very inspirational, Tracey! Thank you so much for sharing this with us! :)