Sarah Rosemary at Sunny Side Up and I are hosting our own Reverb11, a series of prompts to look back on 2011 and manifest the new year.  Please check our Reverb11 pages for details, and join in!

Prompt for December 23: LearnWhat new skill, idea, concept, etc…did you learn in 2011?  What new thing do you want to learn in 2012?

This year I learned:

1) The times you have the most are the times when you think you don’t have anything

2) Having faith that you will survive is enough to survive

3) Converting metric units to customary units and back again may never be my strong suit

4) I should just give up hope on properly operating a computer or mobile device.  I will never have one that does not a) autocorrect to Icelandic; b) autocorrect to English (UK) so I sound like some pretentious American who thinks she’s British because she spends a lot of time overseas; c) send out messages to the wrong people (how many times have I accidentally sent “Love you much!” or some horrorshow vitriolic message to X, meant for Y? Don’t ask.)

5) Guilt, greed, and jealousy are powerful motivators; leaving them behind is a motivating kind of freedom like nothing I’ve ever known

6) My father was wrong about a lot of things; he was right about a lot more. The three things he was most right about: never let them see you sweat; breakfast is the most important meal of the day; never back down from a bully.

(Anyone who has met him knows that “The Tao of Tom” would be a bestseller…)

7) The orange backpack I’ve carried since I was 18 gives the same inexplicable comfort to others as it does to me

8) People will be awful to you, even when you are kind to them. Still be kind to them

9) My eating disorder is not my friend. Nor is my ex-husband

10) It takes about five years to make it through the thickest of grief’s brambles

11) Some of the things I imagined for a long time were and are better in real life than they were in my head

(For example, Tom Selleck.  He lives near me, and he’s more gorgeous in person than he ever was on television or in my wildest dreams.  But that’s another post — and another silver fox-hunt — for another time.)

12) There is no joy greater than being greeted at home each day by a faithful, loving dog

13) Accomplishments cannot be measured in medals and labels

(Medals on the dog. Labels on me.  Roo! Get off the sofa!!)

14) The most useful word to know in multiple languages is “thank you,” but saying “I’m sorry” is sometimes unnecessary and undermines the point.

15) Life after divorce is much weirder than I ever imagined it would be because I didn’t have a life in New York before I was married

16) Frederic will always be an alcoholic; Bill will always be selfish; my ex-husband will always be a narcissist. None of those things are my fault

17) My body is capable of doing more than I thought it was able to handle, but maybe not as much as I’d like it to be able to do

18) Being right, or being in the right, does not absolve one from doing the right thing — no matter how much you may not want to, or how annoying you may find it, or how painful it may be for a while.  Just do the right thing

19) Failing to pay attention to one’s own needs lands a girl in a hospital bed; it does not a tough gal make.

20) There are things I do not know and things I cannot control.  Looking silly, maybe even stupid, is the stuff that makes life worth living and makes relationships worth having.  Be stupid.  Be silly.  Live.  Stumble.

There will be more stumbling, I think.


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  1. I think that #18 should be broadcast on the TODAY show for an entire week. I like to think it might be an instigator of world peace.

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