Well, we’ve got another year under our belt, everyone! It’s New Year’s Eve and the last year of 2014, so I’m pondering the lessons I’ve learned in the last year.
1) Time moves faster when you get older.
It always annoyed me when older relations would say this. You know what? It’s true. But that probably still won’t make you appreciate the time when you’re younger. It’s probably one of those things you have to be thankful for in retrospect.
2) Family is #1 in Life.
We’ve had some ups and downs this year in the background here, but no matter what you’ve got going on, you need to drop it for family when things get a bit hairy. I’m not talking about things like “mom needs the trash taken out, so I’ve got to drop everything and drive across town to do it.” I’m talking about things that are big- like health things. Plus, know your family and their interest. While some people need to work on building up boundaries and recognize characteristic unhealthy behavior relationally, once you get over those hurdles and establish healthy boundaries, it’s easier to recognize when something is really important. In my case, I’ve already been through the boundary thing with my mom years ago, but now, in retrospect, I can see part of that was from her changing internally. I just couldn’t see the signs. So, one of the #1 things under family life is that you need to become aware of some warning signs that things might be happening mentally as your family members age. My mom was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease this year, and she has probably had it for years… but because she has it unusually early, we didn’t recognize that she really had trouble remember things and wasn’t trying to be manipulative (though she did exhibit some unhealthy behavior in the past). So, yeah… it stinks. I should have been more thankful for the times I could have called my mom and talked with her on the phone in the past, but when you’re young you think your career and paving your life can take precedence. And I’m learning it’s all about balance. It’s still something I need to work on. We’ve had other hard times with aging family members this year, too. It’s tough. But that’s why it’s so important to nurture your family and be thankful for their strong points instead of dwelling on things you think were different. I’ve always been really lucky on the family side of things, and have amazing people I can really count on and depend on, and I hope they think the same of me.
3) You Don’t Know as Much as You Think You Do.
I never thought I was cool, but I have spent most of my life since I was a teen studying vintage fashion and then accumulating practical and technical knowledge of how to accomplish it- both with vintage and with recreations. But still, I didn’t know it all and I have SO much still to learn. Never stop learning. Never be surprised when you don’t know it all. And you will make mistakes. But keep on going and don’t give up.
4) Dreams CAN Happen. They Take a LOT of Hard Work.
You can dream something all your life, but what holds you back isn’t always just monetary. It takes a lot of money to start a business, and it will take more than you think it will- even after you punch the numbers over and over (see #3). But, keep on going. Don’t whine about how unachievable your dream is. Do the leg work you can up front. Figure out a game plan. Present your dream in a way others can understand. Maybe, if you’re very fortunate, like I was, people will believe in your enough to invest in your dream by preordering or supporting. But it doesn’t stop there. Just because the initial steps were taken and you get the backing doesn’t mean it’s time to relax. It means it’s time to work HARDER. You won’t make any money for yourself at first, but if you believe in your dream enough, you’ll find a way to make it happen… sell off collections, have amazing family members that can help you bridge the gap (thank you to my supportive husband… he doesn’t make much financially, but we make sacrifices to keep afloat), but with hard work and determination your dreams can get tried out. It’s still going to take time to see where this will go, but I’m very, VERY thankful I’ve gotten the opportunity to try. No matter what happens, no regrets. I have faith God led me down this path, and He knows what the future will hold. No matter what, it will be good. Make wise decisions, and keep on going.
5) Appreciate the Small Things. Because the Big Things are the Small Things.
I’ve dealt in the past with depression and anxiety. In my case, I know it’s something in my chemistry (several other family members also suffer), but I’ve got it manageable. I’m amazed that through the whole process all year, I think I’ve only had a very small anxiety attack ONCE. Part of that comes with trusting in my faith, and a good part is remembering to look up and look around. I’m thankful for my home. I’m thankful for my kitties. I’m thankful for my husband. I’m thankful for sun and rain. I’m thankful for the happy birds outside my window. I’m thankful I can turn on a car and go places. I’m thankful for electricity and the people who paved the way to make it so we can flip a switch at night and see. Never take things for granted. It took great leaps and bounds for even the little things we take for granted to become a reality. Telephone, internet, couches to sit on, beds to lay on, clothes on our body. Every single thing takes people with real lives to make happen- someone builds them and someone delivers them- someone invented it, and someone repairs it. Seeing the manufacturing process helps me to appreciate more what I have and the people who made it happen, both in history and in current times.
Hope you have a very blessed New Years. Stay safe, everyone.