A glance back at a year full of lessons

One more year is ending, which is my favourite time of every year. It’s my personal Thanksgiving period, the last ten days of the year. It’s the time I recap the past 355 days and make tentative plans for the next 355 days. But this year has been special because the last time I learned so many things, not necessarily new, must have been at high school, which was quite a while back.

Don’t try to make everyone happy

That’s one of the ancient truths I think I finally learned this year. It is literally impossible to make everyone happy with what you do so don’t waste energy trying. it’s like trying to make someone like you when they don’t Totally pointless. I no longer even try to make my family happy — that’s their responsibility. Mine is to care for them and love them, and make sure Little C. doesn’t spend a whole day playing Minecraft*. Screen time control doesn’t make her happy and it doesn’t make me happy but it’s good for her so there it is.

Don’t take it personally

That one was a revelation. I started a new professional project a month ago and it put me in indirect contact with someone with a an agenda different from the one I’m following, per client specs. What this means is that this person’s feedback on my work is often what some would perhaps consider unfair. Me? I couldn’t care less. I actually startled a bit when I realised I was neither angry nor hurt by this person’s — quite useful, by the way — comments in the margins. In fact, I was slightly amused. All those story and book rejections have healed me of my hypersensitivity.

Stay busy

I used to bask in the knowledge I had crafted out a place for myself in the world where I didn’t need to work for more than 5-6 hours a day. It was a nice place, an easy place, and a place that gave me the comfort I needed. Until that new job offer came and I realised I’d been slowly dying of boredom. Now that I’m busier I have more energy to spend on my personal undertakings, which include learning Danish and keeping a professional blog, on top of writing, which I’m not giving up whatever the universe is hinting at with all this work I’m getting. Do you hear me, universe? Good.

Laugh more

I know, trite and not always as easy as it sounds but do try. Sometimes it’s enough to get out of Twitter or Facebook or whatever social network you frequent or turn off the news. In fact, turning off the news is a must if you want to keep your sanity and not die prematurely. Then go read something funny (Right now I’m immensely enjoying the Dexter series of Jeff Lindsay) or watch something funny, or do something randomly idiotic. If you don’t take care of yourself who will?

To all and every one of you, have a great new year, eat well, read many books and don’t believe everything you hear on the news.

*Why? WHY? WHY the GRAPHICS?

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