I spent the afternoon thinking about what I’ve learned this year.

  1. Be sad – but not for too long. Sadness deserves its moment, but it shouldn’t get more than it deserves. Maybe a couple days. Maybe a week. Not any longer. Then find something else that lights the world up again.
  2. Be kind. It’s not usually readily apparent what’s happening in anyone else’s life. Be kind. Smile at someone on the street. Say hi to someone in the hallway. Start a conversation with a stranger.
  3. Sometimes happy is just about making myself smile when I don’t want to. It’s funny how eventually everything is okay again.
  4. Having a companion has saved my happiness on multiple occasions. In the past year, if I didn’t have my dog forcing me to get out of bed, I wouldn’t have. She saved my joy, if just by reminding me it’s not all about me all the time.
  5. It’s not all about me. Sometimes things don’t work out. It’s not always my fault, and I don’t always need to take the blame.
  6. Music heals, but it can also hurt. Find the kind that encourages smiles when it’s a rough day. Stick to the sad ones when it’s appropriate. Throwing a pity party is not an acceptable occasion.
  7. Be comfortable with loneliness. How we deal with it says a lot about who we are. No one enjoys loneliness. It’s not fun. But embrace it as an opportunity for introspection when it’s given.
  8. Just because they said it, doesn’t mean it’s true. People say a lot of things out of fear and for self-preservation. Know yourself and who you are – the rest of it doesn’t matter.
  9. Quit running away. Life is short. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it hurts like hell. But running away from it never solved anyone’s problems. Find the cause and fix it.
  10. A new haircut is therapeutic. It’s shedding baggage in the matter of a couple of hours.
  11.  Love comes in a lot of different shapes and sizes. Find it where you can, because everyone could use a little more in their lives.
  12. Be comfortable with heartbreak. Don’t go looking for it, but recognize it means something better is around the corner. There is always something better around the corner. Always.
  13. Cry hard. Be okay with that
  14. Remember we were created out of love, so that’s probably the best place to find more of it. God likes to listen to the bad things and the good things. He also always has a hug ready.
  15.  Go outside. Run, walk, drive. Enjoy the sun. Stare at the clouds. Appreciate the majesty and power we see on a daily basis. It makes everything else seem insignificant.
  16. If it feels right, go with it. Never regret something that was gut-wrenchingly obviously the right answer at one point. I’ve probably ruined a lot of relationships because I was too distant. Probably a few more because I was too needy. But I’m all of those things at various points in time, so why would I want someone in my life who can’t accept the bad parts, too?
  17. If it doesn’t feel right it doesn’t feel right – don’t confuse fear with incompatibility, though. Good things are scary because there’s always a possibility they won’t be that good ever again, or the good will abruptly end for one reason or another. It’s easy to dismiss fear as something or someone not being the right fit because it feels a lot like uncertainty. Don’t do that.
  18. Laugh as often as possible, as loudly as possible. Even the ugly laughs. Embrace them. Take a mental recording. Keep those moments with you, alway.
  19. Anger takes too much energy. Let it go.
  20. I can’t make other people’s decisions for them, and I certainly can’t change their mind. It’s hard to accept.
  21. Understand that sometimes things don’t make sense. And that is exactly why they are beautiful. Sometimes that’s why they’re hard to accept, too. There’s beauty in the chaos if you look for it, though.
  22. Never let a good friend go – realize they aren’t all good, either. I have good friends I see once a year. Even more I see less often than that. But they are all keepers of little pieces of my soul, of my happiness. Not everyone is going to fit in that category, nor should they.
  23. Love makes the world go round. Spread it around as much as possible.

Life is hard and so is love child, believe in all these things.

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