I know I’m late to the Reflect on 2017 Party but I’m a slow thinker, guys! It’s taken me a while to ruminate, cogitate and decipher what’s what from last year.
I read a wonderful post by one of favorite peeps, Emily P Freeman, about what worked and what didn’t in 2017. So much of her year resonated with mine I thought I’d share my own version, What I Learned and Laughed at in 2017 in the hopes it strikes an encouraging cord with you (and give you a giggle along the way).
What I Learned
- Chocolate doesn’t have magical powers: I know, I’m as shocked as you are. It’s been my go-to-stress-busting-hope-building-when-all-seems-lost friend for as long I can remember. I thought it was magical, but alas. I’ve realized eating a delicious bar of Belgian dark chocolate while angry or stressed was a waste of a high-end delicacy. It didn’t feel any better; just bloated and less likely to sleep.
- Winging it isn’t a valid plan: I’m sure you know by now I’m not the most organized gal on the planet and often let life take me along its merry way. I spent much of last year very busy but not getting too far in any one direction. Since then I’ve read Essentialism by Greg McKeowan which invites us into the disciplined pursuit of less. It’s changed the way I think, but not before we had a less than ideal eclipse experience. Here inCharlotte we experienced a 98% eclipse which I thought would be plenty. Getting a 98% on anything seems a pretty good deal to me, but with the once in a lifetime eclipse we shouldn’t have wung it (is that the past tense of wing it?). The slightly dimmed light of an eclipse just lacking totally was fun but not nearly as spectacular as being plunged into darkness in the middle of the day in 100% totality.
- Good things happen: When life’s been tough for a while we forget that good stuff still happens, even to us. Sometimes it’s small and in danger of being overlooked like the woman who offers to take your cart back to Target to save you a three-mile hike across a wet and windy car park. When it’s big we still might miss it – the rare family meal when no one argues, the job promotion, the slow steady healing of a broken heart.
- Bad things happen: Do I need to elaborate? Big or small stuff happens. I wish it didn’t, but it does. Whatever happens, God is good.
- There’s no rhyme or reason why: As I accelerate towards my half century I see there is no pattern or logic to some of what happens in life. Yes, there’s cause and effect but much of it seems random yet I still believe God has plans for us, uses all things for God and even ordains our steps. Holding all those in tension is taxing my limited grey matter.
- The oven is hot: Better late than never on this one.
- Hum to human contact makes us live longer: This TED talk by Susan Pinker blew me away while confirming what we all kind of know. Isolation is a health risk and face to face time with people is life-giving. So, I’ll be over in ten minutes for a cup of tea and a chat!
What I Laughed at
- Myself: The oven burn and my endless fascination with pouches confirms my suspicion I’m a hot mess, but I’m learning to laugh at myself, because as someone once said,
Blessed are we who laugh at ourselves for we shall never cease to be amused.
- The comedians Ben Bailey and Michael MacIntyre
- Chester and Charlie, our stupid Goldendoodles: They are ridiculous in their hilarity. They never cease to amaze me or make me laugh. They chase invisible squirrels, wait for hours for just one lick of peanut butter on a dog treat, and think they are the center of our universe. Let’s be clear – they are not!!
- God: Please don’t think I’m blaspheming here friends, I just think the way He loves us is so deeply profound and unwarranted it’s laughable. Am I worthy of His love? Nope. Do I need to earn it? Nope. Would He have died for me if I was the last person left alive on earth? Yes. Would I give one of my children to save someone who’s made a mess of life? Probably not. Did He? Yes. See what I mean? So profound when you take it all in a smile starts to creep over your face.
What did you learn and laugh at in 2017? What made you laugh, because you know what they say,
If we haven’t met, I’m Niki and I’d love to get to know you.
I believe life doesn’t have to be pain-free to be full and I write in this little corner of cyberspace to encourage and equip you to find more when life hands you less. If you want to join our little band of fullness finders as we try and live life to the full no matter comes our way, SIGN UP HERE or in the sidebar, and I’ll send you lots of goodies to help you do just that, including this beautiful printable.
With humor and grace as always,