Sunday, December 7, 2008

Lessons learned...

In addition to the holidays, December,  for me, also brings a lot of self-reflection.  Here's 10 things I've learned (sometimes for the second or third time) this year.

1. I'm not perfect, and I never will be. No matter how hard I try! :)

2. Coffee really does get you through a bad finals week. (I never drank coffee in undergrad, so this is a new thing for me!)

3. Dreams come true, but not without some hard work and/or sacrifice. Thanks to Dave Ramsey, a lot of discipline, and Pampered Chef, I had enough money to buy my first house.

4. Even then, though, it still takes a certain amount of divine interference to make the dream a reality. I would not have looked at the house I now own had I not been delivering a Pampered Chef item at random and knocked on my future realtor's door.

5. My life is nothing like I imagined it to be, but I'm happy all the same. In high school and college, I had no intention of teaching, I thought I'd get married straight out of college, and I was terrified of being by myself for any length of time. So, now I'm in my late twenties, in my fifth year of teaching, and my second year of living by myself. My, how things change! :)

6. What's best for your career isn't neccessarily what's best for your career right now. In my area of teaching, a Masters' is pretty much expected, and fifteen post-graduate hours are required. The struggle for me came that while trying to keep up with my masters' classses, my teaching fell apart. I simply didn't have time to excel at both. Some weeks my schooling got the gip, some weeks it was my kids'. I wish it wasn't that way, but I've yet to find a balance.  

7. I don't deserve my family. Seriously, they are amazing. They come through for me when I know I'm asking too much from them. They help me again and again.  

8. The older you get, the more you treasure your friends that knew you "when".  I've gotten back in touch with a lot of great friends from college and high school.  It's just been a huge blessing, because although I love my newer friends dearly, they didn't walk beside me through those years in the past.  

9. It's never too late to repair a lost relationship.  My family had some drama with some members of my extended family about ten years ago that severely affected our relationship with them.  Time has healed a lot of wounds on both sides, but this year we really put everything aside and spent some time repairing the relationship.  What a blessing it has been.

10. There's more to finding someone to be with than just a list. (Definitely a lesson I keep relearning!)  I've had an internal list of qualities I'm looking for in a guy for years.  Most girls have one.  (The short list is Christian, tall, good sense of humor, family focused, dependable.)  I've met quite a few guys this year that on paper meet every criteria plus some.  But, it still didn't work out.  Whether it's chemistry or compatibility or another C word, we just didn't have it. 

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