I’m almost a month late with this. Oops! I’m just now accepting that it’s 2015. Our holiday decorations are finally stowed away (or shoved in the one closet I could find any room in) and I’ve stopped mistakenly writing 2014 on everything. For some reason, I was feeling especially reflective around New Year’s this time around. I’ve never been one for those make-or-break New Year’s resolutions, but I enjoy thinking about the past year and everything it taught me. So I’ve compiled some lessons — both practical and fun — that I learned or re-learned in 2014.
1. Going with the flow is always easier. I began looking for a new job in 2014. I wrote plenty of cover letters, revised my resume almost every night, went to dozens of interviews and had my one professional suit dry cleaned one too many times. That process — and working it into my schedule as a newspaper reporter — was tough. I worried about the future of my career nonstop, and it got to me. And Mike sure was sick of hearing about it. Of course, things worked out. I’m still in Buffalo and I’ve started at a new job that I love. I hope 2015 won’t bring those exact same challenges, but I’d like to relax a little more and not think about the future so much. It’ll come when it comes!
2. Crockpot liners are the most convenient invention ever. No explanation needed.
3. Think about your future self. I read a quote at some point in 2014 about always doing something in the present to help yourself in the future. It stuck with me, and I want to bring that mantra into 2015 since it’s applicable in so many areas of my life. Mike and I recommitted to eating healthy in December, and whenever I’m tempted to completely fall off the bandwagon, I remember that doing this now will keep on helping my “future self” — whether it’s about feeling at my best on my wedding day or 25 years down the road when I have a healthier heart and body. I think about it at work when I’m procrastinating on a specific project, or at night when I want to wait until the next day to do the dishes. Or on Sunday when I’m trying to convince myself that grocery shopping after work on Monday won’t stress me out (it does, every time).
4. You can’t make everyone happy all the time. I knew this one already, but it hit home in 2014. Sometimes, I just have to do what’s right for me, whether it’s about taking that new job, planning a wedding or voicing my opinion when it really matters.
5. Cat Fancy is the best magazine. I don’t care what anybody says, this thing is full of great stuff. We went to the vet in October and she told us that Latte has gingivitis. I, of course, the calm person that I am, immediately freaked out. I had already been brushing her teeth, but my attempts weren’t too successful. “What if her teeth fall out when she’s 3 years old and can’t eat?” I asked Mike. But then my first issue of Cat Fancy came along, and what does it feature? An article on the best ways to brush and care for your cat’s teeth, along with a fun story on cats who were undercover spies for the CIA. Are these writers reading my mind?
6. Allow yourself to be a beginner. I jumped into my new job hoping to knock it out of the park on my first day. And I think I’m doing well, but I’m still learning a whole new industry. I don’t know everything and I don’t come up with a spectacular new idea every single day, and I shouldn’t expect myself to yet. But every expert starts out as a beginner, right?