The holidays certainly did blaze by! I hope that you were among the fortunate who got the chance to spend time with family and friends. What’s wonderful is that, in the moments leading up to and immediately following January 1, 2012, I read declarations of hopefulness, thankfulness and  general positivity in everyone’s (ok most people’s) public forums (Facebook, Twitter, Blog’s etc.). As we all know, it’s quite easy to be optimistic at the beginning, it’s another thing to sustain. I hope that everyone is able to maintain the same sense of purpose, drive and hope that they’ve displayed in the last 48 hours!

Every year brings a new set of resolutions. Actually, as I stated in an older post, “Coffin, Carriage or Both?”, some tend to rollover! Nonetheless, determining this year’s resolutions forced me to review last year’s lessons. For some reason, I had the urge to write a post on things I would tell my daughter, AKA: Things I wish I’d known. I wrote the entire post but have yet to share because, shortly after completing it, I realized that there are about 100 things that I would have told myself at the beginning of 2011! So, in lieu of sharing things that I’ve learned over the last 25 years of life, I’ll simply share the most recent. I kid you not, each of these things informed my resolutions for 2012. So now, in no particular order:

1. Don’t take anything personally (well, take some things personally…)

I’ve  learned that people are extremely sensitive to other’s actions to them. But sometimes we fail to realize that people’s actions, comments, choices etc., have little or nothing to do with us. It’s easy to believe that we are the center of the world and blah, blah, blah. However, there are a million factors informing everyone’s life and we may never know what they are. Taking offense to said actions gives way too much credit to your role in any situation. With that said, I’ve met some people who take absolutely nothing personally, and that can’t be too productive either. Because if you accept no responsibility for outcomes, then how can you grow?

2. Everyone has something going on.

What’s that saying, something like, if everyone threw their problems in a hat and you had to pick one, you’d gladly ask for your problems back? Well, everyone has issues. And, given that there are tons of reasons why you couldn’t return that phone call, send that holiday card or attend that friend’s event, people really appreciate when you follow through. On the other side of that, it’s important to be sensitive to the fact that people have some heavy things going on. And, no matter what you’re going through, it’s always a cycle. So even if you feel as though you’re alone in your troubles, it’s a fact that things will get better if you keep making positive choices. As someone close to me always says, “when you’re going through hell keep going,” ~Les Brown.

3. Keep it simple.

There have been  more than a couple of times this year when I’ve stressed out. And, what I realized soon after the stress subsided was that I’d made things way more difficult than they needed to be. This may sound totally crazy, but I’ve found that at the beginning of a huge undertaking, be it physical, emotional, intellectual or other, it’s easier if I take a few deep breaths and remember my core task. Keeping it simple helps me from getting lost in the details.

4. Remember why you started.

If I remember why I’ve started a task, then I can always finish. (That is, as long as I had a good reason for starting…)

5. Family is first.

Family has never been more important to me than in these last two years. It’s funny, as a kid you see missed calls from your mom or grandmother or brother or whomever and think, “I’ll call them back,” or, “I’ll listen to the message later.” Now, if I see a call from family, I answer. And, if I’ve missed a call, I call back as soon as I see it. I feel a renewed sense of responsibility towards each and every family member, and to those close friends whom I consider family.

6. Attitude is everything.

I’ve always thought of one’s attitude to be very important, but I’m not sure I considered how I was affected by the attitudes of those close to me. Well, I am. And, as such I’ve gotten rid of a lot of people who bring negative or counterproductive energy into my life. So if you spend most of your time complaining about trivial things, or meditating on why things aren’t possible, then we just won’t be spending time together. Sorry, although I’m sure those people don’t mind!

7. Take chances.

You may think, “easy for her to say, she doesn’t have real responsibilities (i.e.: children, a spouse, or a home).” But, I think that taking a chance means something different for everyone. So, taking a chance for me may mean taking a low paying job because it’s work that I love. On the other hand, taking a chance for someone who has real responsibilities may mean investing a sliver of free time in something they love. We are often blinded by the need to make money. In some cases, we equate monetary returns with validation. As if to say, if we don’t earn cash for completing something, it has no merit. Well, completing something you love has merit in itself, for you. And who knows, if you love  something enough, you may even eventually earn some cash to doing it.

My list of resolutions is pretty short this year. It’s filled with tasks to help me achieve personal goals in 2012, so I’ll keep it to myself.

I hope that everyone enjoyed the holiday! I’m going to work on keeping up my enthusiasm for 2012 over the next 364 days.

~Thankful for another year

P.S.: If you need a laugh to start your day, Lexington man charged with making a fake $1 million bill and trying to spend it

What Are You Thankful For?

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