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A wise man once said, "The only thing more painful than learning from experience is *not* learning from experience."

  Top Takeaways  

In recent annual reviews, I cited each of these points as the year's key lesson.

» "So many times we pray for a change in situation, but God is using the situation to change us! It's a hard lesson...but it's worth fighting for--to let God mold you into the person He made you to be. Sometimes it's the adversity that brings out the best in us."

» When you find yourself mentally and emotionally in the strangest place ever, you can mope about how you "don't even recognize" your life, or you can learn to be thankful to God for the clean slate, a desperately-needed "reset."

» "Just because you feel it doesn't make it real. Feelings aren't a satellite dish receiving signals of eternal truth. Feelings come from beliefs. Change the beliefs and the feelings change." Eric Barker, observer dot com (This is a lesson I heard and believe… but I hope I've truly learned it.)

» "The comparison game is a losing proposition. God has something for you, but you're never going to find it in someone else's backyard." (heard on the Carlos and Joy radio program, WAY-FM) It's becoming clear to me that I also won't find it in my fantasies, or in the way I think things should be.

» The saying goes that "if you hold a flower in your hand and really look at it, for that moment it is your world." Well, I don't want my focus - my world - to be my problems.

» I don't have to keep a lot of material things in order to hold on to the memories.

» Whatever problems you're facing, a negative, fast-forwarding-to-the-bitter-end attitude only makes it worse. Try to find some perspective.

» Life doesn't have to be absolutely perfect to be pretty dang good!

» You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.

» I've been surprised several times this year after being "so sure" I knew how things were going to work out. I guess that's the lesson: don't get too comfortable but don't give up because you really don't know what will happen next.

» The more I learn about other people, the more I see that they're just like me.

» Sometimes you get what you want only to discover that it isn't what you were expecting.

» Instead of griping about a problem, realize that "it is what it is", and try to deal with it the best you can.

  What I'm Learning Is...  

Let the record show -- via these blog posts -- that the lessons in the previous section were not the *only* thing I learned (all year)!

chin up, soldier on    I was waiting on a grandmother, her daughter, and the daughter's toddler son. They ordered macaroni and cheese for the son; I told them that we only had mac and cheese on Wednesday. Upon hearing that, both the mother and grandmother put their elbows on the table and put their forehead on their hand. (Talk about drama queens! It's not as if I said we were out of chocolate.) They took the menu and very solemnly asked the little boy what he wanted. Without the fuss the ladies were apparently expecting, he chose something else.
 Lesson Learned: sometimes you have to pick another vegetable.   #ReadTheFullPost

fact versus opinion    It seems I've reached "that age" where I question choices I've made and look critically at where I am in many areas of my life.
 Wait, that sounds a lot like my previous ages, too. Anyway!
 To fight against these negative tendencies, I read articles about cultivating a positive attitude, and one tip recently stood out to me as particularly helpful: separate fact from opinion. They gave an example of not separating the two: "Of course I didn't get the job. I acted so dumb in the interview!" That fact is that I didn't get the job. The other is opinion, nothing more than me making assumptions.
 Hearing it explained that way, I realized that confusing fact with opinion is something that often stresses me out, particularly when I consider one of my minor health issues; I start to focus on a recurring ache, and in my mind the situation quickly escalates until I'm near tears having fast-forwarded to a bitter end. When this thought pattern tries to replay (yet again) in my head, I need to go back to the facts. "Fact: I had that checked out with the doctor two months ago. Fact: he saw nothing out of the ordinary. Fact: right now, it's not that bad. Fact: I can keep watch and seek assistance if it shows signs of worsening."
 Lesson to be Learned: Separate fact from opinion. And from feelings. And from worst case scenarios. #ReadTheFullPost

scrub the sarcasm    When you're talking with someone and they suddenly lob a sarcastic comment, how do you respond? Do you consider their point and say a sincere, "Thank you for that insight! I can tell that you've given this matter a lot of thought, and I appreciate you enlightening me"?
 Yeah, neither do I. Typically, I write the person off as a jerk and instantly lose the desire to continue communicating with him or her.
 Years ago, I read an article about the dos and don'ts of email, and it suggested, "Avoid sarcasm. You'll think you're being clever, but your reader will be put off." I'd say that's a good assessment of it. Certainly, I feel oh-so-clever when I think of a sarcastic barb that I could launch. But more and more I consider how "put off" I am by others' sarcasm, and I opt not to go that route. #ReadTheFullPost

criticism: don't "just ignore it"?    "Everyone has something to learn from their supporters AND their detractors." While we might prefer to hear only good things, how would we ever improve if people only praised us?

Regardless of the source and their possible motive: is there a kernel of truth to the criticism?
#ReadTheFullPost #SeeMoreLikeThis

you know what I think I'm sayin'??    My oft-frustrated OfficeMate was getting frustrated yet again. This time, it was about having to type up a long list of questions to answer about his current project. I suggested that he ask the secretary or the file clerk if they had time to help him with the typing. He immediately dismissed that, saying that he lacked the authority to give them work to do. I replied, "What have you got to lose by asking? If they have time, I'm sure they would be happy to help."
 As luck would have it, minutes later the file clerk arrived at our door to talk about the upcoming company picnic. OfficeMate said, in his typical joking way, "Anne says you need to help me with this stuff." He continued to skirt the real issue by rambling about how he has to answer all these questions about a job. The clerk must've thought he was either just griping or talking nonsense (as he very often did). The subject changes back to the picnic, and she leaves.
 He then grumbles to me, "What did I tell you? THAT went over well." I'm sure he thought his intention was very clear… but obviously it wasn't. He kidded around, dropped hints, and made obscure references to me telling him what to do, but he never simply asked her to help.
 I try to keep this instance in mind as an example of how important it is for me to be clear when I'm trying to communicate with someone. I don't want be like OfficeMate was in this situation, and end up peeved with someone for, essentially, not reading my mind. #ReadTheFullPost


» The memories above are snippets from my story, which continues in the blog tag designated #work.

» This page was created years ago, when we liked and shared by posting content of interest on our websites.

» Acknowledgements: The work of H. Jackson Brown, Jr. was included in the previous version of this page, archived here. Sources for the other tips are unknown, since the material was mostly received via email during my early days on the Internet. Please let me know if your original text was used, so that I can credit you here. No copyright infringement of any kind is intended.

» For living and learning, see also: eclectic · #FYI · #LoveLessons · RainShine · #reviews · waitress flashbacks

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