Just pretend that today is yesterday and that I didn’t spend my entire day lounging, reading, and playing Bejeweled, instead of fulfilling my obligation to write a blog post every day in December. Now I get to write two to make up for yesterday. See what happens when you shirk responsibility? You end up working twice as hard.

Learn from my mistakes, people.

This year has been one of self-discovery for me. I learned that once you overcome one set of challenges, three more rise to take the place of the old ones. Once you overcome those ones, more challenges appear. Basically, life is similar to a video game, in the sense that every year you can look forward to fighting a new dragon, or general, or army, but with every foe you defeat, you get that much closer to the castle. Or the princess. Or the treasure. Or whatever lies at the end of your journey.

Sometimes our foes are internal. For example, I have to fight every day to keep myself from retreating to anxiously worrying about everything. I lived with anxiety for so long, that when I finally experienced peace, I didn’t know what to do with it. Now, I know not to take it for granted because I could be easily slipping back to worry, where, believe it or not, I am more comfortable.

External enemies are a lot easier to conquer because they only have as much power as you allow them to. When you’re on the defensive, it may look like they’re stronger, (and they might be), but you’re the one who has the final say about how they make you feel. The truth is people will try to break you down for a variety of reasons, don’t make their job easy by helping them do it.

I also learned that, in getting to know myself better, I am more able to accept faults in other people. It’s easy to put someone else down when you think you’re infallible, but as soon as you recognize your own vulnerabilities and failings, you can extend mercy to the people in your life, rather than passing judgment. This was a lesson I had to learn several times because I was so focused on achieving efficiency in all areas of my life I didn’t take the time to see that people are not problems that need to be solved. (They’re people, and they need the same things that you do.)

Taking ownership of my behaviour was part of this. There were times when other people were at fault, but I also had to take responsibility for the role I played, and examine whether there was something I could have done differently. (Hint: There always was.)

If every year of your life has an overall theme, the theme of my 2012 was “Grow-up”.

I learned that I could maintain my childlike wonder and accept my adult responsibilities. I can be serious and businesslike, and enthusiastic and open. I learned how to be kind to people I didn’t like without being insincere, and I learned that my past mistakes or successes do not define who I am. (And they never will)

Most of all, I learned how hazardous it is to try to avoid all the tough stuff. Not only does it catch up with you, but it takes you much longer to get to where you want to be. I didn’t know it was possible to have a good attitude when going through adversity until I had to do it. I thought that the saying, “Good things come to those who wait” was just a tired cliché, until it happened to me.

Life will always give us circumstances we don’t expect and don’t think we deserve. But the test isn’t necessarily in what happens to us. It’s in how we handle what happens to us. Complaining may seem like an acceptable alternative, (and no one knows how to whine like me, the Princess :cool:), but when you make it your goal to live the best life you can, without coveting anyone else’s life, without complaining about what you don’t have, you will end up much better than you can even imagine.

Listen, life sucks sometimes, but there’s potential for greatness in every day.

Believe me, I’m not one to brag, but I kind of know from experience .

“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while.” (1 Peter 1:6)

Be blessed everyone!

Erie 😀


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