What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?
What I learned this year is to have less expectations for what the future will be like, because life hands us lots of completely unpredictable things. All we can do is do the best with the situation presented to us. As the sign I have on the bookcase says “It is what it is.” If I can stay centered and focused during whatever “is”, it’s a lot easier than either fighting against it or shaking my fist at God the way the prophet Jeremiah did all the time.
Perhaps this is at least partially a function of age. Maybe everyone learns the equivalent of the AA serenity prayer as you get older. For years I loved the section of Jeremiah that said "If you have raced with people on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses?” (12:5) and used the racing and weariness as an occasion to keep going and pushing for more. Now my response is “Well, maybe I don’t need to compete against horses or perhaps even people on foot. Maybe all I need to do is stay centered and do what I can with what I have.” I don’t say this in a defeatist way. I still aim to accomplish a lot but I’m hoping through this learning not to waste a lot of anxiety and angst on things over which I really have no control