What I Learned This Year…

Me and Sunset over Seven Mile

By Dawn Onley

Each year, I try to assess how far I’ve come on this journey called life. I brood on the insights that I’ve gleaned over the previous 365 days and then usually arrive at an assessment on or near my birthday. This year is no different.

These discoveries might not be earth shattering to most, but they were revelations (or reminders) to me. I’ve implemented some of these. Others I’m still figuring out.

But the process of mulling and moving, I’ve begun. That’s the important thing. I’m working on me. I’m evolving.

Below are some of the lessons that I’ve learned in my 45 years. Tomorrow begins a new year for me. A new cycle. A new journey. Here’s to many, many more.

  • I’ve learned that it serves no real benefit to overtax myself by lining up dozens of things to do each day. It’s best to focus on one or two things at a time and to add on things only after I’ve finished what I’ve started.
  • I’ve learned that everyone I love is getting older, including myself. I’ve learned to take time out to be present with my loved ones today because tomorrow isn’t promised.
  • I’ve learned that my default mechanism is to leave/checkout when people get on my last nerve. I’ve learned that sometimes this is the wrong approach.
  • I’ve learned that these pages won’t write themselves.
  • I’ve learned that relationships are hard work and that it won’t always feel worth it.
  • I’ve learned that my toddler son may get another older sibling one day, but he won’t get a younger one.
  • I’ve learned that winter can be hot and summer can be cold inside the body of a middle-aged woman.
  • I’ve learned that people don’t tend to change.
  • I’ve learned that my “no” is as strong as anyone else’s.
  • I’ve learned just how much I loved my Uncle Reggie and Uncle Darryl and how much I miss them.
  • I’ve learned that vertical stripes make a room’s ceilings seem taller and horizontal stripes make a room feel wider.
  • I’ve learned that I’m pretty darn awesome.
  • I’ve learned to embrace my tears and my feelings, for a Piscean will surely have both.
  • I’ve learned that the glass is overflowing with water and that I am thirsty.
  • I’ve learned that regret and shame are related.
  • I’ve learned that love and forgiveness are too.
  • I’ve learned that I may hold myself back, but no one else can.
  • I’ve learned to embrace formulas, which can be a creative person’s nemesis, but it can also be a smart way to move from Point A to Point B.
  • I’ve learned to eat more greens.
  • I’ve learned to trust myself more.
  • I’ve learned that there are people who are willing to help if I am willing to ask.
  • I’ve learned that aiming for perfection only causes stress. Good is good enough.
  • I’ve learned that God sees our wants and our needs and he places people in our lives to meet both. My husband was one of those people.
  • I’ve learned how valuable it was to grow up with the wisdom of both grandmothers and how truly blessed I am.
  • I’ve learned that I’m a soldier, life is a battlefield, and I was built to win.
  • I’ve learned that just as one needs a map or a GPS for directions to an unfamiliar location, we need a plan to help guide us through life’s uncertainties and to keep us headed toward success.
  • I’ve learned that it’s best to speak my truth.
  • I’ve learned that I earned the right to be here, in this place.
  • I’ve learned that dreams really do come true and that nothing’s unrealistic.
  • I’ve learned that now is the best time to start.
  • I’ve learned. I’m ready.
Fly Birdies

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Shel says:

    Happy Birthday Dawn, thank you for your insightsupport & inspirations. Have a blessed day, year & life!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cathy Cornelius says:

    Saying “thanks” for such an awesome and enlightened message seems so minimal. ..but its all I have at the moment. Thank you.

    This message is a saving grace for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. womenwhohope says:

      Thanks for sharing such beautiful words, Cathy.


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