This is the third year I’ve written one of these retrospective learning entries. They’re a bit of a departure from my day-to-day creative musings, but I think they’re worthwhile. What’s another year if you haven’t learned from it?
Also, if you are offended by mild cursing (PG-13 style), this entry may not be for you. Consider yourself warned.
The photos for this entry are from my travels this year—namely Costa Rica and New York City.
Beware of being that person that insists they have a say in absolutely everything, especially if you don’t actually know everything about everything. People can tell when you’re handing them some ridiculous, superfluous revision or bit of busywork just to prove that your opinion exists.
My foot must taste awesome since I insist on sticking it in my mouth so often.
Do not take the long-term health of yourself or your loved ones for granted.
Be aware of what you’re offering people, be aware of what they want from you, and be aware if those things don’t match up.
Life can hand you a bucket full of shit that is just yours to deal with, and while the people you know and love will care and be as supportive as they can, they will never totally understand and you will still have to deal with that bucket of shit by yourself.
Be wary of becoming jaded and bitter. Just because your life hasn’t been perfect doesn’t mean you can lash out at others and be a jackass. It’s not becoming, and your life story is not the fault of the world.
Go to yoga.
Be nice to people.
Nobody likes an asshole, even if they’re a smart, clever asshole.
Share your passions.
Get your hands dirty.
Never underestimate the importance of timing, whether it’s meeting new people, going on a date, or starting a new project.
Travel the world, meet people, go places. We live on an amazing planet—experience it, and be open to those experiences.
Sometimes you have to do less in order to do more.
For people who whinge about the “friendzone”—it is better to pack away romantic feelings and gain a friend than pout like a toddler who hasn’t gotten exactly what they want. Also, the story of duly rewarded unrequited love is a rare one in reality, so avoid casting yourself in that tale.
Go out and learn from other people.
I can lose quite a lot of weight by simply not drinking beer regularly.
Remember that the stories you tell yourself to connect the dots of life may not be correct in any way, shape, or form, no matter how neatly that particular story connects those dots.
Not every problem has an entirely acceptable solution.
You should always have a bucket list.
For everything—”This, too, shall pass.”
So—what did you learn this year? Share in the comments!
Wonderful photos – and wonderful writings, too! You are soooo right…The list about the things I’ve learned during past year is far too long to write here, but i’m writing it in my head instead.
I love your blog! I look forward to it every week. I’ve learned that I can’t do everything and I can only do what I can do and that’s enough. Now I need to learn not to feel guilty about that.
Thanks, Karen! That is a great lesson and so, so true. More people need to learn that one 🙂
I appreciate the creativity and offcourse imagination
Thanks, Yash 🙂
#1) As I help my son and his bride to be plan their ceremony for Friday, I’m also writing my brother’s obituary. Life is not fair; you are so right about that. Life will find a way to dish up the joy while dishing out the sorrow. Having coping mechanisms to deal with the shit are a must.
#1B) Remember, people don’t live forever. Never let anger keep me from telling my loved ones that I do love them. End each conversation on a loving, positive note. Make the most of what time I have with the very people I love.
#2) WRITE IT DOWN. I will not remember the add-ins or changes or great test questions or computer manipulations (for my students) if I don’t write it down.
#3) Love doesn’t conquer all but it provides a cushion.
#4) Always find something to be greatful for every day, whether it’s a cat’s antics, a joke, a beautiful sunrise.
#5) Even when a batch of soap doesn’t turn out perfectly, there’s a learning opportunity there, rather than looking at it as a complete failure. We learn more from our mistakes than we do from our successes.
There’s many more I can add to what I’ve learned this past year alone. These are just a few of the most important ones.
Thank you so much for sharing, Cathryn. These are fantastic lessons—I especially love #3 🙂
I definitely learned the health thing. I have always been healthy. I got a cartlidge ear piercing and a month later ended up in the ER and then inpatient for 5 days with 8 rounds of IV antibiotics. I had an IV giving me antibiotics for 16 hours one day…. I always took my health (even though my weight isnt too great) for granted…my mindset changed. It was like the November 2013 I had knee surgery for torn carlidge they had to scrape out. God said here..deal with this health issue. I did and can do about everything with it. He must have said
“well that didnt work, lets try this” and then came the ear thing. That one did pound me down a bit and humbled me.
This is potentially one of the least fun lessons to learn, but the resulting appreciation and humbleness is invaluable.
“I’m bored’ is a useless thing to say. I mean, you live in a great, big, vast world that you’ve seen none percent of. Even the inside of your own mind is endless; it goes on forever, inwardly, do you understand? The fact that you’re alive is amazing, so you don’t get to say ‘I’m bored.”
– Louis CK
Love it! A nice list to remember when we start the new year. Thank you for your awesome website. It is obvious that you are doing what you love.
Thanks so much, Brigitte 🙂
This is just right on the money for me, too!! Thank you for sharing!! Your photos are lovely, too!
Thanks so much, Leslie 🙂
You are so right. That’s my own bucket of shit and I have to deal with it. Friends can help and sympathize, but they never own it the way I do. Have a wonderful 2015 and thanks for the lovely ideas and recipes.
Yay for us and our buckets of shit, eh? At least we can put them down every now and then with the company and support of those who love us 🙂
Wishing you a better 2015 and more pleasant lessons coming your way. Many of your lessons from this year have been mine during previous years. I can sympathize. 🙂
Thanks, Jennifer 🙂 It hasn’t been the happiest year at times, but oh well, I enjoyed it for the most part.
Loved your thoughts, especially about unrequited love and not becoming jaded and treating people as if all your “woes” must be nurtured by the world. Thanks for sharing not only your thoughts and musings on this last year, but also for having some fabulous recipes for us to use!
Thanks, Janice! Several of those were learned observing others who so obviously felt that way… I find those people do not last long in my life. Thanks for reading 🙂
I yelled YES YES to several of your lessons. Thanks for sharing.
🙂 Thanks, Lea!
Love it! Thanks again Marie. 🙂
Love it! I couldn’t agree more.
Loved reading this. I can honestly say you hit the nail on the head with 90% of the lessons you learned, I learned this year or u reminded me I may need to relearn a few. I have also learned this year:
Let it go!
You can lead a horse to water but you sure as hell can’t make him drink.
Sometimes working ourselves half to death isn’t smart. And convincing the other half of me (husband) of that fact isn’t easy.
Sometimes the f bomb is the ONLY appropriate word to use for the situation.
Yoga makes many a Bad day better.
I have to stop cause this could go on for awhile. Have a great new year. I really really enjoyed this post. U could do a half year one in June too. Hint.
Thanks so much, Jenny! I love your “f” bomb lesson, I feel like I learn that lesson every year, no matter how much my vocabulary grows 🙂
Such wise words for one so young! Thank you for all your sharing and best wishes for 2015.
Hi, could you please make a body lotion recipe which helps fade scars on your body,
Hi Sage—check out this oil 🙂 It’s quite potent for healing!
Quite a retrospective. I read your blog regularly, have tried (and loved) a number of your recipes. While I struggle through my life, it’s ups and downs, I think of you as such a confident, professional woman, someone who knows her mind and the direction of her life. We get a peek through the window to see what’s on the inside only if only to remind us not to be fooled by appearances and the grass isn’t always greener. I guess you have your struggles too. Keep up the good work, you are an inspiration!
Thanks so much, Linda. It’s funny to hear how I appear to you (and I presume other readers)—your assessment of my life is much more generous than I would say is accurate. It’s a good reminder for me as well—everybody has their “things” 🙂 Thanks so much for reading and supporting me through the year!
thanks for sharing and being in increadible inspiration in this year!
Marie, did you get my message (actually already 2 of them) – I was asking about the liquid soap troubleshooting.
Happy New Year!
Thanks, Veronika! And yes, I did—I’ll reply when I can. My email pile is quite tall, which is why I encourage leaving comments instead whenever appropriate 🙂 They are my top priority as they can be read by others.
lovely and beautiful. I absolutely adore your blog. You inspire me and hopefully I can get up the courage to experiment with your recipes you offer weekly. Looking forward to a wonderful year with Humblebee.
Thanks so much, MindyRose 🙂 I can’t wait to hear about what you create next year!
Brilliant! The passage beginning with “Be aware of what you are offering people . . . ” resonated with me. Thanks for the insight.
Thanks, Tom! I couldn’t quite figure out a way to word it, but I’ve been thinking about how what people take from you comes into that as well. You might be offering affection, but they might be taking/perceiving/interpreting something entirely different, maliciously or not.
I think it’s great when we can reflect on the past year no matter how good or bad it was and learn from it. Thank you also for tidbits of advice~ “Go to yoga” is one I have definitely been agreeing with as of late.
Hope you have a good New Year’s Eve and may the new year bring you much joy! Look forward to your new creations! Thanks for all the inspiration! Never knew how easy it could be (and of course, difficult at times lol) to make your own stuff to live healthier and more consciously. And for that, I thank you.
Thanks, Lex! I’ve been enjoying this annual exercise—I write this entry over the course of the entire year, and I really enjoy going over it come time for publishing.
Happy New Year and thanks for reading and DIYing with me!
Thanks for sharing, you are a wise person and becoming wiser and wiser each year, i hope i do to, keep up the great work, love your blog
This year I learned to put aside my writing to give myself a chance to grow in my new job, to allow myself time to get my health under control, and to grow as a person– and to indulge in aromatherapy. It’s made me want to write again (I write romance and mysteries), which is good, but I needed the off-time to really readjust my life and get things back into perspective as I was pushing so hard, nothing was fun anymore. I need fun and joy in my life– and I need to have the point in my life where I am having fun and learning. So, the past three months have been that– relearning things, having fun and creating things that turned out for me. Things I’m so proud of. I love writing, so I need to move forward in a way that makes me happier- so the past week of being sick helped me to think on how I want to do it and which way to take it.
I also learned I want positive experiences. I want to be that person that says, “I’ve done so many things I can’t remember them all, but if you break out a drink and some food, I’ll share a few.” I want to be able to encourage people to try new things– things that scare them– things they think impossible because it’s a dream– because dreams can come true if you take it one step at a time. I’m a published author because I took that first step and I made it a reality by realizing I didn’t have to do it the “usual” way.
I think that was the meaning of this year– finding out what truly makes me happy and what will make me happy and secure going forward and making it happen. I look at today and realize that I love to write, I love to read, and I love making the things I have been doing thanks to Marie. My day job is a way of affording all those things and it’s a great interesting job. I really do have a good life, I just need to find a balance to accomplish what I want. 😀
Thank you so much for sharing these fantastic lessons, Cyn. I’m with you on the positive experiences, and am trying to train myself to think of the experience of something rather than the cost, especially when it is a relatively small sum. Money is nothing when you’re dead!
I think Robert Burns hit the nail on the head when he wrote about some power giving him the gift to see himself as others see us . It would free us from many blunders and faux pas. I think you have that honesty to prevent the bucket of shit !! Wisdom from above for one so young. Keep up the good work and a happy New Year.
Thanks so much, George 🙂
Thank you Marie for all of your fabulous posts, they have inspired me to help all of my family with natural alternatives.
Things I learnt this year.
Be true to yourself even if that means dissappointing someone.
Tell the people you love you love them everyday, as it might just be the last time.
I have learnt how much I really took my Dad for granted thinking he would always be there, sadly Cancer took him from me.
I learnt who my true friends were, and the ones I least expected Stepped up.
Most importantly, I learnt to have faith in ME and not let the haters bring me down.
I also learnt that every experience good or bad brings a lesson to your table. Life is way too short, so live each day as if it is your last, take a risk now and then as you may just be rewarded with a greater outcome x
Thanks so much, Kim—these are wonderful lessons. You and I obviously approach experiences from the same place—as leaning experiences (especially the less than awesome ones).
Thanks for your blog. I truly enjoy reading it. What I learned…… LOTS!
There are truly great people out there and they are very nice and helpful and kind and whom I can learn lots from (you being one of them).
We can never say enough of – Please, Thank you, Sorry and I love you.
Stop fretting the little things. Move on…
Our children make us better people. I am constantly aware of what I say and do because I know my little girl is watching me..
Hoping everyone has a very peaceful, loved and energising year ahead..
Thank you, Reema—these are great lessons (and I’m flattered to be mentioned ;)).
I’m with you on the drinking less beer to lose weight. This is on my 2015 to do list as well as doing less to do more I enjoy.
🙂 We should all remember to prioritize the things we love!
No matter what I think I’m going to be working on, my writer’s brain may very well have completely other ideas. And it’s okay to go with that. Savor what I’m working on, no matter the project because it’s the doing and the being and the living those glorious creative moments that makes it all worthwhile!
Also, I learned how helpful it is emotionally to be aware of our own biology and how our bodies react to what we put into it and on it. And realizing that right now I’m upset and a mess because of hormones and fatigue and diet is okay and very well may greatly improve the mental focus of the situation and thus help to improve the way I feel.
It’s kind of like your “don’t take your health for granted” – It’s important to be aware of how our bodies work. It can clear up a whole lot of confusion that’s caused by plain simple ignorance.
An excellent point, I like it 🙂
This is so true—embrace inspiration when it hits!