With a bare handful of days left in 2016, it’s time for my annual “Things I Learned” post. I love this little tradition; I’ll usually start this entry mid-January of the year, and constantly come back to it throughout the year to read through it, add a new paragraph, revise, and reflect. I don’t talk about myself a whole lot on this blog, so it’s nice to have one entry a year that’s dedicated to a bit of introspection. This year has been a doozy—twelve months packed with change, growth, learning, and some pretty serious rug-out-from-under-my-feet moments. I made new friends and lost some, started some new relationships, and walked away from others. I woke up in the middle of the night panicking about lipstick and eye primer, traveled Europe for a month, and made a lot of things. It’s been great, with a bit of awful, and a lot of everything in between. It’s been 2016. Let’s dive in:
People have different expectations of levels of emotional investment in relationships, and those differences can cause conflict. When one person has higher expectations than the other, that person is constantly disappointed, while the other feels put-upon by seemingly far-to-high expectations and constantly feels like they’re letting their friend down. Realize when you’re in a situation where somebody expects more that you can give, or where you’re expecting more than somebody else can give, and talk about it. You might come to realize that those relationships are fundamentally incompatible.
Happiness really has to come from within. People can tell when you aren’t happy and are looking to use them to validate your existence, and it’ll drive them away.
You won’t be able to meet everybody’s expectations of you, even if those expectations are as benign as seeing you more often than you can or want to. That’s ok.
Some people really do set themselves up to be hurt—these are usually the same people who will tell you that everybody always lets them down. Perhaps their expectations are too high. Perhaps they take everything personally. Perhaps they’re too clingy or needy and tend to drive people away. If they’re the one that’s always hurt, though, chances are you aren’t the problem.
Yes, there are different love languages, but sometimes somebody just doesn’t love you, and never will. Don’t tell yourself they just love you differently than you do if deep down, you know they don’t love you at all.
I am, at best, an ambivert; I wobble between slightly extroverted and slightly introverted depending on my mood, circumstances, and present company. I’ve found there are people who are extremely extroverted and derive not only their energy, but their self worth, from interactions with others. These people invariably exhaust me to the point of resentment.
Women are taught not to bring up things that make them uncomfortable lest they make somebody else uncomfortable, and I think that’s silly. Sure, there’s a time to be polite, but there are also plenty of times when it’s more than appropriate to speak up and say you aren’t ok with something. Do it.
Do the things you love.
Go to yoga. Especially when you think you don’t have the time or energy.
Meet new people. Talk to people. Take risks. Go to things alone. Go places alone. Embrace this awesome world of ours and the people in it.
It’s all well and good to be open with people about your struggles, but you have to realize that such a level of openness will drive some people away—especially new acquaintances. I’m not really sure what my takeaway on this is… just that if you’re always talking about how miserable your life is, it’s hard to make friends. Many perfectly lovely people will not want to invite your seemingly constant steam of misery into their life, even if you are an otherwise wonderful person. I’m not sure what to advise if your life really is truly miserable and is made more miserable because you cannot make friends because you are open about your misery because it’s a big part of your life… this is just something I’ve noticed. A rather cruel catch-22.
Some people should not be notified when you are newly single. Or ever single.
Be the kind of person other people don’t have to take care of. If you go to a party, don’t follow the one person you know around all night; try to make new friends. Out at the bar? Don’t get so drunk that your friends have to babysit you and take you home early. Traveling? Don’t be that person that can’t be left alone due to your history of poor judgment calls. Most people don’t want to parent their friends; don’t make them. (Obviously this is only a problem if it happens all the time, and if you’re abusing the goodwill of others in order to be irresponsible; everybody makes mistakes/drinks too much/gets lost every now and then, and it’s obviously totally ok to rely on your friends to have your back!).
There are good bobby pins and bad bobby pins. Buy good bobby pins! I discovered this earlier this year and was downright shocked—good bobby pins (I got these awesome MetaGrip ones) do the things that bobby pins in hair tutorials do! They actually grip my hair and stay put, doing things I previously thought were bobby pin voodoo. Seriously. Upgrade your bobby pin game if you haven’t already, it’s a game changer (and not any more expensive!).
When somebody seems like they want to be your friend, assume they do and turn them into a friend! I’ve noticed I have a tendency to assume people who express an interest in befriending me are just being polite, which probably makes me seem like an aloof jerk. Oops.
The ability to motivate and inspire people is not infinitely transferable. I learned this from observing a former boss, who was really good at motivating and inspiring people in tight, high-tension, short-term situations, but could not carry that over to long term projects, and didn’t even seem to notice that the two situations weren’t analogous. They’d give great motivational speeches about teamwork under pressure and then vanish, seemingly oblivious that metaphors about life and death situations aren’t terribly relevant to a 9–5 day job. There’s a difference between making sure a team mate doesn’t die on Mt. Everest and correcting a typo on an advert.
A friend of mine accused me of only befriending people who are “broken”. Aside from that being a bit of a dig on her (since she’s my friend and all), it got me to thinking—we’re all a bit broken, but most of us hide it from the wider world. Maybe, if all your friends seem a bit broken or messed up, that’s just because you’re an awesome friend and they trust you enough to share their crazy.
Everybody is the hero of their own story, and will perform amazing feats of mental gymnastics to maintain that perception.
Sometimes friendships don’t work out. Open, clear communication can’t solve everything if you are both looking for fundamentally different things from the other person.
If you have a good friend that you can’t honestly talk to when they upset you, they aren’t that good of a friend. Either you care too much about upsetting them, or you don’t think they’d care that they upset you. Or neither of you care much at all. Either way—that’s not a good friendship.
Don’t set yourself on fire to keep other people warm, but don’t let other people set themselves on fire for you, either.
Sometimes you have to walk away from relationships, romantic or platonic. If you find you’re expending a huge amount of mental energy into a relationship—constantly feeling like you’re walking on eggshells and getting nothing/very little back—it’s time to let it go. This is especially true of newer relationships; things shouldn’t be that much work when you’ve got almost no history together!
Nobody wants to listen to your self-deprecating rants. I’m not talking about discussing doubts, concerns, and insecurities with close friends and family members. I’m moreso talking about 20+ minute monologues about how you’re a terrible person and everybody who ever loved you was wrong. Many people will listen because they are being polite, but be aware that you are making them profoundly uncomfortable and driving them away.
You know the “I don’t like you that way, so can we just be friends?” chat? Yeah. That one. It’s awful. If you find yourself on the receiving end of one, the tendency seems to be to say “sure, of course, I would much rather have you in my life as a friend than not at all”. And that is lovely—unless you can’t do it. There’s nothing wrong with knowing you aren’t going to be able to be “just friends” with somebody, so do both of you a favour and let them know that no, you can’t be “just friends”, and it’s been nice knowing them, but you’re going to move on now rather than pine over them for months (or years) before your “friendship” implodes.
The more I know, the more I don’t.
With every big project you’ll always wish you did something differently. It might take a month, it might take a week, it might take years… but it will happen.
It is possible to live in the moment too much. I have a great friend who is an absolute champion of living in the moment; when I’m with them, they are 100% focused on me and what we’re doing, and I feel so special to have such a devoted and interested friend… but that focus is only there when I am. When we’re not together and sharing the present moment, I seemingly cease to exist. This friend is incredibly hard to plan with because plans aren’t in the present moment. Plans are in the future, and the future doesn’t really seem to rate as an important thing to sort out.
Add diastic malt powder to all your bread recipes, and let the dough age for a few days before baking. It’s magic.
Kombucha SCOBYs are surprisingly difficult to give away.
That Princess Diana Beanie Baby Bear will never pay for a down payment on a house, despite my Grandmother’s hopes when she gifted it to me nearly 20 years ago.
Life isn’t fair. Having one (or ten) crappy things happen to you does not inoculate you (or the ones you love) from further crappy things.
Well, those are my reflections. What did you learn this year?
Congrats on a big year for you- sounds like a lot of growth of happened, which is always a fantastic thing in my book- as long as we choose to learn from what happens to/with us. Glad to see you learned so many valuable lessons! (I hope realizing you can do anything, like write and publish a book was up there on your list of highlights for 2016!!! I can honestly say I’ve been waiting five years for that to happen! I love your website.
This was a wonderful post full of many truths that we all have to learn at some point- glad to see you can look back at the lessons and be a stronger person!!
I wish you lots of success in 2017 (and beyond)- your site has been a part of my life for over 5 years now. Thank you for allowing me to grow and learn with you!
All the best!
Thanks so much, Vanessa 🙂 I really appreciate your support over the years!
Thanks to your wonderful website, I learned a lot this year.
My first DIY endeavor was to make lotion bars. I am a nurse and my hands would crack and bleed from the cold weather and constant hand washing. I spent ungodly amounts of money on lotion and creams and nothing helped. I found pinterest and a simple lotion bar recipe. My love of oils, butters, and essential oils began! That was in February.
I learned how to make soap and my new best friend is Soap Calc. I haven’t made a single soap recipe as written, but use those recipes as inspiration or a starting point for my own creations.
I learned about oils, oil cleansing, and taking better care of myself. I did not know that essential oils actually have real health benefits. And, I learned that I love researching and studying different oils and their many uses.
I learned how to make a face oil with essential oils and various carrier oils that my friends and family are more than willing to buy. And, my silly little concoction works better than anything I have ever spent way too much money on.
I learned that I really need a basement kitchen in my next house. I hate dragging all of my goodies out of the spare bedroom when it’s time to make my little potions and concoctions. And, I hate having company over. I can’t get to my stuff when they are in my “storage” room. Lol!
Marie, I am sorry you had some personal difficulties in 2016. But, we must count our blessings, and you have been blessed in 2016. A new book, a month in Europe, a photo shoot in NY, and a huge following on your Humblebee & Me site. You are inspiring so many people, myself included. I hope 2017 will bring you nothing but growth, happiness, and success.
And, I hate having company over. I can’t get to my stuff when they are in my “storage” room. Lol!”
THAT made me laugh! 🙂
So funny you mentioned needing a basement kitchen! I’m using three IKEA rolling carts right now that I park in our only bathroom. We are putting a little “Apothecary” of sorts in our basement next year. Happy concocting!
I loved reading your beautifully written introspection. What I learnt in 2017 (yes, learnt not learned) – the year in which I achieved my doctorate (PhD) in human geography at the age of 61 – is that from now on, as you suggest, I am simply going to do the things I love. Enjoy your youth!
Congratulations on your PhD, and thank you so much for reading and chiming in 🙂
Crystal—I’m so glad I’ve been able to help your hands heal! I remember the plague of incredibly dry hands from when I was a kid who never used lotions and whose hands were constantly cracked and bleeding. It is the absolute pits!
And honestly, this year was a good one! I think reading all these lessons in a row might be a bad representation of it, but spread out over a year it really wasn’t that much discomfort or difficuly! I’m certainly not dismissing my blessings or anything, they just don’t tend to be great life lessons. Things like “the pizza is better in Italy” haven’t impacted my life and outlook in the same ways as the harder learned lessons 🙂
That was painful, Canadian Girl. Because I know you were on one side or the other of every paragraph and times of deep introspection can often reveal things about ourselves that we really never, ever, ever want to admit to ourselves.
And that I’m sitting here this morning reading this kinda heartbreaking post, after last night while saying my prayers, I finally was able to say -I am over my broken friendship at last- kinda blows the mind.
Every now and then a person gets lucky enough to have one of those sacred friendships. Those one in a billion friendships. Those no one in the world (or room sadly) exists when you two are together friendships. You’d walk over hot coals…Blah blah. Well friendships do happen and some are better than others but none are sacred. Only one relationship is sacred and it is with Jesus Christ and don’t Me ever forget it.
I care about truth and lies. But I will never let a lie or series of lies by another human rob me of nine months of my life with tears or declaring that I don’t ever want to put myself through another friendship as long as I live. That’s bad.
So it was one of those broken years for me too, our beautiful Marie, aka authoress.
I learned this year to trust that much more in God and to be patient because He has a plan and there are reasons he puts people in your life and then rips them away. And I mean rip. Always for our own good. I’ve been told a few times at least that I’m a nicer/better person now. Maybe not all friendships are good for us.
Cristie won’t give up on friends but she won’t put her entire soul into them either. No one can be everything to you. Except my husband. And sons. I break the putting my eggs in one basket rule I made, with them. They won’t mess us up cause they won’t get dinner if they do.
Good things ahead for you this year, Marie. Sorry for your pains but the herds gotta get culled to move forward. (Uh oh. That sounded harsh. Guess I still have issues!)
I am starting to think that stacking these all up may be giving a poor representation of my year! Spaced out over 12 months, all of these lessons were hardly a tsunami of pain or anything haha.
I am sorry to hear about your loss, but glad you hear you have come to peace. Loss and betrayal are always awful, but I do think they have the capacity to make use better people if only we take the time to reflect and learn.
And a big thank you for all your support and kind words throughout the year—they do not go unnoticed or unappreciated!
Marie, I keep thinking about your post… I was expecting you to feel over-excited about publishing your first book, starting to make videos – fully awesome stuff… but your post is rather reflective… It is very true that no matter how much life throws at you, you can take it as a learning opportunity and grow stronger. However, that last comment you made, the last two words… they are not referring to you, are they? I am rather worried…
me too, didn’t want to pry. I agree, Cancer does suck and if you or someone you care about is facing it, you aren’t alone.
Thank you 🙂 Not me, but someone close to me.
It’s funny—I sort of thought I’d be more excited, too, but life has a way of absorbing the good and bad and evening it all out—at least mine seems to. The last point is not me, but someone close to me, sadly. Fingers crossed it all turns out ok :/
Thank you for your answer, Marie. So sad when people we love are suffering. But, yes, as long as we keep the trust high, things will be OK.
I just prepared the oil & lye mixtures for making a batch of beer soap tomorrow morning. So useful to know that I should be prepared for things to go rather fast at trace! Thank you for all the wonders I keep learning from you. Much love to you, and your dear ones.
Yeah, I can’t say I’m enjoying it, but it is hardly my place to complain!
Happy soaping! Beer soap is such a fun one 😀
“Some people should not be notified when you are newly single. Or ever single.”
This made me laugh. Those same people tend to refuse to listen when you tell them that you aren’t single. Or interested.
It sounds like you’ve had an incredibly tough emotional year with a whole heap of learning. That last part is great. I’ve had years like that that were a total waste because I learned nothing or at least nothing that stuck.
My year…I added some new things to my allergic/sensitive list. Lanolin, was one, which I don’t consider a big loss because unrefined, that stuff stinks.
Relationships…I’ve finally learned that my mom is never going to get me. Next year, I need to work on stopping myself from trying to explain in hope that she will. Who needs to be banging their head against a wall over and over? The only one that loses here is me. And my head.
I’ve also learned that I was right. Long distance relationships require skills that I do not have. Things like patience and the living in the moment that you mentioned are not my forte. I knew this going into it almost two years ago and all I can say is that being right about something doesn’t come without pain. However, I am slowly and painfully learning a ton of things that, I hope, will lead to us having a stronger relationship when we close the distance gap in 2017.I hesitate comparing it to love languages, but it’s somewhere along those lines. I still have zero patience and want it all right now like a tantrum throwing toddler, but I’m better at telling myself to chill and forcing myself to set goals has been helpful. It’s much easier to calm the screaming toddler inside me if I replace “someday soon” with a list of things I need to do to make the move happen, for example, and to have a set date. (even if that date is still tentative, X months is easier to swallow than “soon”.)
I’ve also learned that everyone has their own process or way they go about things. Whether it’s the way and time that they take out the trash or something major like grieving, we all do it in our own way and in order for me to expect people to respect my process, I have to accept and respect theirs. (oh, and some people actually just take out the trash when it’s full, they don’t agaonize over what day is trash day, did we get all of the recyclables sorted, do I have to put makeup on, and all of the crazy stuff my anxiety throws at me for something as simple as taking out the trash!)
With that also comes me learning to accept my own process and ways to go about things that are successful for me. I’ve often searched for a sort of recipe of life and everything really. Like, if I do A, B will happen next, then I add C and it all flows. Not only is life not like that, I tend to rebel when following the rules, so I have no idea what I was thinking searching for so long. That’s right, I like things to be logical…and they usually aren’t or at least they are so altered by our own individual experiences that they don’t seem logical. This applies to so many things, big and small. I need to let it go and I’m doing okay with that so far.
The most uplifting and affirming thing I grasped this year is pretty personal and probably more complicated than what should go here. In a nutshell, we are not doomed to repeat the past and you just might surprise yourself when you push aside the fear/anxiety and just go for it.
Wow, thank you so much for sharing your reflections! It’s lead to me sitting here and pondering my year in a much more positive way. Onward and upward, right?
Thank you for your hard work and for always giving me an easy to follow recipe.
Thanks, Gwen 🙂 I do think lining everything up and cramming it into one post is making my 2016 seem much more dire than it was, but it was a good learning year. It sounds like you had a good learning year, too—the part about A>B>C definitely resonated with me. This year seemed to be A>K>E>B>W, and heavens knows what is next! Onward and upward indeed. Thank you so much for reading and chiming in 🙂
Thank you, I’ve learned so much from you this past year. You are awesome. I’ve learned from your information and created my own skincare recipes. Looking forward to reading your book and excited to see what you have in-store for the future.
Thanks so much, Donna! Happy making 🙂
This year the most profound thing I learned is that I made the right decision regarding retirement. I had never not worked from the week I graduated university and my last job was with the same employer for 22 years. I reached a point where I had had enough of a pretty thankless and demanding work environment. It wasn’t until I told the boss my feelings that he actually had a tear in his eye and asked me what he could do to make things better. I told him nothing, too little too late and after an agonizing 6 weeks of training a replacement I left, feeling the weight of the world lifted. I worried about being home with a husband who is also retired, becoming bored, as many people told me I would. All of that was untrue I came to learn. My husband and I get along better than ever, make decisions better together and are even more supportive of one another. Then there’s my yoga. I was never able to attend the classes I wanted due to work schedules and having to work evening clinics. Now I can do as I wish, go to classes 5 to 7 times a week, have learned much about calming and focusing myself and feel a whole lot healthier. My husband golfs nearly every day in the summer so I still have that quiet time to myself. I worried about not having that extra income and have actually found happiness in being more frugal. I believe I have also become a more spiritual person and every day look to something positive and to be thankful for. I have a renewed joy in crafting, gardening and basic little things I had to put aside too many times. I have a wonderful son, daughter in law and a precious 8 year old grandaughter, not to mention 2 delightful rescue cats. Life is good. Best craft I made this year was that pumpkin spice body butter and supposedly will receive Marie’s book by tomorrow according to Amazon. I look forward to more crafting and all that 2017 holds. Wishing all of you a happy 2017 as well.
Thanks, Lynne; your lesson really resonated with me. I, too, left a thankless and unhappy job this year, and it has been one of the best things to happen to me. I think people can too easily dismiss the misery caused by a bad job, but it is not insignificant and can absolutely wreak havoc on your life. When a loss is followed with overwhelming relief, I don’t think it can be truly called a loss. As for your life now—it sounds like a dream, and something to strive for. You sound so wonderfully calm and balanced—not just in your life, but in your prose. I hope to channel more of that in 2017. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂
Marie, you are a wise young woman. I am another reader who expected to hear about the ingredient learning, etc. and was pleasantly surprised to read such intelligent wisdoms of life. This is the first year that I have reflected on the past year to learn from it, and found that I am far stronger than I believed, more determined and less “malleable” to other people than I used to be. In the past year and a half I’ve lost both parents and dealt with it far better than my friends and even I believed possible. I’ve floundered my life away being lost, but now I’m MAKING my path to a brighter future. Thanks to you, Marie. I found interest in essential oils but you brought the interest in USING my mind to create more than just inhalers. You are a wonderful, dear young woman! Instead of hoarding your talent to simply make money you’ve shared so much wisdom that I don’t think you even know the scope of it. I don’t comment often, but this I had to comment on. We readers consider you our friend as well as our teacher.
That being said, I don’t know how cancer is affecting your life, but bring loads of love and humor to them, and never cease to spread both to who has it. Both are underrated but such powerful aids in healing. If you need our support here, we’ll be here to give it. I may be speaking broadly but from what I see I think it’s safe to assume it. Here’s to a bright, wonderful, brand new year!
Thanks, Leanne 🙂 I would hardly call myself wise, but hopefully I’ll get there someday! It is always a wonderful thing to recognize your inner strength, even though it is usually the result of going through some serious life crap. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your parents—that is utterly gutting.
Thank you so much for chiming in, and for your kind words. I trust you are correct about the support, though I do hope I do not have to invoke it! Happy new year 🙂
Holy smokes fellow Canuck! You’ve gone through a lot this past year.
The biggest lesson I have learnt- and constantly have to remind myself of- other than I have seriously come to hate the new iOS updates, is most people are just really really lazy. They only put into something the barest minimum that they have to in any situation then complain when you decide not to include them in something.
I’m sorry to hear that you had to go through so much this past year, and thankfully, over time, most of the sharp edges of hurt will soften to the point where mostly happy memories remain.
Good luck in the coming year Marie! Wear some new shoes (preferably red) so your journey will have an extra boost of luck! Yeah, it’s a Chinese thing.
That’s a very good lesson, and a hard one for people who don’t put in the bare minimum to learn/understand. And honestly, this year was hardly a massive bummer fest… I just think seeing it all written out at once makes it look this way 😛 Happy new year!
Dear Marie, I am so sorry for all the relationship messes. Unfortunately this is part of life, we all change and grow. As a former church counselor I’ve seen most of it. I have been where you have been to some extent. I am your Mom’s age and am still learning to love for fun and for free and not grip any relationship too tightly. To me, you are amazing and awesome and I have a new love and hobby because of you, no joke. The passion and care with which you share your life and recipes with us all is an inspiration. I am sure many more folks care about you than you realize, many whom you don’t know other than through this blog. Many blessings and love and peace be unto you in 2017. I got my book today and love it. A final word, just be YOU and those who are true friends will love you for who you are, no matter what. Focus on the good as much as you can. Love to you, Lin
Thank you so much, Lin 🙂 Part of why I love this annual exercise is because it tends to be one of the few times I am not focusing on the positive; I’m very good at that—sometimes to the determent of processing the more uncomfortable parts of life (which ends up being departmental to me). So, I take time to reflect, to resolve, to learn, and to move on. Thank you so much for reading, for commenting, and for your support over the years. It is truly appreciated!
Got my Make it Up copy this evening. Love it Marie. The photography is beautiful. Can’t wait to just sit back and read.
Woohoo! I’m so thrilled 😀 Enjoy, and I can’t wait to hear about what you make!
I thought I had everything I’d need for making your products, however I’m making a shopping list for more pigments. I finally found some carmine on Ebay, a small amount for a reasonable price. I’m so excited. I read your book in one sitting today. What a wealth of knowledge. It’s inspired me tremendously.
YAY! I’m so glad you are enjoying devouring it 🙂 I can’t wait to hear about the things you create, and thank you SO much for buying my book!!!
I didn’t know there were “bad bobby pins” until I bought a package of store-brand. Seriously, why bother making these things? They twist when you open them, don’t hold anything and promptly bend out of shape. Thanks for the name of a good brand.
Prayers for everyone fighting cancer.
Thank you for all the advice and help.
I’m with you—why bother?! Perhaps those bobby pins exist solely for the jokes about how women leave bobby pins everywhere, not realizing that those are the cruddy pins that fall out of hairdos—they aren’t getting left behind, they are jumping ship!
Happy New Year, and thanks for reading and commenting!
Your book is beautiful and well done! I thought I had ordered what I needed to get started right away, but I have seen so many recipes I want to try, I am starting a new list. This is so informative and you have covered the topics well. I can see you talking as I read, the book sounds like you. A good thing for sure! Congrats!!
Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy making the things from it, and I can’t wait to hear about what you create!
Just received my book and can’t wait to sit down and read the whole thing! It’s simply beautiful just like you. Thank you so much and I wish you much success and happiness in 2017.
Thanks so much! I hope you love the book—I can’t wait to see what you create from it 😀
Marie, thank you so much for your recipes and information. I recently found out about Humblebee and Me through your youtube channel and it was one of the best things I’ve discovered this year! I honestly learned a lot from you and am so excited to try your diy skincare recipes. I actually made a lotion few days ago and I love it! Had a very fun time making it too 🙂 Wishing you a new year filled you happiness and joy!!
Thank you so much, Stella! Happy making, and thanks for commenting and watching 🙂
Wow, Marie! Thank you so much for showing up like this! To me it is very touching, inspiring and powerful.
It is so easy to believe we are only ‘good’ (a good friend, a lovable woman, a fun person etc), when we are only all bubbly-happy, holding our own space, etc. While grieve, sorrow and just being messed up sometimes, is also a part of life. Like experiencing parting with (once) loved-ones, with all the pain and sadness that comes with this, that can throw us of our feet so roughly. To me, learning to accept this side of life, is a continuous choice. And a continuous battle.
And it can pain me deeply when I don’t feel welcome/ safe with others to be as vulnerable (and alive and powerful!) as I am. I believe many people struggle with this and thus our showing up with these feelings, may very well make others uncomfortable. And so be it. Their rejection may indeed be not our problem at all! So let us, as you say, do what we love and choose every day to do what makes us happy.
And maybe true happiness, does include being truly miserable sometimes, balling your eyes out or just being deeply pissed off at life. I believe these emotions too need to be just cherished and honored within ourselves. That when we learn to live them, to give them space, they can move (e-motion) through and out of our system. And that this will transform and heal us, cleaning us out and making room for growth and new experiences.
I wish you love! That it will be your guidance through the darker times. Know that you are not alone. (And I say this as much to you as to others, including myself) We are not alone in dealing with loss and grief (and cancer – uch!). And with life in general, with relationships, attachments, learning to be honest and true and to take care of ourselves. We all experience pains that no awesomeness (like your blog, and travel and your book!) can dissolve. Even if we may not show this easily, or at all, I do believe that in this, we are all (struggling and learning) together. We are not alone. And we are loved trough it all.
And I for one love you for your sharing. Your reflection on your struggles, but also your love for creating and being pure/ natural and even just your love for tiny measuring spoons! It ignites my own love for life and sometimes one little spark of love is just that star that we need to get through another dark night. One flame can light a thousand candles… So thanks for sharing! Love, Suhela
Thanks, Suhela 🙂 This cathartic exercise does seem to work best when I share it, so I’m always glad when people like you chime in and make it extra awesome! You are so right about the pressure to be constantly upbeat and happy; I sometimes wonder if this applies more to women, who are so often cast as caregivers, even for the emotional states of others. And OH MY HEAVENS YES about not feeling safe to be vulnerable with others; I have sure noticed that the people in my life are quickly sorted into bins defined by how much of myself I can be around someone, and some people would probably be surprised by which bin they are in—they don’t even know how much of myself I hide from them.
I, too, and learning to acknowledge when I am feeling down, and trying to let go of needing to nail down a “why”.
Thank you so much for your kind, thoughtful reflection and contribution. Truly—it is hugely appreciated.
Just wanted to say a big thank you . I have enjoyed your recipes tremendously. I like to make them as organic as I can without preservatives. Sometimes that means coverting to all dry ingredients or letting someone add their own liqiud and refrigerating their skin food. You have inspired me to play with all those good skin recipes! I don’t wear make up myself but am now at the age of 58 and decided it would be wise. Women say I have good skin.I live on a 800 acre ranch with hubby a whole bunch of cows and commercial parakeets plus our fur kid a 80# white pit bull named Heidi Ho. Your recipes give me something to enjoy other than feeding cows, puppy dog and hubby!LOL I also have a blog but not many folks read it. I think I will also write about what I have learned. God puts people in my path for a reason. Many times there is something that needs fixing. That’s ok. I am a fixer. I also play with alternative medicine such as Homeopathy that has helped a few folks that couldn’t afford a doctor. If I have it and they want to try it they are welcome to do so. I try to love everyone. Those I don’t love I stay away from. Usually there is a good reason (even though I might not know what it is they just don’t feel right)so I don’t feel bad at all in skipping those folks. I study people I guess. I educate and help where I can or am allowed to. I have given birth to 2 children. My youngest left this world at 21 in his sleep. Just simply forgot to wake up. The oldest is still with us with 3 boys and a hubby but she lives 3 hours away and we talk daily. Sometimes I feel like I have missed out on a lot of family things because of this but like I said God puts folks in my path that need some kind of loving. So I do. Oh yes one of my other recent joys is finding perfect cake, pie and cookie recipes. I do mean perfect! One place that I have been using is by a professional Chief at GretchensBakery.com My mom didn’t have recipes to pass on so this is something I have the time to learn now. After being married for 41 yrs to the same rancher man and 3 home cooked meals a day I now have time to play with the good dessert things!Oh he cooks, at the local Mexican restaurant or eatery! LOL I take these perfect desserts to family holiday parties and get rave reviews. Just wait till they get to share my skin care results with them! LOL
I want to be a Earth Angel. Not sure what that is exactly put I will figure it out as I go. Everyone has something goofy about them. My biggest goofy is that sometimes I know things about people and happenings. Sometimes I feel other peoples health issues. Gets pretty strange around me sometimes but so far it has helped some folks.
I sign all email and texts with something I think we all need more of.
thank you again for sharing your ideas and giving us fun things to look forward to and to enjoy.
Thanks, Ranchmama! I assume you must be in the US from your remarks about not being able to afford a doctor—a heartbreaking situation, but I am glad you can offer some help 🙂 It sounds like you have lead a very full and varied life so far, with much more to come, I’m sure. Keep on keeping on, and thank you for reading! It’s always a pleasure to learn alongside lovely people like you!
Hi from Minnesota! I just discovered your YT channel and blog in March and have become a huge, instant fan. While I initially fell in love with your great communication, down-to-earth approach, and “stubbornly DIY” spirit, this post has deepened my appreciation of you as a kind, thoughtful, insightful human being. Thank you for sharing some of this year’s lessons. Life is a beautifully bittersweet experience. It’s a gift to get a snapshot glimpse at another person’s reality. Thank you, Marie.
Thank you so much, Leah! This post is always an interesting one to write over the course of a year, and then come back to in December. It’s also lovely taking the time to share some non-DIY thoughts and insights with my readers! Thanks for reading 🙂
Hi, I got interested in making my own soaps and things at the beginning of this year and I stumbled upon your blog the other. Some of your articles have been very helpful in helping me understand what I’m trying to do better. Thanks especially for this one. It’s very nice to find someone who can be so open and honest with their reflections on life. I’ve been trying to heal from a failed relationship with a coworker for the longest time and deal with the incredible awkwardness that exists because of the different expectations and amounts of openness that me and her have. Your reflections on your relationships that you wrote about here really stood out to me.
I also did have one technical question about preservatives that I hope you can help me out with. I’m thinking about making body wash by grating a soap bar and putting the grated soap into boiling water. Since there’s water involved, I assume I’ll need a preservative for it. Should I add the preservative around the same time that I put the grated soap into the boiling water, or should I wait until after the solution has cooled and let things settle to do that? Thanks.
Hey James! You’ll want to add the preservative after the boiling as most are heat sensitive, and boiling will destroy them. Be sure your preservative has a broad pH range as soap is very basic; most more “natural” ones do not—I think you’ll need liquid germall plus.
And I’m glad my reflections were of some use 🙂 They were certainly helpful for me to write down!
Thanks! I’ll definately get some liquid germall do what you advised.