Thank you to Shelley for the idea for this post.
2008 was a good year for many different reasons:
- My income was more than twice what it was the previous year.
- I turned a major bout with burnout into a reason to hire a subcontractor, and in the process rediscovered free time, creativity, inspiration, and fun. (Try living your life without those for a few years. Yikes. Must. Have. Balance.)
- My relationship survived a few bumps in the road and I know that we are stronger for it.
- I got rid of hundreds of pounds of junk that I had accumulated since childhood. (Could thousands be more accurate? It felt like it, hauling it all out of the basement.)
And I know there are more... but what I want to do right now is recap some of the best non-poetry posts that I wrote in 2008... the "lessons learned" type of posts that lead to more gratitude for the life that I've been given. So here we go...
Lessons I Learned in 2008:
- You can't run away from your past--it's better to learn from it, and even embrace it.
- You can't predict what's next--so just do your best in the present moment.
- Don't get dragged down by the daily routine--feed your creative self and express that energy because that's what life's really about.
- Don't give up your original dreams--you'll always find yourself called back to them anyway. It's worth sticking with them. There's a reason that you feel that need.
- Screw excuses--just do it.
- Share your passion--people will respond and the voices of your critics will be drowned out by your fans' applause.
- We all struggle--and we all survive.
- Indulge in what inspires you--and show respect for those pioneers who blazed the trail you're walking now.
- Don't take anything for granted--you never know when something that's so essentially you will be taken away, temporarily or forever.
- Laugh at yourself--and find the humor in every situation.
- Be open to change--life is never static, so you might as well learn to ride the waves.
- Stay close to the people you love--we've all got to leave this world sometime, and some of us will leave it sooner than others. Every minute counts. (I miss you, Christy.)
- Always believe that things can change for the better--and that your voice (or vote) can make a real difference.
So what's in store for 2009? Mostly I'm focusing on my needs for a change, really making sure to take good care of my health (not as a new year's resolution but as a long-term necessity), to grow my business, to deepen my relationship, and quite possibly one more that I wouldn't hesitate to put on top of the list: To take my creative work and build a real career out of it. The poetry books, the singing/songwriting, etc. All the things that I have been too afraid to tackle. I'm going to tackle those dreams right here, right now, independently, taking advantage of the current technologies. All those lessons learned will be put to good use.