OPINION: A few things I’ve learned in 2015

Published 9:12 am Thursday, December 31, 2015

Over the past year, I have found myself in a number of different situations, and each situation has taught me something new about myself. It’s very true what they say, “You learn something new everyday.” Granted, I don’t know if I have learned 365 lessons this year, but I would be willing to bet I have learned something new at least three times a week over the past year. For this next year, I think it would be really great if I actually could learn something new every single day.

Just think about it, if at the end of each year of your life, you could say that you literally learned something new for each day you were able to wake up on this Earth. I think to not at least attempt is kind of a waste of time. We only have a limited amount of time on this planet, and I think we need to start making the most of it.

As I said before, I don’t think I took advantage of even half of the learning opportunities I was offered this past year, but I do think overall I have learned a few key lessons that I can apply in this new year. I think I have narrowed these lessons down to three essential ones that encompass the entire gamut of my 2015 experiences.

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The first lesson I’ve learned is, while I do work well under pressure, procrastination is not the way to go. I have a terrible, terrible habit of procrastinating on pretty much everything important. Sadly, I’ve been like this since high school. I remember completely re-writing my own version of one of Shakespeare’s plays for my Honors English class in one night because I had put it off way too long. I wrote an entire research paper in my sophomore year of college in one night, while also taking about an hour break to watch my best friend perform in a recital that same night. I don’t recommend procrastination at all, yet I still do it on a weekly basis. Slowly I’ve been trying to get better at taking my life in smaller chunks so that I can be sure that each task gets the allotted amount of time that it deserves.

The second lesson I have learned is that my plans and timing are not always the best. Patience is a virtue that I desperately need to work on, as many that are close to me would tell you. I am a planner, organizer and surprise disliker. If I can know what’s coming up, it makes my day even more pleasant. If things are left up to chance or to someone else’s plans, I get a bit antsy. But, the Lord has reminded me time and time again that His plans are much greater than mine. Isaiah 55: 8-9 says, ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’” I’m very thankful for a Lord that has much greater plans in store for me, because I can certainly do a cruddy job of planning some days.

The third lesson I’ve learned is that slowing down to make time for the things that are important to me is one of the best things I can do. Now that I live closer to my family, I realize how important they are to me and that the time I have with them is precious. I also think that taking time to slow down to catch my breath, exercise, read and just rest and relax is something I need to make more time for. My personal and mental health is worth a lot more than any job or task, so stressing myself out helps no one. I have come to the realization that I am a very “me centered” person, and I tend to get caught up in my life and my life only. That being said, for this next year, I am going to try harder to stay in touch with those who are closest to me. Keeping up with personal relationships keeps me sane and keeps me in the loop. I know I’ve said in editorials before that my closest friends all live away from me, some in other cities and some in other states. That being said, I know it’s going to take a lot of work on my part, but that is something I have to be dedicated to doing.

This next year will certainly be full of plans, tasks, surprises and one of a kind experiences, and I think I’m ready to see where the Lord takes me. It will certainly be a transition, but life is all about seasons. Each season brings more and more, and my 2016 season is just beginning.