A Letter to Me ~ Lessons Learned

Prompt: Write a letter to the 2012 you. Reflect on lessons learned in 2012 and how you will apply your new knowledge to 2013.

Journal Entry #1

Dear Ann,

Lessons learned. Where shall we begin? I think 2012 taught you more than the previous 10 years put together. You made some decisions that were pretty drastic. You somehow found the nerve to take a chance and change careers. You left a beloved job that was more like a ministry than it was work. In doing so you learned a lot about yourself.

You found out that you were still young enough to put in long days. You discovered a discipline that you didn’t know you had and realized that at the end of the day, the only person you could count on was yourself. You, many times, surprised yourself with what you could figure out on your own. You can also be proud of yourself for knowing when to ask for advice and assistance. Asking for help isn’t easy but you learned that it’s not a sign of failure. It’s a survival mechanism.

One of the hardest lessons learned last year was how to deal with your aging parents. You discovered that you were really very patient…which was quite a surprise. You definitely figured out how to keep your mouth shut and keep your opinions to yourself. You found that you had pretty thick skin (shocker) and could brush off those thoughtless, sometimes hurtful comments made in frustration. 2012 was like a crystal ball showing you what the future would bring, along with the dawning realization that someday you might have a life much like theirs.

2012 found you trying to be somewhat frugal. At times those Etsy paychecks were mighty slim. ¬†You quickly learned what were willing compromises…and what were deal-breakers. You didn’t even realize you were compromising until it sunk in that you were more interested in the selection of sweat pants at Walmart than the new arrivals at Talbot’s. You found out that you really don’t need that expensive hair spray and that Pantene works perfectly fine. (Talk about an AHA moment.) You thought long and hard about giving up that monthly massage appointment. In the end, that turned out to be one of those deal-breakers. Some things in life are just necessary.

The end of 2012 tried your patience. Long standing family traditions were thrown to the wind and new ones were made. For a family that thrives on routine, this was a challenge. Thanksgiving and Christmas will never be the same…but you realized that different isn’t all that bad. You finally understood the phrase “life happens.”

Everything you went through in 2012 has led you to where you are today…with thoughts of stepping outside a very small comfort zone. Time will tell if that really happens. The fact that you’re even thinking about it is astounding.

Keep thinking. Keep trying. Keep the faith.



Thoughts from my friends...

  1. says

    Wow Ann! I’ve missed so much. Came by to check on my friend and found out you made some changes this past year. Loved this letter. You are indeed a very strong and remarkable woman. I admire you. I hope this year brings you much happiness and success!

  2. says

    I loved reading your letter, Ann, and actually read it a few times. :-) It’s so nice to learn a little more about you and I love that you shared this. What a year you have had and yet you seem to have handled everything wonderfully. I wish you all the best this next year!

  3. says

    Ann, I fully understand your walk through 2012. At the time, it’s difficult to know if you/I said or did the right thing. Aging parents want things to be the way they’ve always been…and so do most of us. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us…it reassures me that things do work out over time. I feel that I know you better today for having read this.