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.

Regards,

Ann

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.

    Thanks,
    Helen

  4. Casey says

    Ann, thank you for this post! What an inspiration! i feel like you were writing my lessons for 2012. Your words really touched me. I wish you all the best in this new year! Much more to learn in 2013.

  5. says

    I could write a similar letter to myself in that I walked away from a job I loved but was necessary as I wouldn’t compromise my integrity I worked so hard for all my life…of course, that meant my “play” money was gone and I had to be totally dependent on my husband…but he has supported me 110% .

    I, too, have been dealing with an aging parent for the last 3 years which meant making the hard decision to put her in assisted living and becoming her “parent”..it’s a hard road sometimes but I also have come to the realization that “one day” it could be me.

    You have been a great inspiration to me so just know you are doing something right. May 2013 be a wonderful year for you Ann!

  6. says

    Beautiful letter, Ann, and straight from the heart. I know we all have trying times but it’s how we handle them that makes the difference. Wishing you a wonderful new year!

    xo

  7. Donnamae says

    Great idea and letter Ann! I can relate to several of those talking points…it’s as if you peeked in on my life. Great life lessons! ;)

  8. Kelly says

    Ann, I loved reading this post… In life, you need to take chances and you definitely took chances and they turned out to be a success and you learned from mistakes. In some ways, I took a big change stepping out if the corporate world and starting a small soy candle business. Although it was scary for me, I am so glad that I made the change. The other big step in my life is moving away from my family in PA and moving to coastal SC and having to adapt. I do love it though, however there are times that I really do miss my friends and family up in PA.

    By the way, I am so glad that I discovered your blog and etsy shop as I have some of your products which I just love.

    Kelly

  9. KATHYSUE says

    I really like this idea Ann. I really need to do this. It sounds like this was a growing up year for you. I know we all think we are grown up already, but I find with each new decade we do a little more growing up along the way. You learned some valuable and hard lessons in 2012, but it look to me like it is all good and you are moving forward with a passion and that is a very good thing. Much success in 2013 to YOU!
    xo Kathysue

  10. Sandy says

    As my former eighth graders would say,”OMG!” I know you did a lot of soul searching as you wrote this letter to yourself, and I admire you for your endeavor and for sharing your words with the blog world. Many years ago, while doing the sorority thing, l learned a great saying: “Nothing great is ever achieved without much endurance.” Wishes for continuous successes going your way.

  11. Joyce says

    I love your honesty, Ann. I have dabbled in journaling and after reading your post about the once a week prompts from Folk, I thought that to be very doable. There will be some lifestyle changes in the coming year so I think it will be helpful. I enjoyed your post very much. Thanks.

  12. Carol says

    So much to think about. 2013 looks to be the year of job change and life change. Total reevaluation of priorities. Wishes for a great 2013.

  13. says

    Love the letter and the thoughts. I can certainly relate to your change in priorities. I’m always proud when I can step out of my comfort zone and find out that yes, different isn’t terrible…in fact, sometimes it’s good!

  14. Katherines Corner says

    Dear Ann, a letter to a bloggy friend…I appreciate your friendship and how you share with us all. Wishing you a new year filled with only good things. Hugs

  15. says

    Ann, what a great post. I sure enjoyed reading it. I has several of the same changes you had over 2012. I started extreme couponing to support our ever growing family. (Adopting and we seem to be the home teen age kids gather at, dine at, and sleep at) Wouldn’t give up any of the day spent cooking and cleaning for them. We are currently moving our business and I will be out of a job. I lost my beloved GPa and decided to set the wheels in motion to take care of my parents as they get older.
    I can’t wait to see God has for you in 2013. Prayers and Blessings going your way!

  16. says

    What a great idea. It was nice for us to read, but even more so for you to have as you know the full meaning of each word. I’m sure you will treasure reading this at the end of 2013 as and even greater reminder of where you’ve been and how far you’ve come. I hope 2013 is a WONDERFUL year for you!
    Blessings Ann!
    Cindy

  17. says

    You are amazing and encouraging! I loved this letter to you. What a wonderful year you’ve had, full of change. However, you’ve seen it with a glass half full and have embraced it. I look forward to seeing you prosper in 2013!
    I want to be like you because you’ve always inspired me!

    Have a great weekend,

    Andrea

  18. says

    Ann…thanks for allowing us to see through a little window into your life! And thanks for the support that you have given, in so many ways, through this journal entry, even though you may not realize that you have indeed given support! God bless!

  19. says

    I think that is an awesome idea Ann. You did learn a lot last year and have grown stronger for it. It is nice to see this written down to keep things in perspective for this year. Blessings! Pamela