It has been 7 months since I was last here. That seems so unreal to me. I think Facebook has allowed me to keep the extended family updated on our lives, so I forget to record things here. I use my blog as a journaling tool for future reference for myself, and my children. I need to be better about updating.
2013 was a crazy-busy year. So much happened, both good and bad. We learned many lessons, both painful and not-so-painful. Here are the top 10 Lessons of 2013:
Lesson One: Most people are "looking out for #1". It does not matter how long you've known a person, worked with (or for) someone, or are related through blood or marriage, their word is worth the paper on which it is written. Trust no one. We have been misled, lied to, and treated with complete disregard by several people we had trusted this past year. It was a painful lesson to us, but one that brought much needed awareness that not everyone has the same values and morals.
Lesson Two: Do not delay doing fun things with your children. I spent the entire summer postponing activities because Mr. C was busy. He assured me things would ease up the next week, or the next month. They did not. I missed my nephew's wedding (it involved travel and I wasn't comfortable doing that alone). I put off a trip to Utah to see the older boys and our grandson because Mr. C wanted to go, but ultimately was unable due to work. I barely saw him at all this past summer. He has been swamped for the last year and a half. My life has been on hold during this entire time. I need to just make plans and follow through, even if he can't join us.
Lesson Three: When you have adversity, you find out who your friends are (and those who are not). We have always been surprised by the curve balls life throws at us, but we have been even more stunned at the response of those around us. The people we thought would be there, were not. The people we didn't expect to be there, were.
Lesson Four: Stop living for everyone else. We mothers, especially, need to remember that we had a life before marriage and children. We need to feed our own spirits, or we have nothing left to share with those around us. This is one I really need to work on. I know I need to change, but am not sure HOW to change.
Lesson Five: Do not put your job ahead of your family. Honestly, the sad fact is that your employer does not put any value on the extra time you spend at work. They don't care if you sacrifice holidays, evenings, weekends, vacations, family events, or your health - they just don't. While you are sweating it out after-hours, your employers are home relaxing and having fun with their families. Your sacrifice will not necessarily be rewarded with promotions, good bonuses, or big raises. The more you are willing to work, the more they will expect you to work. Period. I learned this several years ago, and I always swore I'd never again put my career first. Mr. C isn't such a quick learner. I'm hoping this one sinks in soon. After last year, he promised he was going to change, but in the two weeks since returning home from vacation, he has worked several late nights. Some lessons take longer to sink in, I guess.
Lesson Six: When you have people in your life who are amazing, dynamic, and worthy of admiration, let them know. Tell them how much you respect them, appreciate them, and value the relationship. One day it will be too late, and you will regret that you didn't share your feelings.
Lesson Seven: Say thank you! Those two little words can mean so much to someone. We all need to feel appreciated - it rejuvenates the soul.
Lesson Eight: If your employer is looking to hire an employee, DO NOT recruit one of your friends to become a co-worker. Let your employer find employees, and let your friends find their own jobs.There is one caveat to this: If there is a financial incentive, it may be worth it. Mr. C once worked for a great company which offered a $1000 recruiting bonus for bringing in good workers. It was a great opportunity. But if there is no monetary incentive, it isn't worth putting your position or friendship at risk, in fact it may be detrimental to both.
Lesson Nine: Take care of yourself physically. Drink your water every day, sweat every day, and make wise food choices.
Lesson Ten: Cultivate friendships. This one is where I struggle the most. It isn't that I don't have friends, or that I don't value friendships, it is that I have a very difficult time opening myself up and trusting people (see Lesson One, above). I have been working on this during the past year though. I have been trying to be more deliberate in my relationships. I still have a long way to go, but I am taking baby steps.
The best thing to happen in 2013: We did get to spend Christmas with family this year! We drove out to Santa Barbara and spent Christmas with some of my favorite people on earth. I will post pictures soon.