So, November 2 happened. In the words of Forrest Gump, that’s all I have to say about that. I took some time after that to relax, do some stuff for me, injure my shoulder, rest, reflect, think, work, and do stuff around the house.
It is interesting to look back over the last 12-18 months and reflect on things that happened. I’m not talking about just with the elections, since that’s not what I want to focus on here, because let’s be honest, I get enough political talk in my day-to-day interactions.
Instead, it has been interesting to see the changes in myself: my world view, my habits, my social network, my support network, my living situation, my goals, and my priorities.
A quick run-down:
- I bought a house.
- I got a dog.
- I now cook for myself – from scratch – more often then I eat at restaurants.
- I try to live within a budget and monitor where and when I am spending money to try to save and not be wasteful. I use Quicken and am making plans for my future. Also transitioning from living for the “wants” in life and focusing on the “needs”. It’s funny, the “needs” often are more fulfilling and helpful then the “wants”.
- I’ve become a big proponent of local, seasonal, sustainable food – shopping often at the Farmer’s Market and Co-op. (more to come on this later)
- I’ve learned that doing nothing is not a bad thing – it’s a time to recharge and do things I enjoy.
- I rediscovered my love for reading – and spent last summer devouring books (mostly non-fiction).
- I’ve learned that being myself is the most important thing I can be – changing based on outside factors isn’t really productive or helpful in the long term.
- I have made a number of new friends that I am thankful for as well as strengthing some friendships and letting some others wane. Sometimes the best thing you can do is let someone go and not have them in your life – sounds harsh, but it is true.
- I went through an entire cycle as a “volunteer”. The new experiences helped me gain insight and perspective which I think will help me if I ever go back to the paid side of campaigns.
- I’ve learned that laughter is sometimes the best medicine – and is needed often. Forget the apple – laughter a day keeps the doctor away. Especially when that laughter is caused by great people or comes from people that think what I’m saying is amusing. I’m convinced that friends that can make you laugh or laugh with you are some of the best ones.
- Opening up and being honest isn’t a bad thing – don’t be afraid, sometimes you just have to stand up for what you think is right. People might also surprise you with their responses. . . in a good way.
- Saying no is ok. Seriously, it is.
- Having your house get broken into is a blessing and a curse. You realize what is really important and what is just stuff.
- Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re weak or a failure, it just means that you need help. Nothing wrong with that.
- Haters gonna hate and you really can’t do anything to change that. Just keep on doing what you need to do to do you.
This is just a small sample of things I’ve learned, done, and how I’ve grown over the last yearish. I really am excited to see what is in store for me over the next year. I believe that some of these things will develop nicely and really enrich my life and perhaps the lives of those around me.
If you had one piece of advice to give me, what would it be?