What I learned in 2016

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This year, I have discovered that roses reward even a small amount of care with great beauty.  Which, come to think of it, is a good metaphor for the self-care I talk about below.

If I had to boil down 2016 into a single lesson, for the world at large, as well as for me, it would be that you shouldn’t take anything for granted.  Life can knock you down, knock you sideways or just end, when you are least expecting it.  So cling to the things you care about and fight for them!

But it also taught me, personally, a bunch of other things.  These are the ones that come to mind this hot January afternoon…

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Things I learned in 2013: Part One

I long ago gave up on the idea of New Year’s resolutions made on January 1 – mostly because I discovered that, with remarkably little effort, I was capable of breaking them even before the day was out.  What I like to do now instead is use January to take stock, clean house (literally and metaphorically) and work out what I would like to achieve this year (apart from a clean house).

This year, I’m going to get the ball rolling by reflecting on what 2013 taught me.  I think, when I come to write it down, I will find it’s quite a lot and, if that’s the case, I think it behooves me to write down the lessons, so as not to forget them.  (I try never to make the same mistake twice – I much prefer to find new ones.  Sadly, I seem quite good at that.  However.  Moving on…)

So without further ado, working backwards, because that’s what’s freshest in my mind, let’s start with the lessons of this festive season:

1. If you over-cater Christmas with sufficient enthusiasm, you can avoid having to go to the shops until the 2nd of January.  Given that over-catering is my MO at all times, this is not a complete surprise, but this may be a record from a single event.

2. The above will involve you eating cocktail snacks for lunch and/or dinner at least once.  If your family objects to this, they are welcome to go to the shops themselves.  Mine is sufficiently well-trained to limit their comments to Continue reading