Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I know this much is true.

Sometimes during the holidays I feel like the Ghost of Christmas Present. You know the one - when Scrooge first meets him, the Ghost of Christmas Present is buoyant, energetic, like a sixteen year old kid totally high on life, and by the time they depart, the Ghost of the Present has aged into an old man and is ready to pass the torch onto the much more terrifying Ghost of Christmas Future, who freaked me out when I watched Scrooged as a kid. (I have a low threshold for absolutely terrifying things.)

I feel like I spend the entire month of December as the Ghost of Christmas Present, starting off the month giddy, young, charged with fire and ready to tackle on the world, loudly. But by the time December 31st comes along, I am a wizened, tired, slightly cranky senior citizen who kind of just wishes those damn kids would get off my lawn already.

So here we are, in my olden days. I am feeling aged, slightly cynical, more relaxed and less neurotic after having celebrated another beautiful Christmas with my family, a bit saddened to once again have spent it apart from That Boy I Adore, (who heads home to the East Coast for Christmas) and just kind of wishing 2011 would pop its head in already so that I could be done with it and go take a nap.

But as I am in my Wise(r) and Old(er) state right now, I thought I would use this post to impart some of the wisdom I have learned through the year, and invite all of you to do the same. So I ask each and every one of you: what's something you learned this year, about yourself, life, the universe, the mechanics of gravity versus coffee... whatever it is, I'd love to hear it. And, for what it's worth, here are my tidbits:

Get your tires rotated every time you get your oil changed. Two birds, one stone.

Everything is comedy. If the memory still hurts and it's not funny yet, give it more time.

Don't hang out with anyone who revels in your failures and don't hang out with anyone who doesn't get high off your successes.

There are two types of critics. The first are critical because they think you can do better, and they're willing to point out how and help you reach your full potential. The second are critical because they're threatened by how well you're doing without them. Keep the first. Ditch the second.

The amount you are offended at something is directly proportional to how much you need to work on coming to peace with it in your own life.

People who can't respectfully disagree about politics or religion are just children in adult's clothing. You grow up the day that you are able to look people in the eye, people who completely disagree with you on every political or religious matter to which you hold dear, shake their hands, and wish them well. Children demonize those who look at things differently. Adults learn that there is always more than one perspective and learn from it.

The only difference between a leader and a follower is that leaders are able to get people to work together, and followers are too busy trying to be leaders to bother.

Criticism is the first form of violence. Humiliation is the second.

Have at least one friend who would be willing to pick you up from the airport at 2 am. Or willing to help you stay awake until 2 am if you're the one picking someone up.

Nobody likes a martyr. They say they do, but they're lying.

and finally, one of my new favorite quotes:

"The truth is that things don't really get solved, they come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It's just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy."

-PEMA CHÖDRÖN



(photo credit: I got it here)

Happy New Year, everyone! And don't forget to share your own sage advice when you comment :) I need all the help I can get...

(oh, and PS - I'm over at Tay's blog today telling people what other things I believe in. Go check it out! Thanks Tay!!!!)

29 comments:

Wine and Words said...

Psalms of Pheonix. Nice! Loved the quote at the end. I printing it and put in on my desk :)

I'm with you. Ciao 2010. Wanting it over.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Wow. I don't think I can be wiser than that! Your sage advice is quite spicy and useful.
I'm done with this worn-out year, too, and looking forward to grabbing a broom and sweeping 2010 out my door. Happy new year to you!

Marion said...

Such wise words, Phoenix, and all quite true! I still say you're an old soul in that cute, young body, a true bodhisattva. I'm happy to call you my friend.

This year I've learned to relax and go with the flow. I'd say 99.9% of the crap we worry about never comes to pass. All that wasted energy! So I'm going to quit worrying next year.

You can never, ever love too much or encourage too much, give too much, or be kind to others too much. I'm gonna keep on loving, giving, encouraging and being kind to others. It's true that what we give away comes back to us in bucketfuls. And I thank God that I've lived long enough to see karma in action.

May 2011 bring you pure, unadulterated JOY, my friend. You deserve no less.

Love & Blessings,
~Marion

"For last year's words belong to last year's language,
and next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning. ~T.S. Eliot, "Little Gidding"

Jeremy Asher said...

Great end of year post. You continue to be one of my favorite people!

Kate said...

Do you know, every time I read one of your blogs I can never think what to say in my comment. Not because it's a terrible blog - it never, ever is anything other than wonderful - but because I'm always too caught up in my thoughts to explain exactly how I'm feeling. This is good, more than good, trust me.

Indigo said...

You described my feelings exactly about Christmas.

As for what I've learned this year...hmm...

It's easier to believe in someone else and encourage them, than it ever will be to do the same for yourself.

Courage is an emotional roller coaster, figuratively and literally.

Sometimes people see things in you, you would otherwise be blind to. In other words it doesn't hurt to see yourself through someone else's eyes.

Misery loves company, but finds itself lonely. Kindness draws people worthy of sharing your company with.

Last but not least...Be kind to yourself, there is only one of you in the world.

Happy New Year sweet friend, stay wise, you're far from old. (Hugs)Indigo

Dave said...

I don't have much is the way of wise advice. (at least i'm honest!) Happy New Year!

jenn said...

my only advice, which isn't even really mine, is the saying "this too shall pass." the fable/story behind it is actually pretty fascinating too (wiki it someday). :)

important to remember in bad times as well as good.

happy new year!!

Katharine Larissa Ame Schneider said...

Beautiful. I too love the last quote you ended with, thank you for sharing. Life lessons that I have learned this year include not allowing anybody to take advantage of me - and to stand up for Principle. :) I'll expand more on my blog when I get it going! :) Love ya Tracy. Let's go on a hike again sometime soon! :)

Robin said...

I loved all of it. You are so far ahead of the "game" that it is scary sometimes. I have a few things that I tell myself, and I tell myself, and I tell myself again. Here goes...

There is big stuff and small stuff. You should only sweat the big stuff. In the end, it's all small stuff.

If you focus your intention on what you want it will come to you.

Don't blame the teacher because you didn't like the lesson. If you got the lesson, it is because you signed up for it. If you got it again, you didn't learn it the first time.

We wouldn't appreciate the good things if we didn't have the bad things. We wouldn't get a tear in our eye, and our hearts wouldn't swell with love for our fellow human beings when someone did something amazing for someone else if this life were easy. It is only because it is hard that random acts of kindness are beautiful. It is because this world tries to break us, that when someone does something to show that it hasn't, everyone benefits and becomes better for it. We are all connected. We are all part of the whole.

Anthony Duce said...

The sayings, the advice, they are all very good, worth keeping around for reference.
Overall I enjoyed 2010. It seems I may be one of the few.
My advice is similar to a few of your and others: Spend as much time as possible with people who are happy and make the most of life, and who appreciate you for just being you. Be nice to the rest, till you know them better, and who knows, they may change, but keep a distance until they do.

Len♥reNeverM♥re said...

Yesss...
love being Wiser & Old(er)...especially the wiser part!
We're always work in progress...
Happy New Year, beautiful!

xo

kj said...

i am flabbergasted amazed and enthralled with all this wisdom. i already know by now that you can write, girl, but this is WISDOM!

thank you so much. every nugget is so wise. the one in the front of my forehead as i type is about 2 am friends. that is one of life's most precious safety nets.

good to know you. i'll be back and around in 2011. and looking forward to it.

with love
kj

ps my best advice: when putting in new lights or fixing old, always choose dimmers

Bathwater said...

Trust your instincts not your fears which may jump out first and speak louder in your head but the voice inside that is your own moral compass.

Ashley said...

I really enjoyed your nuggets of wisdom. And I laughed at the "get of the lawn line!"

For me, my new goal/word of wisdom is not to complain. I seriously hate complainers. And today I was a complainer all day long! Thank goodness for tomorrows to try again. I'm going to work on going all day without complaining even once! Happy New Year lady!

Terresa said...

There are benefits to being older & wiser...and I'm with you on hanging out with those who lift you up, a definite must (things I wish I would've learned sooner in life)!!

Happy nearly New Year, dear Phoenix!

ed pilolla said...

yeah, that's a really great quote by pema. and this insight i love best of all: "The amount you are offended at something is directly proportional to how much you need to work on coming to peace with it in your own life."

the teacher in my life who had the most profound effect on me would tell us in class to think of the characteristic in others that annoys us the most, and understand that that characteristic is alive within you, and that's what you truly are disliking.

Pam T. said...

From your guest blog, "It's the thought that counts when we try to do good things, and it's the action that counts when we try to do bad things." An additional brilliant thought, Lady.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

Ah, this is absolutely gorgeous. Love it.

Carissa said...

an insightful and thought-provoking post, as usual. I'm not sure I have any advice that is more well-put than yours! all I know is I want 2011 to get here too... looking back, I'm not so thrilled with how 2010 went, so I'm hoping 2011 holds much more excitement, happiness and success. I guess that's a tall order but I'm shooting for the stars! haha. can't wait to see you tomorrow! that will be a wonderful way to kick off the new year.

ok, one thing I learned this year:
don't expect happiness to find you.
you must pursue it.

that's my goal for 2011.

Dawn Simon said...

Great advice! Mine? Hmmm...
1. Treasure the now--don't get lost in the past or the future.
2. Tell the people you love that you love them.
3. Keep smiling. :)

Gwen said...

Girl you are so wise!!! I especially love the friend one. Everyone needs that friend for sure!! Hope you had a wonderful New Years! XOXO

Juliana said...

Oh I have missed you and your ever so beautiful words

Lori ann said...

i'm hoping you and t.b.i.a. will be spending christmas together next year :)
have you read pemas book 'when things fall apart?' it's one of my favorites, full of wisdom and loving words for living.

what did i learn this year? greyhound is the most cost effective way to ship big or heavy items in the u.s. and finally learning that taking time for me does not make me selfish. remember the flight attendant demonstration? the oxygen mask goes on you first, then the less able. you'll be no good to anyone if you haven't nourished yourself first.

love you dear
lori

Barbara said...

You're a smart girl for one so young. Your words of wisdom are spot on...for any age.
Happy New Year to you, my dear (young) friend!

Okie said...

What a fabulous post. Lots of profound and thoughtful nuggets of wisdom there. Thanks so much for sharing.

Sadly, I don't have any wonderfully thoughtful bits of advice to share in return at the moment...I'll have to do some sitting and reflecting.

I guess the one thing that remains true year after year and that I'm constantly reminded of is: Always be the friend to others you want them to be to you -and- never undervalue the influence of family and friends.

Joker_SATX said...

Time in Relationship to Money -

If I could give you $86,400 and told you that you have exactly 24 hours to invest it, what would you do? What you did not invest in 24 hours you MUST give back to me. Would you waste time doing un-productive things, or would you be out there investing that money?

Every Day, the universe hands you 86,400 seconds. And what you do not invest wisely you end up giving back to that which gave them to you....

Ida Nielsen said...

I love your words, and that quote!
Happy New Year!

Kris said...

Wishing you a happy new year! yes, I'm fashionably late. :o)

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