A Few Things I Learned in 2012

I wrote this a little while ago, but I was worried I sounded jaded and cynical. But after reading this I’ve decided I should publish it anyway.

2012 has been interesting for me. Challenging in many ways, but also enlightening. Hopefully I’ve grown - personally and professionally.

I’ve learned a few harsh lessons. Which are:

If you work for the love of it, and you lose the love, you’re not left with much.
Some of you may also know this as don’t work for free. I worked on some emotionally challenging projects this year. At times, I felt used, exhausted, resentful and unvalued. What I learned is that I will never work for love again, unless it is on my own projects.

Everyone is in it for themselves.
And most likely they don’t give a shit about you, your bank balance, your feelings or your reputation. They want what they want and if you can’t provide it, they’ll toss you and find someone who can. Unless you’re creating value, you’re not valuable.

Kudos doesn’t pay your bills.
Though I’ve benefitted from some lovely pats on the back this year, you can’t pay your bills with kind words and it is another thing entirely to convert positive sentiment to cold hard cash. Clue: You need to DO SOMETHING.

Fragmented focus leads to burn out / Burn out is a real thing.
Fear of missing out and chronic control freak tendencies have left me feeling utterly worn out this year. And while I may not yet have figured out exactly what it is I’m good at, I’ve found things I love doing, and others that I don’t so it hasn’t been for nothing.

I can’t do everything, but I can do something.
I am limited. There are some things (many, in fact) that I am just not good at. Attempting to solve all the world’s problems on my own is sure to lead to insanity. However, doing what I can to the best of my ability is sure to lead to satisfaction, both personally and professionally.

And the best bits:

I’m very lucky to be married to such an incredible man.
Don’t know what he sees in me, but I’m sure glad he sees something.

Delayed gratification is the definition of maturity.
For all her whining, Carrie Bradshaw was right about one thing. And also, doing things for the benefit of others will bring you more happiness and satisfaction than being self involved ever can.

A little bit of perspective changes everything.
Learn to think of yourself from outside your little patch of the world. Then see if you like what you see.

Support comes from where you least expect it.
At periods this year when I’ve really needed support, I have found it from the most unexpected of avenues. As I now know, its when you’re going through a challenging time that you find out who your real friends are. They’re the ones you should hold on to.

I’d rather be farming.
The absolute simplicity of growing your own food, and sitting outside all of the bullshit, is the one biggest thing I’m looking forward to - the light at the end of the tunnel. And I can’t wait.