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Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015: The Year Of The Shark

Goodbye, 2015. You were a Year Of Many Lessons. Some of your Lessons, I enjoyed (driving and docking the boat, making fish tacos, the joy of simpler living); others, not so much (well...let's not talk about them). But, your biggest Lesson is one that I keep learning, and it is sometimes your Hardest Lesson of all.

That is why I call 2015 The Year Of The Shark. For ages and ages, it has been said that sharks have to keep moving or they drown. Even though this isn't exactly true for the majority of shark species, it's still accurate to say that there are some varieties of sharks who have to maintain forward swimming motion or they will, indeed, die. 2015 made me realize that I had to be very sharklike and only move forward, too.

It is hard to be disappointed, to suffer loss, to be angry, to be hurt, and to feel sad. But if I'm going to replay those feelings, or dwell upon the episodes that caused them, I'm paralyzing myself. The Year Of The Shark almost made me forget my mantra of "Do whatever you can and then move on, knowing you did what you could."

Almost.

As I've said before, both here and on my defunct blog Stuff On Our List (co-authored with Jared years ago), I don't usually make actual New Year's Resolutions because I think of myself as being on a Continuous Journey Of Self-Improvement. Last year, I did make two, which I promptly forgot, but they sort of roll into my Big Three Resolutions, which are guideposts for my life and have not changed. They are:

1. Be kind.
2. Shut up.
3. Never say never.

Pretty self-explanatory for the most part: I try to make kindness my default in every situation; I try to listen more than talk, which can be a challenge for me; and I try not to deal in absolutes, especially in discussions. Rather than say, "I would never own a gun," I say, "I can't imagine a scenario in which I'd own a gun." Beyond this, I continue to be grateful and work on my patience. Remember--Continuous Journey!

Goodbye, 2015. I look forward now to 2016 and what and who it may bring me. Happy New Year to all of you, and thank you again for reading and commenting. I hope to give you much more for both in the coming year.

17 comments:

  1. Excellent rules to live by. I'm always surprised when I see how far kindness and politeness get me on a daily life. I've tried to impress on my two grown sons that "please" and "thank you" are basics in life. And I think they are teaching that to their children.

    So, Merry New Year and may 2016 be happy and healthy for us all.

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    1. Gammyjill--Welcome to the Dept.! Thanks for commenting. Thanks to a Certain Person Currently Running For President and getting a lot of attention for lacking civility and tact, kindness and politeness are beginning to look archaic and obsolete. People like you and me need to be even firmer in our Resolve to model proper human behaviour.

      I hope you are here in Comments often in 2016, a year I have great hopes for as well.

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  2. Happy New Year, Nance! I am sitting at home, because impossible to find a babysitter for New Year's Eve, and as I have become older, I've become aware that I don't really like New Year's Eve celebrations out. They are fun until I am white-knuckling the entire drive home.

    Looking forward to 2016, it should hopefully be an improvement.

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    1. Gina--Thank you. Rick and I gave up going out on NYE years and years ago, as have many of our family and friends. We're kind of burnt out on each other from Christmas, and we're over holiday food and big gatherings. I guess we also don't really buy into the big symbolism of seeing off the old year, etc.

      Aren't we No Fun!?

      2015 had some challenges, but it wasn't All Bad. As I said, I learned a lot of things, met some new friends, and spent some great times out on the lake. But I'm hopeful that 2016 is brighter. For everyone!

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  3. Happy New Year! Here's hoping 2016 brings a much better year for you. I have spent years doing things I said I'd never do so I quit saying "never" long ago.

    We all need to subscribe to your Big Three Resolutions. Would solve a multitude of problems.

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    1. NCmountainwoman--Thank you. I think we all want each year to be better than the last, don't we? Onward and upward, and all that.

      I am slow to learn that Lesson, the one you obviously mastered years ago. It's sad how we get in our own way sometimes. In my case, it's a Verbal Proclivity that I have to become Master over. Like you, I have spent years now doing things I said I never would: sending text messages, wearing leggings, eschewing jewelry of all kinds, giving up my high heels...SO MANY. It's scary.

      I'm thankful to have found your blog. Though I may not always have a comment to add, I am a faithful reader. It is a lovely spot that I thoroughly enjoy.

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  4. I've been TRYING to be more Kind. It's a trial and a tribulation for a grumpy-pants introvert. And really, before I can be Kind, I need to Pay Attention. Maybe I'll try to make that my mantra this year :)

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    1. Bug--I understand you are an introvert, but it shocks me to hear you say that you struggle to be kind. Reading you gives me the impression that you are Quite Kind. I wonder if you are, perhaps, hard on yourself in your evaluation of your character.

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  5. Happy New Year, Nance! Like you, I have been working on the "being nice" thing for many years. I can have such a big mouth and, in the name of honesty, can brutally shred those with more sensitive natures. My poor, late husband had such patience with me and taught me a modicum of diplomacy, so I have come a long way. But I'm finding that without him, my patience with stupidity (think current GOP presidential candidates), has me swearing like a sailor again. *sigh* Patience and tolerance are topping my list for 2016.

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    1. Karen--Thank you. I have curbed my swearing quite a lot since retirement since 99% of my stress is gone. What remains of my Recreational Swearing is really mild, and can be termed as Rare in the company of others except for my very closest friends and if I've been having more than a glass or two of wine.

      As far as The Politics thus far, I've been using my patience and remembering who won Iowa and South Carolina last time around (Santorum and Gingrich, respectively, and WackaDoo Bachmann won the straw poll, fwiw). Early polls mean very little, especially in the republican party fringes, where big-mouthed yahoos like to bluster and yap to the media, but rarely show up to vote, or if they do, get into the booth and then think, "Can I really vote for this goofball?"

      Rise above this idiocy and think of Abraham Lincoln. That's what I do.

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  6. No. 3 has been a life-long slogan for me. For many reasons. Numbers 1 and 2--- those are still a work in progress.

    Interesting click-on-glass article. I think Palin likely *was* the beginning of the end for sensible, vaguely coherent republicans. I shudder to think what may be possible in this election year and the ongoing circus of loonies who are dominating the polls. This is where ‘never say never’ becomes more horrifying than inspiring. I know I shall rely on your wit and wisdom to help me through it, Nance.

    My very best wishes to you and yours for a wonderful 2016! And may we all come out of it in better shape than ever. <3 <3 <3

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    1. Ortizzle--Bless your heart. *I* am a Work In Progress. How are you down there in TX? Have you floated or blown away? I forget where exactly you are, and it's not because I do not care.

      The clink article reaffirms what I said years ago (and hence) here in posts at the Dept. I feel so Smart And Vindicated. What continues to frustrate me is the number of people who are working poor, uneducated, and living on assistance and taking advantage of social programs who swear allegiance to some of these gop idiots who espouse radical budget reforms that will only hurt them and the very things they depend upon (Head Start, food stamps, subsidized housing, etc). They rally and cheer for Trump, a mega-millionaire Wharton School grad born with a silver spoon in his mouth, whose tip budget is bigger than their average income over five years. It's mind-boggling.

      When it starts to affect my Zen, I stare at a picture of President Lincoln. Settles me right down.

      Miss you. Hope you are Good Busy and not Crazed Busy. XXOO

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  7. *Haven't floated away, but could have been blown away. Spent boxing day listening to tornado sirens all evening. Several headed directly for north Dallas, and one of the worst (the F4) suddenly veered east at the last minute and hit a suburb about 20 miles from us. It lifted several cars right off the freeway. The people traveling at the time could not hear the sirens above the roar of the tornado, and couldn't see it, either, because it was after dark. So I gotta think we were damn lucky.

    *Clink the Glass (henceforth to be known as CTG)--- so very true that tons of Trump supporters are so clueless that they think this fascist monster is the answer to their prayers.

    *Some crazy busy, and some good busy. But getting some nice down time over the hols before the crazy starts up again. XX00

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  8. Your mantra is similar to mine: "When something works, stick with it; when something doesn't work, let. it. go." I like your resolutions, too. If I had a glass at hand I'd raise it in a toast to you and them. But as I don't have one nearby, it shall be a virtual gesture. Happy New Year.

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    1. Ally Bean--Thank you. Getting stuck in a rut is easy, especially when things get comfortable and the routine becomes comfy. I have started asking myself, "Is this really working for me?" If the answer is No, then I have to look closely at making changes, however uncomfortable they may be.

      I hate that part. Sigh.

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  9. Hi Nance,
    I commented yesterday but now it is gone.. I told you that I thought 2016 was going to be a very good year for me because I have always wanted to be on a television show. Well,the other day I weighed myself and I'm pretty sure I can get on "The Biggest Loser." Happy New Year!!!!

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    1. Nancy--Sorry that you had trouble commenting. Make sure you always click Publish or Save Comment or whatever and wait for it to Happen. Were you signed in? Thanks so much for persevering!

      Ah, the Weight Thing. If you are being even a little bit Serious, I hear you and sympathize. After The Menopause, I have a persistent Flab Companion that will not move out and start a life of its own. I never wanted a third child, so it is most unwelcome. Grrr.

      Lovely to see you here!

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