What 2017 Taught Me

Like many people I like to look back on my year and review the great wins and the big losses…the good, the bad and the not so pretty. Here are my top 5 lessons of 2017

1. Surround yourself with graceful people.

Owning a dance studio I am surrounded by tons of graceful people, but I am taking about a different type of graceful. I want to surround myself with people who give grace. I am a flawed person, I make mistakes. This last year I made a huge one and (inadvertently) hurt one my treasured teachers deeply. This particular teacher is one of the sweetest, classiest people I know. She had the courage to come to me and let me know I had hurt her, I apologized (profusely and groveled for forgiveness) and we worked it out. She could have held on to her hurt and anger, quit, made a big stink and stirred drama for negative attention, but she didn’t. She gave me grace for my mistake and showed me what true class and kindness looks like. People are flawed and I don’t think we show people enough grace. I think if we all believe people are doing they best they can we can have so much more tolerance for one another. Show someone a little grace today, you will feel better about yourself tomorrow

2. Teach your kids what real courage is

We are living in a world ruled by social media.  There are so many things about social media I love (pics of everyone’s cute kids and dogs and old memories that automatically pop up are my faves).  A huge negative is people are getting a false sense of courage. Everyone feels unstoppable when they are behind a screen. This is especially true for kids, its one of the reasons cyber-bullying is on the rise.  I want to teach my kids to only say online what you would say in person. If there is a problem with a family member, friend or business have the courage and the respect to say it in person. Give the offender the opportunity to defend his or herself, apologize or explain any confusion that may have occurred. Being brave and looking someone in the eye to talk out a problem is showing true courage, confidence and respect.

3. Motley Crue gives great advice

“Season’s must change, separate paths separate ways, if we blame it one anything, let’s blame it on the rain. Don’t go away mad, just go away.”

But seriously, why can’t a relationship end, a team member quit, an employee move on without a leaving a wake a drama? Because it is easier for people to leave what they know and have been a part of when they are mad. Not many people are comfortable saying “hey this didn’t work for me, but I wish you the best of luck”. I think women in particular have a hard time asking for what they need and in turn stating what is not working for them. When they don’t ask for what they need the need goes unfulfilled and then they are angry and resentful about it. When we don’t talk about a problem or something that we are unhappy about it festers. All that anger and resentment bubbles up into what is perceived as irrational drama.

Which brings me to #4

4. Self advocate and teach your kids to do the same.

Why is it so uncomfortable to ask for what we need? Is it because we don’t feel we are worthy of needs? Because we are superwomen who can handle it all on our own? Or are we afraid to be vulnerable and admitting we need something is viewed as a weakness? Are we afraid of asking for what we need and being rejected? And is the fear of that rejection worse then the need, so we prefer to suffer in silence? This cycle is crazy. It makes me tired just hashing out those few sentences. Can we please break the cycle now and teach our kids to be strong, brave and comfortable in their vulnerability and ask for what they need?  I we can do that I see much healthier relationships in their future!

5. The people I have given the most to have hurt me the most…but I will keep giving.

This quote from Mother Teresa sums up my year…
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

I hope you have learned some great lessons in 2017…even if it was a bit painful.  I am so ready for 2018! It is going to be my best year yet and I wish it to be your best year too!

Cheers!

 

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