My kids are back in school this morning, and I’m finally taking a little time to think and reflect. Over the past few weeks I’ve read lots of social media posts where people recap what they accomplished over the last decade and oh my I’ve really, really enjoyed them — it’s amazing to see how much can happen in ten years! But so far I haven’t felt compelled to make one of my own.
Then, over the weekend I saw a post from Erin Ryan, a media host and writer, talking about what she’s learned in the last decade (instead of what she’s accomplished). I like that concept, and I really like what she had to say. Here are 3 of the things she’s learned:
“20 minutes is nothing; you can do just about anything if you set a timer for that long & do only that thing until it goes off. Reading, exercising (even if it’s just walking), power napping, meditating, vowing revenge…”
“Find a space where you aren’t performing or behaving as though you’re being watched. That’s hard now what with the self-surveillance of social media and the worldwide creeping evil of state surveillance. But find a space where you’re not performing and live there sometimes.”
“If you ever have the chance to take a long trip by yourself to a safe (for you) country that isn’t your home, take it. Even if you only do it once.”
You can read her whole 15-item list on Twitter.
It got me curious about what I myself have learned in the last decade, and it got me curious about what you’ve learned too. I’ll start and I hope you’ll add your hard-won wisdom in the comments. Here are 3 things I’ve learned in the last ten years.
-Let go of 95% of the education-related parenting stress. Your nearby local school is probably great, and it truly only takes a few parents to rally a community and make a school even better. Don’t assume a private/charter school is preferable. If you try your local school and your child isn’t thriving, don’t be alarmed, there are other good options. And there are solid, doable paths to excellent universities for anyone interested — including the kids who messed up in high school or are no good at standardized tests.
-While raising kids, and especially when they are very small, having the option of a truly flexible work schedule is extremely valuable, and at least for me personally, a bigger game-changer than a pay raise.
-Good content/art doesn’t happen easily. If you see a really pretty photo on Instagram, or read a funny tweet, or bookmark an excellent essay, or pin a gorgeous bedroom, or attend a memorable exhibit/event, then you can be sure there was much work, preparation, practice, thinking, and failed attempts in order to see that content/art come to fruition. There are no short cuts. And the work to create good content/art is worth it.
Now it’s your turn. I want to hear something (or many things) you learned over the last decade. Bits of wisdom? Maybe a new skill? And I’d also love to hear if you’ve seen another format for reflection that resonated with you. Have you made any lists or catalogues of your life reflecting the last ten years? Please feel free to share.