Lessons Learned

2019 nightlights

As 2019 draws to a close, here, in no particular order and with the help of minds far wiser than mine, are lessons learned:

Be brave enough to suck at something new.

And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good. John Steinbeck

If it costs you your peace, it’s too expensive.

Laughter is truly the best medicine.

Don’t forget to look up. Neil degrasse Tyson

There is always, always, always, something to be thankful for.

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers. Socrates

In whom much is given, much is required.  Luke 12:48

We never stop looking.  We’re all waiting for that moment – this belief that there will be no back to the wardrobe, that it goes all the way through.  Leigh Bardugo

You can’t wait for inspiration.  You have to go after it with a club.

Asked if you want to visit Croatia, the answer should always be yes.

You are never too old to make good friends.

Exercise makes you look better naked.  So does alcohol.  Your choice.

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away. Picasso

Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.  Jerry Seinfeld

Family is anyone who you can’t imagine your life without. Jennifer Garner

Be joyful though you have considered all the facts.  Wendell Berry

To move forward you have to give back. Oprah

A book is a heart that beats in the chest of another. Rebecca Solnnit

Some people come into your life as blessings. Some come as lessons.  Mother Teresa

A great story never began with someone drinking water.

Some people believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay.  Small acts of kindness and love.  J.R.R. Tokien

If your cup is only half full, you probably need a different bra.

Home isn’t where we live.  Home is where we love.

Reading can seriously damage your ignorance.

Sometimes the universe shows us the way even when we are not looking.

You aren’t wealthy until you have something that money can’t buy. Garth Brooks

I’ve found the key to happiness. Stay the hell away from assholes.

Sunsets are proof that endings can be beautiful too.  Bernie Taupin

The future has a way of arriving unannounced.

I do not understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us. Anne Lamott

Happy 2020 all!

2019 winter sunset




7 thoughts on “Lessons Learned

  1. Hi Debbie!

    Linda Jarred (Greece tour) here.  Enjoyed your “Lessons Learned” post.  Well, I’ve been brave enough to suck at something new along with a couple of others you’ve listed.  You might remember that my passion is art and I paint as much as I can.  We moved late last year and I thought I would use one of the bedrooms as a studio. What I totally forgot was that in the old house I had a huge crawl space loaded with art supplies.  The new studio bedroom only has a small closet.  I crammed stuff everywhere including in the 2 rarely used bathroom showers.  After moving everything out of the way over and over again to get to the one thing I needed, I finally decided it wasn’t going to work.  So I built a 14X20 ft studio in the backyard and I LOVE it.  It has 2 lofts for storage and it isn’t one inch too large either!  Then just as that was wrapping up, I discovered that in Arkansas, if you’re over 60 (I am by quite a bit!) you can take any class the colleges offer and tuition is free.  You have to wait until 3 days before the class starts to allow the paying customers to register, but if there’s space available, you can attend any class.    I looked at all the class offerings online and decided I wanted to take Figure Drawing since it would incorporate all the aspects of drawing – shading, perspective, proportion etc.  There was a prerequisite of Drawing 1, but a buddy of mine said, “You don’t need that!  Just ask for an exemption.”  I had to submit some drawings before the exemption was granted but I got it.  So exactly 50 years after I went off to college the first time, I was going back again.  WHAT WAS I THINKING??  The KIDS I was in class with had all been drawing since before they were born!  But since I’m stubborn I wouldn’t quit.  It meant I had to study up on the weekends to be able to keep up but it worked out.  I didn’t realize the time commitment involved.  The instructor assigned 5 drawings (18″x24″) each week of crazy things.  Man with antlers coming out of his head, woman with a shaved head covered in tatoos, futuristic sniper, fisherman eating his own bait etc.  She was trying to spark our creativity. The wild thing is that I Googled every single one and there were plenty of options for me to use as a guide.  I couldn’t get over that!  Each drawing took me a MINIMUM of 3 hours – some as much as a day.  Then there was 6 hrs of class each week.  It was a grind. Semester ended Dec 16th and all the work paid off.  I learned so much and looking back through my sketchbook, I can see tremendous progress over the semester.  So in the next couple of weeks, I’ll be getting back to painting and using color (class was in charcoal).

    Just wanted to say Hi and wish you the best in 2020!  Please say Hi to Sallie – I really do think of you two often and have such great memories of that trip.  Haven’t been anywhere since – spent my money on the studio.  I keep in touch with Frances Hall (New Zealand traveler) and she’s doing well.  Tinkering with the idea of a trip there for my 70th (2021).  It’s a LONG way to go and I need to water my money tree next to my studio 🙂

    Take care,



    • Linda – I can not describe how wonderful it is to hear from you! I love that quote about being brave enough to suck at something new and you personified it perfectly with your drawing class! I have been thinking about taking a class and learning something new as well – not sure what specifically yet as I have so many interests – maybe graphic design or quilting. The new thing that I am taking on this year is becoming president of a nonprofit board of very strong and wonderful women – challenging but inspiring as well. 2020 will also include a wedding (my son’s) and a baby (my daughter is due with a girl in June!). So much to be thankful for. This year I traveled to Croatia with my sister-in-law and Santa Fe with three high school friends. I loved them both and Croatia reminded me of Greece but it was also surprising in so many ways.
      Anyway, thank you so much for following my blog and for writing! We are certainly wealthy with friendship!


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