Prov 17:22

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Stuff I Learned in 2017

Going a whole year without learning anything new would be a tragedy, don’t you agree? Some years it might be a stretch to figure out what you learned, but taking inventory of the past twelve months usually sheds light on a few. Here are mine.

I learned some new words.
You would think I’d know a lot of words, fancying myself a writer and all. But the more writerly friends I make, the more I realize my vocabulary is stuck in Grade Five. So, I’ve intentionally tried to notice new words as I come across them. Unfortunately, I’ve already forgotten both of them. Perhaps in 2018, I will remember to take actual notes, not just mental ones. 

One new word that sticks in my head, likely because I see it on Facebook so often, is “trynna.” I’m trynna find a good plumber. I’m trynna clean the house. I’m trynna write a blog post with some value to it.

“Trynna” is similar to “wanna” or “gonna.” Only wronger.

I learned how to launch two novels in the same year.
Photo by Stan Wiebe
My second novel came out at the end of January and my third in mid-August. I’ve learned I need to take a week off from my day job if I’m going to have enough energy for the whirlwind of launch parties, radio and newspaper interviews, hair and nail appointments. It’s a rough life. 

Some readers have asked about a fourth novel and I’m happy to say one is in the works. Since my publisher discontinued its fiction line, however, I’m praying for a new publisher in 2018.

I learned I can still be helpful. For a limited time only.
Our fifth grandson arrived in September. He was considerate enough to postpone his arrival until a day after I’d landed in Calgary to help. I spent ten days chasing his big brother, cooking, cleaning, and generally trying to make myself as useful to my daughter and son-in-law as possible. Long-distance grandparenting seems to be an all-or-nothing deal, so I gave 110%. When the time came to catch my flight home, it was the first time I’ve said goodbye without crying. Too exhausted or too relieved? I’m still not sure. The tears came later, when my daughter’s thank you card arrived in the mail, pouring out heartfelt gratitude.

I learned to celebrate…sort of.
Hubby and I reached our 40th wedding anniversary on October first. Our lofty goal to check all forty activities off our list throughout the year revealed how celebration-challenged we are. Still, we did accomplish half, which is more than we’d have done without the list. Best thing I learned from that experience is if you actually write things down, you’re more likely to take the steps toward making them happen. And there’s no law saying we can’t finish it in our forty-first year or beyond.

Not too shabby, eh? How about you? Look back through your calendar. I’ll bet you’ll be surprised by how much you’ve learned, too.  Happy New Year!

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