It’s December and borderline frigid outside… but I’m thinking lemonade. While 2016 has been less than a banner year, it’s all but over and it’s time to move on. As I contemplate what to carry into the new year as foundational for getting more out of life, my thoughts center on two simple questions, “what essential lessons did I learn and what did I do to learn them?”

What are some key things I did?

  • The best thing I did was delete the Facebook and Messenger apps off of my phone. A few weeks later, I limited myself to no more than 15 minutes daily on FB, and found that many days I didn’t even check FB.
  • I started reading books, blogs, etc., and taking courses relative to my profession (technology and information security)… humbling and enlightening.
  • Reconnected with some co-writers and added a couple of new ones. There is a fair amount of lemon squeezing that needs to be done to get back to writing with consistency again.
  • Stopped being so hard on myself when I didn’t accomplish an objective.
  • I took a week off to go to the beach and unplug.
  • I took a week off to visit with my mother, an aging widow coming to terms with mortality.
  • Started meeting with a financial planner to build a framework and get my “affairs in order”.

So what did I learn?

  • Noise is noise, and distractions lead to more distractions.
  • Knowledge spurs creativity.
  • Nothing worthwhile is easy, not much that’s easy is worthwhile.
  • Focusing on what I do get done helps me enjoy the accomplishments.
  • I need to get more comfortable with downtime.
  • I need to live more for today, enjoy nice things in life more often and more spontaneously.

What can I carry into 2017?

  • It’s time to expunge even more noise and make more music.
  • Information Security is the new “Internet Bubble”, keep learning.
  • Take more chances with putting songs into the wild and let people hear what I’m about.
  • Do more getaway weekends.
  • Take a two week vacation from work, with at least one week being away from home.
  • Visit Mom more often.
  • Don’t let up on setting goals, but tweak those to do lists as necessary.
  • Sip lemonade… even when it’s cold outside.

Dedicated to Lacey, our Yorkie who left us one year ago today and I’ve missed every day since <3

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