End of the Year: What Have We Learned? You'd Be Surprised

John McManamy Health Guide
  • This is the time of year to pause and reflect. A few of my own random ruminations: 


    Major achievement of the year


    Veggies baked in puff pastry. Last year, I perfected a veggie loaf. This was a greens-mushroom-potato-walnut-egg concoction stuffed in a meatloaf pan. This year, I had the bright idea of rolling it up in a mustard-coated puff pastry sheet. What came out of the oven was a culinary masterpiece - my own Veggie Wellington.


    Lesson - We don’t have to envy anyone else’s accomplishments. I’m quite happy to be remembered for my Veggie Wellington.


    Major realization of the year number one

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    Optimism has its limits. By all means, rise above pessimism, but do recognize that life tends to get in the way. Nevertheless, bad situations have a way of improving. That’s the optimist in me talking.


    Major realization of the year number two


    There is no place in my life (or yours) for idiots. This is a lesson I constantly find myself relearning. Okay, I’m done. No more idiots.


    Major realization of the year number three


    There is a difference between volunteering and working for free. Getting the distinction right leads to happiness and fulfillment. Getting it wrong leads to lots of idiots in your life.


    Something I didn’t know last year


    We don’t give luck the recognition it deserves. Instead, we erroneously ascribe results to human agency. Yes, humans do count for something, but let’s not overdo it. Malcolm Gladwell writes extensively on this, as does Nassim Taleb and Daniel Kahneman. I heartily recommend their books and TED Talks.


    Something I also didn’t know last year


    If you air out your bedding, you won’t have to do as much laundry. Don’t ask why it took me so long to learn this.


    An insight into bipolar that I didn’t have last year


    Bipolar is what happens AFTER something goes wrong in the brain. This is an egg’s-eye view of the chicken situation. Another way of putting it: Flipping out or getting depressed doesn’t make us stressed and overwhelmed. It’s the other way around - getting stressed and overwhelmed causes us to flip out and get depressed.


    Feel free to reject the notion in its entirety. But do sample the food for thought. 


    Where my first ten million is going to come from


    Ice cream that doesn’t melt. Remember, they laughed at Edison.


    Where I expect to make zero dollars for two years of effort


    Eighteen months ago, I suspended publication of my personal blog to work on a novel. Many drafts later, the story bears no semblance to my initial concept. Every day involves solving intractable problems. I will probably never finish the thing to satisfaction.


    Lesson - I wouldn’t have it any other way.


    Finally ...


    Thank you, my community here at HealthCentral, for being in my life this year. Please feel free to share your end-of-year thoughts, and here’s to a satisfying and unpredictable 2014.

Published On: December 30, 2013