6 Unmissable Lessons I Gleaned from Last Year

I’ve just achieved my New Year’s resolution by using the word “gleaned” in a headline.


My work here is done.

(Not even close.)

* * *

Yesterday, I was thinking about this blog and how life has changed since it began in October 2009; I realized there was no need for a blog overhaul of my categories or topics, because I still like writing about those things — some more than others depending on what I’m up to — and there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

What’s in store for you.

My career focus right now is writing novels, a job you probably don’t connect to, and that’s okay. I still learn things about life as a novelist that I want to share, things you WILL connect to. That will be my focus here in the year ahead.

Thinking back …

2012 was a tough year for many people I love, myself included.

What did I learn?

(What lessons were gleaned?)

Bad things happen to good people. It doesn’t pay to blame or point fingers, because some horrible things simply happen, and I don’t think we’re supposed to ruminate on them. I think we’re supposed to pick ourselves up and look toward the future without letting the bad thing define the rest of our lives.

That’s my plan, anyways.

If you feel stuck in life, change something. What you do to change isn’t as important as the act of change itself. You have to try something new. I wrote about the power of new in this post.

 You can’t control people, or make them think like you. No amount of ranty Facebooks posts or declarations will work. You can only control yourself. When you feel frustrated by people and the world, remember this quote. (click = happy)

You have to make the internet stop. Stop letting it distract you from getting important things done. Stop letting it take you away from  your real, actual life. I am not anti-internet, that should be obvious, but I have learned there is a need to impose restrictions on myself. This is not always easy, but I’m always happy with the result.

  • Try it. Set time aside each day to unplug. If you have a goal, create a focus experiment.

I have American problems. Most of the irritating, earth-shattering, annoying things that happen to me are not real problems. I am not starving or repressed or illiterate. My life is good, really good, and everyone I know has a good life, too. Literally everyone. I remind myself of this all the time and it helps keep my American problems in perspective.

Do not type a nose. Smiley faces are supposed to be eyes and a smile, like this:

: )


: – )

Now you nose know.

Photo by zabaraorg

Check out Arrows by Melissa Gorzelanczyk, coming January 2016 from Delacorte Press/Random House. Visit her author site here.


1 Stacy January 8, 2013 at 9:14 pm

I love the way you said you have an American problem. That is so true and it made me think, yes everything I worry over, is not that import in the grand scheme of the rest of the world. It’s good to live here and be blessed, but also kind of silly about the things that make us stress. Can’t wait to see more of your posts this year.

2 Melissa January 15, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Hi Stacy,
“Don’t sweat the small stuff,” right? Easier said than done at times. Thanks for stopping by and cheers for the year ahead!

3 Morgan January 9, 2013 at 8:34 am

I love your list, especially the “nose”. However, I want to point out, being a citizen of the US does not guarantee a good life. There are impoverished, illiterates here as well. A grumbling stomach due to starvation of an American is no better off than one of a “third world” nation.

4 Melissa January 15, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Dear Morgan,
That is very true, thank you for pointing that out. I feel fortunate that everyone I know has a wonderful life here and a support system in place.
Thanks for reading!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: