Life Lessons Learned

life lessons learnedI was pretty much “done” with Valentine’s Day before I even went to bed that night, but I still wanted to make my Life Lessons Learned list before I forget.  I thought I’d share it with you, in case it helps.

(because i’d like to think other people can learn from my mistakes.)

After each holiday or event in my life I try to jot down some lessons learned.  I don’t always remember for a smaller event (like an outing to the zoo) but for big stuff like vacations and major holidays I do pretty well.

For really big stuff (like cooking Thanksgiving dinner for 20) I file away the shopping list and recipes I used along with notes.  (things like “8 cups of sweet potatoes wasn’t enough, but 4 cups of cranberry sauce was too much!” or “this recipe was a hit, but no one liked my dressing.”)

If you don’t do this, start now!

  1. Grab a 3 ring binder and some dividers and some notebook paper.  Label one divider for each month and keep a few extras (stuff like “vacation” and “houseguests” and “stomach flu” end up with their own tabs).
  2. Not jot down everything that worked for Valentine’s Day.  Also jot down the stuff that didn’t, the stuff you regret not doing, the the stuff you wish you could do differently.
  3. Then pop it under “February” and be done with it.   Next year, check the list when you start making plans for Valentine’s Day.

Repeat this for each event – the birthdays, the trips, the holidays, the sleepovers, whatever.

(alternately, create a notebook in Evernote for LLL.  jot it down there and then tag your notes with what makes sense.  done.)

To get you started, here’s mine for Valentine’s Day

Life Lessons Learned

What worked:

  1. Gift bag for valentine mailbox is just fine.  Easier than a decorated shoe box.  Kids didn’t mind.  Get them from the dollar store.
  2. Single treat with a valentine sticker attached was easy.
  3. Taking the kids to the grocery store to shop for special dinner was fun.  They picked great food and enjoyed helping with dinner.
  4. Making the kids make a valentine for hubby was sweet and special.
  5. Celebrating first kiss day INSTEAD of Valentine’s day with hubby.  Much more special and it took the pressure off the day.  He liked it.

What stunk:

  1. The kids didn’t make me a Valentine.  Not acceptable.  They have to learn.
  2. The whole “this isn’t candy I don’t want to give my friends a healthy treat” fiasco.  Ugh.
  3. The bags of treats I bought for the kids to give were YELLOW – great idea, but it didn’t feel very seasonal.
  4. Trying to schedule a business meeting on a day with school parties – stupid.  Epic fail.

What I wish:

  1. I wish I’d baked.
  2. I wish the kids had done something for others.
  3. I wish I’d planted flowers in the garden.
  4. I wish I’d decorated the front porch.

Open Questions:

  1. What do I want my kids to be learning?  
  2. How can I train them now so that they can navigate the day in adulthood? 
  3. What needs does my family have that should be met?  It’s not just about me.

Next Year Ideas:

  1. Scripture and quotes about love
  2. Charlie Brown Valentine movie – Watty is fixated on it.
  3. Crochet mustaches.  These would be a big hit and easy to make.  But they’d need good packaging.
  4. Can I make my own conversation hearts?  Would it be worth it?

See?  Simple.

The list took me maybe five minutes.

(in full disclosure, i also have about four rough drafts for blog entries for next year that are going in the same place.  the same system rocks for keeping up with seasonal blog content ideas.)

For what it’s worth, I made a note in 2001 that reads “if I want roses for Valentine’s I’m going to need to buy them for myself.”  In 2003 I made a note “don’t plan a romantic dinner involving fish.”   In 2004  I was pregnant – “pj’s aren’t romantic, but nothing else was either.”

What were your big lessons from the day?

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://thishappymom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/DSC_0036.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Houston Mom Blogger Susan Baker has a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood. She has two elementary school boys, one engineering husband, and one cat. She has a strange fascination  for eggs, socks, and books.  She spends far too much time on Social Media and at Target. She is crazy in love with her family.  She serves an amazing God.   She lives an ordinary life filled with wonder. [/author_info] [/author]

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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Comments

  1. Beautiful thought of collecting recipes and and great idea of gifting valentines mailbox is just awesome.

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