Eleven Life Lessons in 2014


2014 has been the most challenging year I have ever experienced, for a number of reasons. With a house move, hospital stay, the death of my elderly cat and a suddenly massive workload there have been times where I have been left feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and totally lost. However, I’ve worked incredibly hard to get back on track, things have started to settle down a little and now it seems like I have emerged on the other side. I’m a little battered and bruised, but I’m proud of everything that I have accomplished.

As with any difficulties in life, there are lessons to be learned, and I have learned a great deal of them over the last year.

1. Ask for help. A heavy workload does not go away, and the more you take on alone, the more overwhelmed you will feel. Previous experiences left me with the idea that asking for help shows signs of weakness and leaves you vulnerable and susceptible to negativity. It doesn’t. Asking for help from the right people at the right time not only allows for delegation and a reduction in workload, but it can strengthen relationships and gain you more respect from others. Two pairs of hands are always better than one.

2. Find what your passion is, and reward yourself with time to pursue it. Unless you absolutely love and live for your job (of which I know very few who do), this year has taught me that it is important to have the time to have do something that you truly enjoy. For me, that is writing, and I got into the habit of rewarding myself with time to write once I had got my work done. At times, it has been a lifesaver.



3. Stand up for yourself. I’m confident on paper, but in the real world I am easily intimidated and back down to avoid confrontation. This year, I didn’t – I stood my ground on things that I genuinely believed were worth standing up for, and as a result I was listened to and understood.

4. Move on. For years I held quite a nasty grudge against a few who have treated me badly. Recently, I decided to let it go. I haven’t forgotten and it is going to take some time, but I feel emotionally lighter now the heavy burden of anger has gone.

5. When things are down, surround yourself with the people that lift you. When things get tough I shut down and close myself in. However, recently I decided to change this rather nasty habit and started to make more of an effort with people who I enjoy spending time with. Consequently, I have had some brilliant evenings over the last year which have given me the opportunity to relax, switch off and enjoy their company.

6. Stop procrastinating. As the self- proclaimed ‘Queen of Procrastination’ I learned that this was being detrimental to my lifestyle. Instead, I learned to try and do things when they were set, rather than leaving it till the deadline. The sooner something is started, the sooner it is finished.



7. Sleep. I’ve always been a night owl – I much prefer being awake late than getting up for an early morning. Unfortunately, this also meant that I was tired during the times where the most energy was needed, so I started taking myself off to bed earlier and getting up earlier. I feel much better for it.

8. Breathe. It is ok to take time for yourself. You are allowed to relax, read a book, have a long bath, watch an uplifting film or have a massage without feeling guilty. This year I have learned to sit back, take stock of recent events and just breathe. My only regret is that I didn’t learn to do this earlier.

9. Stop worrying. I worry about anything and everything, but recently I learned to start asking myself if the issue that was causing the anxiety would still be an issue in a few days time, and what the solution would be. If something is beyond my control, I am trying to accept that it is what it is.

10. Look after your health. I allowed my pace of life to take over and avoided minor nagging physical ailments because I was ‘too busy’ to go to the doctors. I stopped taking care of myself. I ignored an easily treatable urinary tract infection, which over time developed into quite a serious kidney infection that landed me in hospital for nearly a week. This year, I have learned that my health takes priority over everything, and I take the time to ensure that I am getting everything that I need to remain so.

11. Most importantly, I have learned to be a little more appreciative of the people who have been there through it all – The Bloke who has provided constant support, love and a shoulder to cry on, the friends who have bought me a drink at the end of a tough day, who visited me in hospital, who have listened when I have needed to talk, my family, and, of course, you guys. You’ve helped me through the best and worst moments of this year, and your messages and emails have made me laugh. Thank you.

What about you guys? What have you learnt in the last twelve months?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks



39 thoughts on “Eleven Life Lessons in 2014

  1. Nice post Suzie. I can definitely connect with the Health piece. It’s the first thing I assess when I’m feeling lousy and can usually be traced back to lack of sleep/poor diet. I find that once you get on top of that, your thoughts and outlook become a lot clearer.


  2. Great list Suzie, thnaks for sharing. I won’t say that I’ve learned these things, but maybe had them re-inforced:
    – I am in control of my happiness.
    – Things fall into two categories, things I can do something about so I do it and move on and things that I can do nothing about, so I pray about and move on.

    Wishing you and yours a most #AWEsome and prosperous New Year!

  3. An excellent list. All of these would be on my own list too, but for me health is #1
    Another I would add along the lines of standing up for yourself is to speak up.
    Express yourself and your opinion, especially when things are not the way you want them to be. Those around us cannot read minds. We must let others know when we’re not happy about something that was said or done or we’ll be destined to suffer repeatedly in silence for fear of offending.
    Suzie I wish you all the best for 2015 and thanks so much for your amazing work with #SundayBlogShare – cheers!

    • Thanks so much Norm, and thanks for participating in #SundayBlogShare too! Totally agree that health should be at the top – when I was younger I took it for granted… Happy New Year!

  4. Your list includes lessons we all need to learn along the way of this journey. Because I was basically a shy and private person, for years I held back in expressing my affections. Then, one day, it finally dawned. It’s not about ME. It’s about other people and what I can offer them in listening, talking, and taking action to help when it is needed or requested. What a relief! The change of attitude opened many doors, in both my private and professional lives. I’ve given up the idea of my gravestone saying, “She saved it.”

  5. Great as usual and I identify with them all. I’ve discovered that I am terrible if I break from routine and I smoke and drink too much lol

  6. I’m starting to learn to let things go, worries, grudges etc., to reduce my stress level. For instance, I’ve just recently forgiven you for not commenting on my Throwback Thursday post from the second week of March last year.

  7. Looks like you about to do what I started to do at the beginning of 2014.

    All I can say is to keep at it, Suzie, because it really does work. And when ever self doubt or any negativity comes knocking on the door, ignore it and do what’s best for you and/or those closest to you.

    I’ve had great fun with your SundayBlogShare parties on Twitter which have resulted in nothing but positivity for me, my writing and my blog. Thank you for continuing to push me in the right direction.

    • Thank you so much Hugh – I really appreciate it! I’m so glad that you like #SundayBlogShare – I registered to hashtag the other day to my Twitter account so it looks like it’s here to stay! I saw your comment about the guest post – thanks so much for the invite! I’d be available for guest posts around Easter if that’s ok?

      • Terrific, that’s absolutely great, Suzie. I know guest blogging is not new, but it is for my blog and something I’ve only just started doing. If I touch base with you about it again, say at the beginning of March, would that give you plenty of time to be my guest blogger for April?

        I can’t believe we are already talking about Easter but, then again, I’ve already seen the first Cadbury’s Creme Eggs in the shops!

  8. Vital life lessons! Procastination is a particular area of improvement for me. It’s such a thief of productivity! A very brief summary of my 2014 lessons is probably, ‘this too shall pass’.

    Thanks for another thoughtful post.

  9. This is a great list; and timely. 🙂 It is relevant to some of the major topics I have scheduled to write posts about this year. I will attempt to reblog this post tomorrow. (Tues. Jan. 6) I do hope 2015 will be The Very Best Year for you and I thank you for a great blog that has often inspired me personally. {I followed for a while from an unconnected account before creating my WP account.}

  10. Reblogged this on Epiphanies & Peas and commented:
    I wanted to reblog Suzie’s post last week as my first official reblog because every point she made is one that is very important, to me. I found her Life Lessons very inspirational and, looking at her page, a good number of people agree. 🙂

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