Saturday, December 28, 2013


Have you heard the phrase, "He's forgotten more than you'll every know." Usually this term is in reference to an elderly person who has always been intelligent but has begun to lose some memory.
Well, I think to stay ahead in the memory and intelligence game, one must continually learn. What we learn doesn't seem to be important--anything will do.

In this vein, then, what did I learn in the year of 2013?

1. First, I learned that true friendship weathers storms of all kinds. I have categories of friends, and I suspect everyone does. Good friends are to be cherished, because when you lose one, it's like losing a family member. The adage is true, that "God gave us Friends to Make Up For Some of Our Family."

2. Second, I learned that good health is our most valued gift from God. Ask me about any medical problem, and I bet I can tell you something about it. How do I know so much? Google will tell me anything in this world I need or want to know. Since I'm always interested in medical issues, I have learned how to research, read, and comprehend just about anything medically. Some think I'm a little weird about this, but think about how much I've learned.

3. Third, I learned that humans as a whole have good hearts. Show me the most caustic, hateful, rude, irreverent person, and I believe somewhere, somehow, something will make tears come to that person's eyes. We're all wired to be at least somewhat sensitive to others. (This belief does NOT include Charles Manson, chronic child molesters, Kim Jung Il, or Bashar al-Assad."

4. Fourth, I learned that our world is in a big messy battle. I don't think I recall a year in which so many countries are in extreme turmoil to the point of collapse since WWII. And I believe I learned every one of these battles is based on a particular religious belief. We can fight many enemies, but we cannot fight other religions and win. It's just not going to happen.

5.  Fifth, I re-learned:
There is a time for everything,  and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,   
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,     
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,    
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,  
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,     
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,     
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace

6. Sixth, from Ecclesiastes 3 (see #5), I learned that "Everything You Need To Know You Can Learn From This Chapter of the Bible." To me, it's the wisest, the most comprehensible, and the most common sense advice I really need.

7. Seventh, I learned not how much I know, but how much I don't know. And this list is endless. If I don't wake up every morning and find something good in the day to learn, then I have wasted an entire precious day of my life.
~*~Don't do that. Yes, at times we have more to do in a day than we can complete, but count your blessings for that.
~*~We needn't be a driving force all day every day, but sometimes take the advice to find "a time to dance."
~*~Now, I sound like a preacher, and I'm far from that, I assure you.

 8. Eighth, my last and final thing I learned: Don't do something because you feel obligated. Been there, done that. The activity really gets you nowhere. I don't mean throw your obligations aside, such as refuse to cook dinner ever again, but if you are involved in anything that seems like a chore, a burden, or a big waste of time...then you have my permission: DON'T DO IT.

Romance...and a little bit of Texas


  1. Celia, I love this post! I never really thought about what I learned. Guess I should give it some thought.

  2. Celia - you pretty much covered the ground. I'll add a few thoughts:

    We of a certain age should hang out with younger folks. Listen to what they have to say - it's important. Don't offer advice, even when asked.

    Each day is a gift - enjoy the sunrise and the sunset both.

    Ignore politics - local, state and national. It's beyond our control.

  3. I've just learned that I've kept my focus far too tight - and it's not done me any good at all.

    Good for you, Celia. And Happy New Year to you all.

  4. I love the way you're thinking before the new year rolls in. It is a good time to stop and take account of the positive things we've experienced and learned this last year.
    A good friend of mine lost her brother on Dec. 21. He just went to bed and didn't wake up. He hadn't even been sick the day before. My eyes were opened. Ready or not, God calls you home when He wants be ready every day for what might be your last day on Earth.
    I also learned this past year as I underwent treatment for cancer just who my friends were and who I could count on. Those who preservered with me through all that will be treasured by me forever.
    I learned the work I love can help me move through difficult situations by helping me focus and feel productive--even when I was sick.
    I learned not to waste my time and energy on things and people that make me feel bad. I want to surround myself with positivity. I can feel bad about myself without any help. There is something magical about a positive person, like a light in the darkness.
    I really liked your blog, Celia. As usual, you present some very provocative thoughts. Happy New Year to you.

  5. Cheryl--have you written your list het? Thanks for commenting.

  6. Dac--very wise thoughts. I do believe in your thought to avoid politics. Nothing is a bigger waste of time to listen to all those know-it-alls.
    Yes, every day is a gift. The bible says God promises us only this day--no more. just the day you're living in is really the only one you have for sure.
    Thanks--and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  7. Great ideas, Celia. I know that life is, or should be, a learning experience. God and his angels are always sending me new challenges and the thing I learned is to never give up on something that means a lot to you - a dream cannot come true if you don't work to make it so. After 24 years I held my first print book. I was surprised it didn't give me the thrill I thought it would and then I realized it wasn't the physical book that made the dream come true, it was the 'never giving up' attitude I found from somewhere (possibly my Scottish stubborn genes)and seeing the success from this approach to life. SO, what I learned in 2013 is I can do anything if I try hard enough and if it doesn't come true it is because it wasn't suppose to. I also found comfort and peace at Christmas time this year for the first time in eleven years. I thank all my friends who've helped out of the dark...

  8. Linda--great. I'm not certain what you mean, but I assume it's something to do with writing or promoting. I do understand in principal. It's wonderful to find a solution or an answer.
    Happy New Year

  9. Sarah--yes, ready or not, we may be called home. I've heard of this happening lately at least two other times to people I barely know...but enough to stop and wonder about it. How must a wife feel and how would she cope with this horrible fact.

    I knew you were struggling with cancer treatment, but not until it was almost over. I remember thinking, she is an angel, a very caring generous woman who carries on, getting out of life every drop, even when sick. I do admire you so much that you didn't broadcast it all the time.
    And not wasting your time on people or something that makes you feel bad. That's an important thing to learn. Just recently, I had to distance myself from a person in town, and I hate to do it because it's a group...and I like the others. But she spoils the whole thing for me.
    I wish you a wonderful new year--let's welcome 2014 with a bang!

  10. I learned that I know a lot about writing, but don't always write what I know.

    Also, there are lots of other writers out there, more than I ever believed possible!

    Morgan Mandel

  11. I've learned that expressing gratitude will bring more of the best my way - and that I deserve all the great stuff! Admitting to myself that i am worthy has been the biggest lesson...

    Wishing you a very Happy New Year and that 2014 brings you love and joy!

  12. Paisley--I agree and believe in the one big thing you listed-never give up. I agree 100%. No one thought I could publish a book so I stopped talking about it. Kept it to myself until I had my first contract. All through this, my husband was right there, hoping I could do what I wanted.
    I'm so proud of you, how you persevered so many years. Aren't you glad you didn't give up??
    And have a Happy New Year.

  13. Morgan--yes, can you believe how many writers there are out there? This would not be happening if not for the Indie movement.
    On any given day, I can download a dozen free books...but Morgan, I bet I delete 90% of them after 2-3 chapters. Very bad all around.
    This is not good.
    Thanks so much for your thoughts--and a Big Happy New Year to You.

  14. Ashantay--isn't that the truth. It's difficult for most of us, I think, to feel as though we do deserve what we have and worked for. I completely understand.
    Keep those good thoughts going all next year, and Happy New Year!

  15. Hey Celia,

    What a timely post! As the year winds down I find myself thinking of what I wanted to do, what I actually did, and what I could have done better.

    As a former scientist, I'm fairly task oriented, so 95% of the items on my to-do lists got done this year. Some things didn't happen because there just weren't enough hours in the day.

    I've learned the hard way, and re-learned it this fall, that when your body is telling you its had enough, it's time to listen. The fate of the free world doesn't hinge on whether I finish a weekly goal on Wednesday or Saturday.

    The other thing I keep forgetting is that very few people actually care about my opinion or years of accumulated wisdom, especially family members, LOL. I am not very good at biting my tongue, so if you don't want my advice, don't ask for it. I'm like the little kid about to pee himself when the teacher doesn't call on him in the classroom because I KNOW the answer.

    I have some changes on tap for 2014 and I'm just now figuring out how I will approach them. One thing I'm sure of, I'm happy 2013 is nearly done.

  16. Celia--Excellent post. A compelling agenda of thoughts to carry into the New Year. And number one ranks above them all--at least in my opinion. Thanks.

  17. Celia, I read your blog early this morning and was the first to comment. Then yahoo didn't recongnize my name and I went through half a hour trying to getmy comments posted. Finally gave up. Now I can't remember what I said except this is one if not the best of your blogs. Much food for thought and so timely, just as we begin a new year. Happy new year to all.

  18. Hey, Maggie--I, too, am somewhat task oriented--that science background.
    It's true that our bodies are good barometers. You'd pay attention to one of those, but for some reason we ignore the readings that our frail bodies give us. Then, it's too late and we're in a mess.
    Haha. My family pays no attention to me, either. So, be it. It they don't want my expertise on solving their problems, then I'll find someone else. No, they don't listen either!
    Thanks so much for your thoughtful post. Happy New Year.

  19. Tom--I love my friends and try to give them attention. I have a group of ex-teachers, like me, and we've known and worked together for 30 years. We're still tight, and try to hold together. It's a weird thing that the seven of us have been linked for decades and have never been mad at each other. Now, that's amazing.
    Thanks for commenting, and I wish you a Happy 2014. We all need it.

  20. Hi, Linda! Yahoo has been in a snit for about four days, now. I would jump ship, but my writing life is too tied up with them. Plus I've learned other sites have their problems, too.
    I do thank you for trying, and I know for certain whatever you said was sterling.

    Take care--Celia

  21. Very good post, Celia. There are a few things I don't agree with, but this is what life and friendship is about. You don't have to agree but you can still be friends.

  22. Oops, this is what life and friendship ARE about. And I also learned that things are not always what they look. You have to walk in the shoes of a person to really know her.

  23. Excellent post, Celia, and #5 and #6 are THE TRUTH. Sometimes it's hard to grasp "there is a time for..." especially when we crave, struggle, fight to make that time NOW. Patience, true patience, is something learned, not born with. :)

  24. What a fascinating post, Celia. Now you have me thinking what I have learned in 2013, but the first thing that occurred to me is that 'negative' learning can be as important as positive learning. For example, I have learned there are some physical things I can no longer do because of my mobility problems, and I have learned there are some aspects of today's technology I will never get my head around! On the positive side, I have learned to accept these things!

  25. Miss Mae--I agree. It takes us a while to learn there is a time for everything. We, as humans, and busy ones at that, want to make things happen. But things won't happen because we want it to..sometimes we must wait for its time.
    Thanks so much for commenting. Happy New Year.

  26. Paula--wow!! You've put another spin on this. I can identify completely about learning what I can't do. It's difficult, isn't it? Learning that we cannot do what we did 20 years ago?
    Electronic things? There are days when I tell my husband, I think my head will explode if I have to learn one more thing!
    Thanks so much for commenting. And I'm looking forward to 2014, and I know you are, too.

  27. Celia, I love your #8! I've done so many things in my life because I felt obligated to do them. It's a lousy way to feel.

  28. Lyn--Some obligations, while annoying and tiresome, are necessary, as we all know.
    It's those things we do that take up time, and probably no one notices or appreciates you, or they really don't care if you do them or not. Those are the "obligations" that make me a little angry.
    So, yes, stop now. I have, and believe me, I feel better for it, too. And I don't think anyone else really noticed! Good for you, and Happy New Year!

  29. Hi Celia, this is an interesting blog. I know my big learning curve this year was as a result of being e=published by MuseitUp. I had thought, deluded myself, that the publication was a place to arrive. It is, of course, but actually it's also the jumping off point for the rest of a long journey. Books do not sell themselves and that's a hard thing to learn. Anne Stenhouse

  30. Anne--for all authors, promotion does seem to be the most difficult and the most frustrating. For one thing, we don't really know what works and what doesn't.
    So true, that you've just begun a long journey. Me? It's been only about seven years, and while I've had some success, I cannot tell you why some books do well and others simply do not. Talk about a learning curve!
    Don't give up is the main thing to learn. If you love writing, please continue. Selling books? I've said many times I'd give all my books away if I could afford that, and if it was not unprofessional.
    I hope you have a great 2014--I'm looking forward to a new year, for sure.