My Top Ten Life Lessons Learned in 2011


This year has been a year of firsts for me.  My life has changed so drastically since January 1, 2011, and I have learned so many lessons this year. Some I’m thankful for, some I wish I hadn’t had to learn, but they all have helped me grow as a person.

Here are my top 10 lessons learned in 2011. I’d love for you to share yours in the comments as well.

  1. It doesn’t matter how old you are, losing a parent hurts. I lost my dad this year. It was pretty sudden and unexpected. I’m 29 years old, and I definitely feel that’s too young to be without BOTH of my biological parents. Having lost one parent at the age of 12 and the other parent in my late 20’s, I can honestly say the experience sucks either way. The grieving process is different though because as an adult, you grasp the reality of the loss that much more. In some ways, I suppose this is a good thing because closure is a bit easier to come by. On the other hand, acceptance means that you have to deal with the pain right then and there. You can’t put it off.
  2. When seeking justice for a loved one, you might find that some of your long held beliefs about how you’d react in that situation don’t hold up all that well. As hard as it is to swallow, sometimes you really DON’T know until it happens to you or someone you love. (Sorry for being cryptic, it is a family matter though and not my story to share)
  3. A 4 year old in glasses is kind of terrifying.
  4. Short and sweet trips are just as satisfying as week long vacations. In fact, in some cases, short extended weekend trips are more fun because you don’t get the the chance to become homesick and they don’t require week’s worth of planning to execute.
  5. Educating my children is not as simple as sending them off to school and hoping for the best. I’m not sure I realized I’d stress so much over something as (seemingly) basic as where to send my son to Kindergarten next year.
  6. Just because you build an app doesn’t mean people will download it. The same goes for offering a coupon database, a coupon code database, a free ebook and a free email subscription 😉 .
  7. You can respect someone and love them and still have them disappoint you terribly. Repeatedly. Unforgivably. This doesn’t make them less worthy of your love, but it does mean you need to create space between yourself and them. You can’t fix everyone, and some people just want to be miserable. It’s been a tough lesson for me to learn and an even tougher thing to watch.
  8. That the idea of being self employed and being able to make my own schedule would mean I’d work constantly and without boundaries until I finally put my foot down and said my family was more important than my work. I had said it previously, but until I actually put the boundaries into place and made my FAMILY my priority over my work, it was all just empty words. No amount of money or success is worth it if my kids and my husband don’t feel they are a priority placed high above my job.
  9. Delegation is hard. Being a good “boss” is hard. Understanding that just because it’s not my way doesn’t mean it’s the wrong way is hard. However,  a very wise man showed me that a business can only grow and flourish when it allows other ideas and other backgrounds in, otherwise it will stay just stay stagnate.  Hiring help for the site is the best business decision I made all year long.
  10. My husband still surprises me constantly. There were so many times this year that I do not think I could have made it through without him. His strength and his resolve to support me in ALL of life’s ups and downs never ceases to amaze me. I can’t say this is really a 2011 revelation, he’s been my rock since we first started dating years ago. However, lessons #1-9 were made possible because he stood by my side through it all. I am a very lucky woman and I don’t mind learning that over and over again every single year. 😉

2011 was a year of tested faith and huge ups and downs. It was probably the most tumultuous year of my adult life thus far.

I hope for a calmer, easier year in 2012 but if 2011 has truly taught me anything, it’s that I have a great support system in place and with them and with my faith, I can handle anything that comes my way (but seriously, 2012 NEEDS to be calmer!).

What did you learn in 2011? 

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Heather is the creator and owner of Family Friendly Frugality. She calls Texas home and is married to her best friend. With 2 children 22 months apart, she has her hands full. So full that she decided to start blogging as a hobby. That hobby blew up into a full time job. Now she's got the husband, the kids and the blog. We're not exactly sure what she was thinking, but she's too busy for us to ask. Find Me On Google +

2 thoughts on “My Top Ten Life Lessons Learned in 2011”

  1. WOW!!! This was an awesome read and very encouraging! I also had a pretty tough 2011 and still can’t believe some of the things I have had to go through. But I have survived and I face 2012 with a strong resolve to live my life and live it well despite what trials may come my way. Congrats to you and keep up the great work with your blog and coupon site!!

  2. I love your honesty and faith through your reflections. You are amazing and I adore you! Blessings for a faithful 2012!

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