10 Lessons I Learned in 2014

I did a lot of reading, learning and changing in 2014. There are a few things that definitely worked and other things that I know will work, but take more effort an will power on my part to make a true positive change. Some things were lessons learned through experience and conversations with my family, while others were nuggets of knowledge gained through books and articles. I am constantly feeding my brain and so I thought I’d share a few of my lessons learned.

10 Lessons I Learned in 2014

(In no particular order.)

1. Cable is a waste of money.

Seriously, who needs cable anymore? With a pair of rabbit ears and internet programs like Netflix or Hulu you get more than you need. If you need more than that, you’re probably watching too much TV. Ponder that.

2. Communication has changed.

Kids these days (yes, I am so old that I just said that) do not use phones the way we used them. They don’t sit and talk for hours. In fact, if my daughter’s phone couldn’t make a phone call, she wouldn’t even notice. Texting has taken over as their primary form of communication. This leaves me baffled because I misunderstand so much without volume and intonation. Maybe I need coaching on the proper use of emoticons.

3. I paid way too much for frothy milk.

I finally bought a milk frother and it has saved me so much money. It is the best and I have no need for Starbucks unless I want the ambiance of a coffee shop for a change of pace. Don’t get me wrong, I love my fancy flavored coffees and when I’m traveling I love that I can find consistency in my favorite coffee shop almost everywhere I visit. I can just recreate it so much easier at home now.

4. Email became the bane of my existence.

Once upon a time, I loved email because I could converse with old friends without having to write and mail a letter and wait for a response. Now, my email is full of junk or worse, it comes with the expectation that I will jump at it’s beck and call.  I took the advice of a productivity article and started to check my email only 3 times a day. This has saved my sanity. When someone needs me more immediately, they call.

5. Building a wish list has been great for our family.

We initially had Amazon wish lists, but graduated to creating a Trello board because not everything we wanted was on Amazon. We keep the list up all year round so that other family members can get ideas as our birthday nears. The key is not to buy yourself anything you’ve put on your list. Don’t be wooed by the need for instant gratification.

6. Software as a service is going to bleed me dry.

I’ve found that I have to pick and choose with services I use because everything comes with a monthly fee these days. I miss paying for a program once and keeping it as long as I needed it. Most places don’t even offer that option anymore. Using too many programs splits my focus and so I’ve gotten choosy. I’m sure we could each write a blog on our go to programs.

7. The medical network is a racket.

Even though your insurance pays the allowed amount they may still send you a bill for the remaining balance. Did you know that if you call your insurance company, they’ll take care of this for you? I didn’t! I used to just pay them to be done with it. It’s totally worth the hour long annoying phone call with your insurance company to wipe away a huge balance.

8. I will never love running, but I will run anyway.

It’s true, I hate running and I’ll never be one of those people who find peace from this painful exercise. I complain and ensure that everyone around me knows just how much I hate it. I will never be the fastest, but I am capable and I know it’s good for me. So I will run (at least a little) despite myself. Just look away when you see the scowl on my face.

9.  Treasure every moment.

Life is made up of millions moments and in any one of those moments something could go terribly wrong. Make as many of them as right as possible. “For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

10. I still have so much to learn.

I’m always trying to ask the right questions because what I learn and what I make of that knowledge affects what I bring into this world. As someone who hopes to have a positive impact on the world, I worry that for every good there also seems to be a bad. I’m trying to accept that my creations will become what others do with them and not necessarily what I wish. “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” William Shakespeare

The Final Word

I learned so much more this year, but I thought I’d cap it at a nice round number like 10 since I’m told that no one likes to read as much as I do. I hope you’ve gained some useful bits of info from this post. If you take away nothing else, I hope you learned that your time is to be treasured and hopefully you don’t feel it wasted while reading this. Happy new year!


  1. Brad Olson on December 31, 2014 at 2:50 pm


    Brilliant as usual! Wished we lived closer so I could meet you over coffee! Thanks for thinking! And thinking well! And passing it along…


    • Sheryle Gillihan on December 31, 2014 at 6:29 pm

      Thanks for your kind words, Brad. Sometimes, my friend, I feel as if we have met face to face. The wonders of technology – bringing people together. If we ever find ourselves in the same city, coffee and a good conversation is a must!

Leave a Comment