Lessons Learned in 2009

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The years continue to slip by, faster than ever, and with the passing of time comes the lessons learned from everyday life. Taking a lot of notes as 2009 was roaring by, I've gathered some nuggets of wisdom to share with you.

  • Don't let your life be ruled by fear 2009 whistled in as I was finally getting out of a four year relationship - a relationship that had dragged on three years too long. I should have gotten out of it much earlier, but fears of loneliness and change were always swirling in my head. As you might have guessed, the fears were totally unfounded, and I ended up making a lot of new friends and having a blast in 2009. Try to shed your guilt and fears, and your life will be richer for it.

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  • Take five minutes to reflect on the day Ever since I started taking note of what happened in my day, I no longer feel like time is slipping through my fingers like water. By writing down what happens in your life, you gain the ability to see what your life is like from the 30,000 foot view in the sky.

  • Take five minutes to reflect on the *next* day I've been documenting all the thoughts in my head to address my bad memory, and one helpful thing seems like a goofy old standby: the To-Do list. By always making a To-Do list for the next day, you keep up the continuity and momentum of life, and you don't spend half the day trying to figure what it is you need to do during the day. You don't need an elaborate scheduler or a PDA, just a scrap of paper to get started.

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  • Live a noteworthy life To get blog material, I now regularly go outside of my comfort zone in search of a good scoop. A lot of the things end up not getting on the blog, but the attitude of living a noteworthy life continues, with each new day an adventure.

  • Smile more Honestly, this is the most valuable lesson I learned this year. My sister gave me a stack of old photos while I was home for the holidays, and what struck me is what a miserable-looking sourpuss I was. "When you smile, the world smiles back at you." Choosing to smile, even when nothing is going on, is choosing to be happy with life. It's easy, just smile.

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  • Time is valuable Starting off the year in a pretty affordable apartment, I felt like I was paying a heavy price. It seemed all I did was work, and I never had any time to do anything I really wanted. Moving to a new apartment saved me a little bit of money, and saved a LOT of time. Cutting out a 2-hour daily commute is the equivalent of getting 12 weeks of vacation in a year

  • Get rid of your junk Moving two times in a year sucks, but having to move everything twice forced me to trim down my amount of stuff. And the funny thing? I'm still doing just fine. In fact, not having to find exotic ways of storing massive collections of VHS tapes has made my life easier and more enjoyable.

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  • Make a bucket list No one should ever expect you to know what you want to do with your life. However, do you know what you want to do in your life? I made a list of goals to do things I always wanted to do, and put them online. These achievements would push me out of my comfort level, requiring patience, effort, and gumption. With each new check mark on the list, I feel a little wiser and a LOT happier. Make a bucket list, and get on the fast-track to awesomeness.

  • Watch out for zombies: they want to eat your brains When the zombies overran Millennium Park, I learned that it wasn't enough to just be afraid: I had to be prepared. I wrote up a guide on how to survive when the dead roam the earth.

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It's a new decade, so make this one memorable!

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