Lessons Learned in 2011


2011 has been a strange year, but no doubt I’ve learned plenty this year. As with previous years, I’ve collected wisdom that I’ve found along  the way:

  • A new bed *is* worth it I had a lot of oddball injuries this year, but my body has felt a lot better since we bought a new bed. You don’t need a top-of-the-line model, just something better than your 8 year old IKEA futon.
  • Make a conscious effort to find your weak spots I was having some issues listening to conversations in loud places, so I took a speech reading course. After just a few short months, problem solved.
  • Don’t buy tech gifts for loved ones I’ve found that giving gadgets to loved ones just leads to eventual frustration, and isn’t worth the hassle. Instead, get them positive experiences - something they’ll remember getting years later. Skip the iPod.


  • Do crazy things I went on the COP zip line this year, and I must say there’s nothing quite like the feeling of free-fall.
  • Good things sometimes go away, so enjoy them! When I heard the Calgary Vipers had folded, I was heartbroken. Still, I got to go to a lot of games, and those memories will stick with me for a while.
  • Learn another language After the lip-reading classes, I realized how important communication really is in life. I got a free account with Memrise and have been learning French ever since.


  • Read more As a memory exercise I tried remembering every book I’ve ever read. I opened a Goodreads account to put my list in, and soon found myself using it to also store which books I own but haven’t read. After tallying it up, I’ve found I own 100+ books that I haven’t read yet (easily 2 years of reading material). I’ve taken to spending more time in the evenings reading and less time watching television.
  • Treat all disasters as opportunities When my resident status was in limbo, I took the time out to really enjoy Calgary (in case I wouldn’t see it again). My immigration did finally sort itself out, and instead of worrying I got to see the beauty the city has to offer.

2012 is going to be an exciting year in a lot of respects, not the least of which is getting married. Here’s to another great year!