8 Life Lessons I'm Thankful I've Learned This Year

happinessI can't believe it's Thanksgiving already. It seems as though I blinked and 2011 flashed right before my eyes. We're at the final days of November and then it's home stretch ... right into the New Year. Where has the time gone?

I turned the big 2-5 this year -- and I definitely grew up more than I ever thought I would. Hands down, I'd say this has been the most lifechanging year of my life, and it's around this time of year that it's best to reflect on how far we've come. Hopefully what I've learned will stay with me through 2012 and make me a stronger person.

I can spend hours reminiscing about old times and how I'd love to go back -- but I wouldn't be the person I am today without the life lessons I've learned along the way. So if you need a break from the turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie, check out the 8 lessons I'm most thankful that I've learned.

Stop settling. Once you realize that you control your own happiness, you'll be good to go. If you're not happy with yourself in a situation, then take yourself out of it.

Get off your damn phone. Technology has encouraged people to stop living in the moment – and that just doesn’t sit well with me. It feels like life is passing by quicker than ever, especially now that I'm older (wasn't it just 2010, like ... yesterday?) So, give it a rest! You can check who wrote on your Facebook wall after you’re done walking down the aisle, crazy lady.

Keep your real friends close and enemies can go take a hike. Save the drama for your mama. Wasting time keeping people in your life who you don't even like is a pretty ridiculous theory. What’s the point? There’s a reason why those people aren’t considered your friends.

Forgiveness is the key. I’m not sure if I’m a lover or a fighter, but I definitely am a peacemaker. Life is too short to hold grudges. So say you’re sorry and get the hell over it. We’re not guaranteed tomorrow after all.

Keep calm & carry on.  I tend to get overwhelmed easily and worry -- a lot. But worrying doesn’t prevent problems from occurring, nor does it fix them. It does nothing other than waste time.

Don’t take yourself so seriously. The best compliment I’ve ever gotten was “It must be so much fun to be you.” Because while I take many things in my life seriously (my job, my family, my friends, MY DOG), I try not to do the same with myself. Laughter can cure just about anything.

Never put all of your cards on the table … Definitely not a full deck. It’s nice in theory (and maybe a few dozen romantic comedies), but it’s also a surefire way to lose everything at once.

…but take chances, anyway. Maybe it’s the Charlotte York in me, but for some reason no matter how many times I find myself disappointed, I get more and more inspired for better things to come.

Are you thankful for a specific lesson that you've learned along the way? How has it changed your outlook on life?

Image via Madeline Becker/Flickr

emotional health, mental health, resolutions