As 2022 is drawing to a close, I cannot help but reminisce on the experiences I was able to partake in, the trials I was able to overcome, the joys I got to experience and the life lessons I was able to take from each of those.
I would say this year was a year of opportunity for me. I had the opportunity to begin a job at a local church, St. John’s Episcopal Church, where I have been warmly welcomed by all. It was not but a couple of weeks after beginning this new job that I truly felt like I was meant to be there- that God led me to this position to serve and worship. Upon welcoming me they also welcomed my family. Getting to see my children really engage in service for the first time is an experience I will never forget and always treasure.
This year, I was also able to get back into my passion for writing. Mrs. Bonnie Culverhouse believed in me and allowed me to join her at the Webster Parish Journal to report on newsworthy events across the parish and share my thoughts and feelings on a personal level here with you in my column, “If it’s Not One Thing, it’s a Mother.”
This has provided me with a space that I always dreamt about- a space where I can share all those experiences, trials, joys and important life lessons, most of which come from parenting my three girls, Emerson, Ashton and Kameron. As you well know, if you read my column weekly, it is not always me teaching them, it is usually the other way around, them teaching me.
They have taught me to find joy in the simple things, to love without conditions, to forgive quickly, not to hold back my emotions and to live in the moment. Most importantly they have taught me that I definitely do not know everything and sometimes I may not even know best, like I usually claim that I do.
I was curious what they might say if I asked them what important life lessons they learned over the past year, so of course I asked them.
“It’s easier to get what you want if you are nice and not mean.” Emerson, 9
“One day I’ll be old enough that if I don’t want to wear socks, then I won’t have to.” Ashton, 4
“My mom is the best.” Kameron, 1
Okay, I made up Kameron’s, but when I asked her, she did say, “Momma.” So, I am sure that is what she meant. Ashton clearly hates socks, and I am not too sure how I feel about Emerson’s life lesson, but she isn’t wrong.
I also asked some of my friends what important life lessons they learned.
“Believe the adults when they tell you, don’t try to grow up to fast” April Smith, 26
“Learning to appreciate privacy. You don’t owe anyone explanations for the decisions you make for your life or family.” Merri Gonzalez, 29
“Working overtime isn’t worth the time away from home. Dependable people (and businesses) are rare. Hard work doesn’t make you successful and the corporate ladder is more like a tree. More limbs at the bottom (entry level positions) and a harder fall from the top.” Charles Linder, 33
“The older I get, the less I know. I am always learning.” Elaine Eaton, 37
“You spend years wishing your parents would get off your back, only to realize they are really the ones that have your back.” Maggie Braunscheidel, late 20s
“Not everyone is going to love you. Some people aren’t even going to like you. But none of that matters when you love yourself.” Jessica Holley, 26
“When you find what you are passionate about, be fearless, be brave and be persistent. It does pay off.” Christine Broussard, 71
“Life is daily. Things happen out of our control. Give it to the Lord and roll on!” Malea Geis, 61
“At some point you have to downgrade your lifestyle in order to upgrade your future. The opportunity of a lifetime only lasts the lifetime of the opportunity.” Franky Despino, 32
“Putting yourself first isn’t selfish. You can’t help anyone if you aren’t helping yourself.” Megan Rambin, 32
“Don’t stay because it’s familiar and change is scary; change can be good. This is personal or professional. Surround yourself with people who are good for you; shed the others. Sink 10% of your salary in a retirement fund when you’re 2 and don’t touch it.” Claudine Adams-Thomas, 55
“Never be afraid or feel embarrassed to ask for help. This life can get too heavy for one person to carry alone.” Kassi Wallace, 31
“You teach people how to treat you.” Briana Gardner, 31
What are some lessons you have learned this year? Whatever they may be I hope that you can apply them in your life in 2023 and remain open to learning new ones as I am sure this year will be ready to teach them.
(Paige Nash is a wife, the best momma and a digital journalist for Webster Parish Journal.)