Sometimes happiness comes under the most unexpected of circumstances.

Lessons That I Have Learned from Friends and Family

Posted: August 26th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: happiness | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments »

One of the things that I do to stay positive is to read uplifting articles, which usually rules out the newspaper.  A great place to turn for that, I have learned, is the Living section of The Huffington Post (warning: stay away from the current news though, it is always upsetting).  A couple of days ago, I read an article there, 18 Life Lessons from Family and Friends, that inspired me to imitate it.  Imitation being the highest form of flattery, the author, Susan Orlins, said she would be honored if I did and she told me that her niece had printed out the post and put it on the wall to look at it everyday.

So here goes the partial list of the lessons that I have personally learned from my family and friends because how could I really mention everything anyone has ever taught me:

1)  From my mom, I learned how to love my children deeply and fearlessly without holding on too tight, giving them the opportunity to develop their own identities.

2)  From my dad, I learned that generosity is not just a personal characteristic but also a daily practice.  Running to the store or getting someone their morning tea can be a cherished expression of love.

3)  From my sister, I learned that laughter truly is the best medicine.  And the best way to start the day.  And the best way to end the day.  And the best afternoon pick-me-up (you get the idea).

4)  From my ex husband (who has taught me more than he will ever know), I learned that someone other than your parents can love you forever, regardless of the conflicts that you encounter or the breakup that you have had.

5)  From my son Jonah, I learned that children, despite their different vocabulary and maturity level, can truly understand adults.

6)  From my daughter Layla, I learned that you can love someone regardless of the fact that they push you out of your comfort zone on a daily basis.

7)  From my grandmother Oma, I learned that sometimes honesty is not the best policy, that you should choose your words wisely based on your audience (a tough lesson for the headstrong, outspoken young woman that I was at the time of her death).

8)  From my dog Mona (and my ex boyfriend D), I learned that angels appear in your path when you need them most and then they disappear when their work is done.

9)  From my Mr. Big, I learned that you can love a man without wanting to spend the rest of your life with him.  That, and wit really turns me on.

10)  From my ex boyfriend Marc, I learned that a relationship that has all the pistons firing is so much more enjoyable than one that just has a few.  Perhaps unfortunately, I also learned from him that I am capable of experiencing heartbreak (can you believe that it took me this long to learn that?), but as my friend Tobey would say, this makes me human.

From my friends, whom I will try to refrain from naming, I learned the following:

11)  A close-knit community can be almost just as nurturing and dedicated to your well-being as your family.

12)  No matter how much a man has done you wrong, only you can make yourself a victim.

13)  Some people will be in your life for a short period of time and some will be in it for what seems like forever, but each person plays a very special role in your personal narrative.

14)  How you tell your personal narrative is very important.  Whether you tell a story of woe or a story of triumph can greatly impact your attitude and the course of events in your life.

15)  Positive and cheerful people make me feel excited to live my life.  Negative people make me want to go home and cry.  Guess who I choose to hang out with?

16)  When people offer to help you out, accept their offer graciously and appreciate their generosity.

17)  A smile, a sweet text message or an encouraging comment can make someone’s day (that’s why I love Facebook!).  It’s those little things in life that truly add up.

18)  Having a regular ritual of getting together with your friends is soooo much fun and can sustain you throughout your week.

19)  Surrounding yourself with smart, funny and witty people is a great way to live your life.

20)  Finally, and perhaps most importantly, more love is more love and  love’s messengers come in many forms.  The more deep personal connections you have in life, the happier you are.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Okay, your turn, what lessons have you learned from your family and friends?  Would you find it inspiring to print up a list and put it where you could see it?  I like that idea.

Oh…and maybe someone could share what they have learned from me?

And because this list has made me realize all that I have to be thankful for, I am linking it to Alli’nSon’s wonderful Thank You Journal.  Check it out!

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18 Comments on “Lessons That I Have Learned from Friends and Family”

  1. 1 Kent Pelz said at 1:49 pm on August 26th, 2010:

    From my daughter, Molly, I learned that I’m not the boss of everything and that father doesn’t always know best.

    From my daughter, Mindy, I learned how totally different two daughters can be from one another, each unique and precious in their own way.

    From my wife, Marilyn, I learned that there is nothing better than having a smart, adventuresome and loving woman guiding you out of your own masculine unconsciousness.

    From all three I learned there is nothing better than a loving, functional family!

  2. 2 Molly Monet said at 2:24 pm on August 26th, 2010:

    Very sweet, Dad! You are so right. There is nothing better!

  3. 3 Barb said at 3:46 pm on August 26th, 2010:

    that’s excellent!
    Thanks for sharing.
    XO, B

  4. 4 Molly Monet said at 3:51 pm on August 26th, 2010:

    And you, Barbie, are one of the people that taught me about the endurance of friendship! Love you-Mol

  5. 5 Sarah Buttenwieser said at 12:06 am on August 27th, 2010:

    In agreement on how much there is to learn (& Facebook being a total up in so many ways).

    Sarah Buttenwieser recently posted..Peachy

  6. 6 mr.big said at 3:25 pm on August 28th, 2010:

    whoa…never made the top 10 in a lessons learned list before, unless it was a top 10 lessons NOT learned list, then a 2:1 odds favorite I may be. thanks darlin, and it makes me think of an 8 letter word for hand to hand combat? 6th letter is i…. lesson learned? life can be as simple/hard as a crossword clue….it’s all about filling in the blanks…ciao

  7. 7 Molly Monet said at 3:32 pm on August 28th, 2010:

    oh mr big…i always love to hear your wit and wisdom!

  8. 8 Molly Monet said at 3:48 pm on August 28th, 2010:

    oh and you know that i love a man who can beat me at my own game!

  9. 9 mr.big said at 6:12 pm on August 28th, 2010:

    stuck on the clue? I think 3rd letter is u….hope so, ’cause I like my answer for 2 down…..heh…

  10. 10 Molly Monet said at 6:37 pm on August 28th, 2010:

    You’re just toying with me…
    Molly Monet recently posted..Tell a Different Story

  11. 11 Susan Orlins said at 12:04 am on August 30th, 2010:

    Molly, I love your lessons! Thanks so much for the shout out!
    Susan Orlins

  12. 12 Molly Monet said at 7:42 am on August 30th, 2010:

    You’re welcome, Susan. Thanks for the inspiration. It was great exercise in gratitude and made me think that we could all benefit from making such a list.

  13. 13 Ali said at 9:31 am on August 30th, 2010:

    Wow, this post really gave me pause, coming as it did, after another huge family argument at, no less, a birthday celebration. I hate to say it, but I have learned more about what NOT to do from my family, than ways of navigating the world. So I felt a bit of self-pity when reading this…and then forced myself to take a different perspective.
    From my mom, who is an artist, I learned how to see the details that make something beautiful. From my father, I’ve learned that working with your hands is satisfying and a path to self-discovery. From my sisters, I’ve learned that you can grow up under the same conditions, and have vastly different perspectives.
    Thank you for this thought provoking post…I had to process this for a long while before responding.

  14. 14 Molly Monet said at 10:22 am on August 30th, 2010:

    Wow, Ali, good for you! I’m glad that it gave you food for thought. You’ve made me think now too. Oftentimes we assume that the lessons that we learn are negative, such as I’ll never do that again, I’ll never treat anyone like that, I’ll never trust another man, I’ll protect myself in the future. But where there is a negative, there is also a positive lesson, like I’ll treat someone with kindness and consideration or I will trust someone that I know has my best interests at heart.

  15. 15 Allison @ Alli 'n Son said at 3:07 pm on September 1st, 2010:

    What a wonderful list. I love that you’ve learned so much from everyone around you, good and bad.

    Thanks for linking up!
    Allison @ Alli ‘n Son recently posted..365 Days

  16. 16 Molly Monet said at 6:13 pm on September 1st, 2010:

    Thank you for starting the journal! I am a big believer that gratitude expands that which is good in your life so that the more you appreciate, the more you have to appreciate.

  17. 17 Nina said at 3:43 pm on September 16th, 2010:

    since the day we met….you have been just like this…..amazing!

  18. 18 Molly Monet said at 8:14 am on September 17th, 2010:

    really? i haven’t changed in 23 years? i thought maybe i had made some progress…xo

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