The 4 Most Important Lessons I Learned This Past Year | Rhyme & Reason
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Lessons I Learned in 2019

Charleston, South Carolina
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We honestly spent 2019 completely in limbo. It was the hardest year I’ve experienced and without a doubt the most challenging. I learned so much about myself and the nature of life. To be quite honest, I learned some things I could have gone my whole life without learning but they will forever shape who I am going forward and I am confident they will shape me in a positive way. The theme of my 2019 was ‘hope’ and the message I reminded myself of over and over again was “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” So, out of it all, what did I learn? Here are the lessons I learned in 2019…

The 4 Most Important Lessons I Learned This Past Year | Rhyme & Reason

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Lessons I Learned in 2019

This Too Shall Pass

One of the biggest ways we were in limbo in 2019 was with our living situation. Our house took part of 2018, the entirety of 2019, and now some of 2020. We had a move-in date for our house that got moved back so many times, I lost track. As anyone who has renovated or restored a house will tell you, this is how it goes. What I think it’s impossible to understand (at least it was for me) until you experience it is the toll the delays take mentally, emotionally, physically, and finically. We are grateful every single day to be in the position we’re in to renovate and restore our house but it has been more challenging than we ever anticipated.

We were fortunate enough to live in my parent’s house for 15 months, which was a financial godsend. However, it did mean that we moved into a house full of my parents’ things. So we put more in storage and pretty much had everything we owned in 1 room + our two dogs. It also meant that we had to continually have the conversation with my parents where we told them that we couldn’t move out yet. To say my parents were understanding is an understatement. They couldn’t have been more supportive but we hated not being able to follow through with our dates.

We also lived part of the spring of 2019 couch surfing in California with Edwin’s family, Edwin’s best friend, and my best friend (thank you to you guys!!!) so my parents could have time in their house without us. So, living in limbo essentially looked like living out of a small room and/or suitcases for months and not knowing when we’d be settled all while having two dogs and trying our best not to spend a fortune on our dog sitter.

We also lived in limbo in 2019 due to some health issues we dealt with. Regular life was put on hold at times and, without getting into it, it shaped the better part of the year for us in a very unsettling way. We’re feeling very positive about it going into 2020 though!

In all, I learned that this too shall pass! Nothing is forever, there is always a rainbow after the storm, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and so on. While easier said than believed, it’s all true! Never before in my life have I learned this by experience more! Never in my life have I been more grateful to all our family and friends for housing us over the course of the year!

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The Best Day To Start Something Is Today

Man oh man there are things I started in 2019 that I wish I’d started earlier. Honestly, I really feel why wait for anything!? In our 20s and 30s there is so much that life offers to take full advantage of in the best way. Other than a financial planning reason (which is always the smart way to go), why wait to apply for a new job, to start your own business, to go on that blind date, to start a family, to go on the trip you’ve always dreamed of, to travel to visit your friends and family, to move, to start over?

I’ve found that I never think to myself, “I wish I’d waited to start this or to take this leap?” Quite the opposite actually. I find myself thinking “why didn’t I start this sooner?” or “what took me so long?” or “was it really worth it to wait?”

The truth of the matter is that once you start something, there are bound to be curveballs, setbacks, gaps in knowledge, and unexpected twists and turns. So, there is no better day to start something than today to get the ball rolling! If I were to change anything, it would be to really appreciate this sooner.

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Relationships With Grandparents Are One Of The Greatest Gifts We Get In This Life

In 2019, I lost one of my grandfathers, Grandpa Spot. Grandpa Spot was my last living grandparent, which might be in part why his loss hit me so hard last year and continues to do so now. I knew Grandpa Spot the longest of all my grandparents and thus learned the most from him and spent the most time with him. My grandfather was a truly larger than life man. As such, many of my family’s traditions, travels, and experiences were connected to him.

I loved learning from my grandfather about his life, experiences, relationships, and viewpoints. I loved spending time with him in the places he loved and called home. And I loved the way he brought my extended family together. I loved the way he loved his family. I loved our conversations and our gin rummy games. And I loved having him as part of my bachelorette weekend. I love him so much. And I feel a large hole in my life due to his loss because he played such a large roll in my life and has such a legacy. I had felt this before with the loss of my other grandparents but I was reminded of it more this year than ever… relationships with grandparents are one of the greatest gifts we get in this life.

Cherish these relationships and don’t ever take them for granted because they simply don’t last long enough.

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Marriage Is The Best Team Sport

Okay, I knew this but 2019 really taught me that marriage is the BEST team sport! Through our year of limbo, Edwin has been the ultimate source of stability. 2020 marks ten years of us being together and we’ll celebrate our 3 year wedding anniversary later this year. With more and more time together, we learn more and more about how to best support each other and how to be glass half full when the other is empty. I love our marriage and rely on it everyday!

What did you learn last year that you’re taking into 2020? I love thinking about and chatting about these types of life topics! Thanks so much for reading! xx

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8 Comments

  1. I am so moved by this incredibly wise piece. Your lessons resonate so deeply. I will read this one many, many times. Thank you Jillian!

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