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Today’s Yesterday’s prompt:

Lesson learned. What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?

The thing about me and learning lessons is that I have to learn them over and over again. Every time I’m having trouble writing, I have to relearn how much easier it is to keep writing than to start writing, and that it’s easiest for me to keep writing if I set aside the first half-hour of the morning to write. And every time I relearn it, it feels like a revelation.

So I’m not sure exactly what I’ve learned about myself this year, and what I’ve just relearned. But I do know, at the midpoint of this sabbatical, that I will never, under any circumstances, accomplish as much in a period of time as I think I ought to, but that if I’m honest in my accounting, I’ll actually accomplish more than I think I have.

I also know that it’s easier to keep running than it is to start running again. And I know that it only takes a few days off for me to lose the gym habit.

I know that I’m increasingly touchy when I feel as though I’m being condescended to or dismissed or ignored. And I know that I probably need to do a better job of drawing a breath and assessing whether I’m being condescended to or dismissed or ignored before I respond.

I know that I tend to say yes to things way more than I ought to, and that I get myself in trouble that way, and that I need to say no way more often. I also know that a lot of amazing opportunities are coming my way, and that many of the service-oriented opportunities are extremely important to me. And I know that balancing my desire to help make things in the profession better with a concern for my general well-being is increasingly important.

I haven’t yet learned how to do that, however. That, I’d really like to learn in 2011.

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