17 Things I Have Learned This Year

The Year In Review

17“Go big or go home,” the saying goes so it has taken me a few weeks to come up with this list. Apologies for not posting for a couple of weeks now. Spent the time experiencing and fully living through 17 of the lessons this year taught me.

That number, 17, was not my original idea. Last year October, I shared nine things that were taught to me by that point in the year. My first thought was to review that list and update as necessary.

Never one to back down, as I opened my laptop this morning, it came to me, “Do 17.” So this is my taking up that challenge. This new list will include some from last year’s as, you know, we continue to take the class until you get the lesson.


A Little Background

Context is always important, so as I did last year let me share a bit. Copying and pasting from what was written last year here is what you need to know.

17Now 52 years old, I am a mother of a 30-year-old woman and grandmother of a wise and even more precocious 3-year-old girl. Married several times, divorced and now single for over five years. Prior to migrating to Canada, my professional life spanned secretary, communications specialist to quasi-diplomat at a regional organization.

Approaching 16 years since migrating to Canadian, got my citizenship 11 years ago. Over this time, both my personal and professional lives have gone through significant changes. “Those have been in drastic and not-so drastic ways as does that of most migrants to this country. Now, my days are occupied with a day job that is not directly related to anything I ever imagined but learned enough skills to do well.” This almost-ending year, my life outside of the day job adjusted even further. Still continuing with coaching and hosting this blog, my granddaughter gets the rest of my time.

I host this blog, targetting women all over the world. Whatever her circumstances and wherever she may live, every woman carries a story that only another woman can truly understand. My particular story is lived and shared here. These seventeen lessons tell them in part.

The 17 Lessons Of 2017

Starting with eight of last year’s that were repeated and/or updated.

2016 updates
Silence speaks volumesIt is not only beautiful but in silence you hear and learn so much. People tell and show you a lot when you remain silent and by theirs.
Buy only what you can eatA stocked pantry is your best friend but I realised that my taste changes frequently so don't overstock!
$20 is a lot of money I learned this last year, that Lesson #3 goes hand in hand with Lesson #2. Even with a better cash flow, spending more than you really need is a waste.
"Ugly" or "handsome" men with a not so hidden agenda are abundantLast year, after receiving a 100+ pictures of men's genitals, or request to send nude pictures of myself, I realised what the game really is about - exploitation. And men are not doing so well with covering that up.
Keep your inner circle of friends tight!Fake is the big thing this year and so, I learned that the best fix was to restrict who has access to my innermost space.
Strong women rock!Embrace your strength and rock it!
Ageism is realThis is one of those lessons that continues without adjustment. You have to make the best of what is presented.
Bitterness is a burdenAs was the case last year, even with chaos, cash flow issues, being 50+ and single and ageism - never be bitter. Be Better!
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New(er) Lessons Learned This Year

Some of the lessons are generic ones that we all have heard about before. What occurred to me, and maybe even for you, with them is that they were personalised. Here is what I mean.

lesson#9 – You get a body and like everything in Nature, its form will change. From greying hair to a breast cancer scare (turned out to be a cyst) and now retinopathy with my right eye, 2017 taught me how to live with these changes. You have two choices: rail against it or embrace it. I chose to do the latter.

#10 – Less is really more. Sure, you have heard that said. Some of you might have written it off as something poor people, hippies or those who ill-managed their money say. Whatever you think, it is true. With less furniture, less of a stocked pantry, fewer clothes, for example, this year I am so much happier. I do not have to dust as much. I get to eat a better variety of food more often. My friends comment on my style more, calling me stylish because I keep it simple and can update it more often.

#11 – Find a job that you can make into an adventure. This relates to the conversation on ageism. Fewer opportunities for upward mobility are open to us as we age. If you find yourself in the situation, as I did this year, where you need a new job at 50+ you might not get the prized one. As a dearly departed used to say, “Take what you have.” I will add to that something read recently, “the right job is the job you love some days, can tolerate most days and still pays the bills.”


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#12 Don’t Take Life Too Seriously

The twelfth lesson is as simple as that. Laugh often, even during your darkest and seemingly most hopeless moment. It too shall pass.

#13 – Do not ask for advice from others. They can give you information but not tell you what to do. You know what is best for you. Your heart will tell you so listen to it.

#14 – Stay out of unnecessary debt. You will have heard this time and time again but it’s very important. I understand that financial emergencies can arise from nowhere, so sometimes you will need a loan. Almost every time you’ll need it instantly as well, which is why you will probably want to get a same day online loan. But ask yourself not twice but twenty times before signing up for that loan, “Can I live without this?”. If the answer is “No”, then you know it’s a necessity and therefore worth it.

#15 – Enjoy, actually seek out and love your own company! It is the best time you will ever have.

#16 – Ask lots of questions. That is the only way to arrive at the truth. The first response people give is what they think you want to hear. As you probe and watch, you will learn what is real.

17And Finally, 17

As it was last year, #17 is: “Class is always in session!”

What were some of the things that you learned this year? Share them with me in the comments below. As well, Like my Facebook page, Follow me on Twitter and now, on Instagram! Should you need support on an issue of overall, check out my coaching support on Fiverr!

Continue to have a great rest of the week and year. Be blessed and be a blessing!


Claudette P. Esterine


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