Hard Lessons Learned

Cruise Alaska – Google Image

Someday my ship will come; undoubtedly, it will run aground before docking because I am nothing if not stubborn to the bone.

I have a history of making bad choices, at the time they seemed to be great choices but in retrospect well let’s just say I might have done better. The thing is there are few things I would have done differently even if Gabriel flew golden wings all-aflutter and offered me a rewind. That is the funny thing about choices as we get older all our youthful indiscretions might not have been great, but unless we are completely incapable of self-examination and introspection we undoubtedly learned something from them.

Byzantine Gabriel – Wikipedia

Ten Lessons I Learned the Hard Way

  1. Nothing is Free, not even Lessons in Life somewhere, somehow and someone will pay.
  2. Men do not love you for your heart, mind or soul until long after the Lust Stage so step cautiously and listen carefully (others refer to the Lust Stage more politically correctly as the Courtship, Honeymoon, Infatuation or Romance Stage).
  3. Selfishness is inherent to the human condition, we have to work at unselfish acts don’t get angry when others don’t work as hard as you do or live up to your expectations.
  4. Extraordinary things happen to ordinary people every single day what happens afterward is what makes or breaks them, don’t judge unless you have been there and don’t allow judgment to affect your decisions and life choices, remember they haven’t been where you have been and you haven’t been where they have.
  5. I am not infallible or indestructible, dammit!
  6. I am not the smartest person in the world, however I am often the smartest person in the room and that pisses people off. It is sometimes better to simply keep my mouth shut until I know the terrain.
  7. I will never be too old to learn something new but it gets harder to apply new learning as I get older, never stop either even if you have to break a sweat.
  8. Hard hearts create ugly people and ugly people should be avoided at all costs no matter previous relationships or even family relationships, toxic are toxic.
  9. Politics and religion should never be discussed in mixed company unless you are willing to be dragged to the town square and burned by your friends and relatives
  10. There are some things that you should never tell anyone, not even your spouse, your siblings or  your best friend. Some thing’s that should remain under scar tissue or locked in the cellar.

Hard way lessons should be respected. You might have your own list of lessons learned, mine are simply those I find worked best for me. When I break them, ignored them or otherwise attempt to manipulate them to make them more palatable for others to swallow, it always cost me dearly.


  1. I agree with all ten.

    Incidentally, you are so right – men do start off with the “lust” stage. If the pair can get over the hump, then true love follows with increasing doses of bliss. I have been married for 33 years – to the same woman (Heh! Heh! Heh!) – and I actually love her more now than before.

    • Proving the point! I like when men speak up and tell me they love their wife more today then the day they married her. I think we women need to hear that, we forget or maybe we are simply so self judging we don’t believe it unless we are told (often).

      Thanks Eric.

  2. i completely loved this…

  3. As I am frequently in rooms with folks with PhDs, I don’t always think I’m the smartest person there. I AM, however the funniest and that is much, much better.

    But number 5 gets me. I’m not indestructible? Shit. I am absolutely fatig-able. (I have been under the weather for a week and am just now recovering.)

  4. This is a wonderful list and wise to remember. I’m going to pin it up on my bulletin board. Thanks, Valentine. I also agree, number six takes the prize.

  5. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    These are excellent, excellent lessons, Valentine.

    When you say you make (a lot!) of bad decisions – oh, mercy, that resonated with me. I would SO have raised Daniel those early years differently. But we just cannot undo…

    All of the lessons are great. They all were very meaningful. Re the extraordinary things happen to people though, & what happens after makes or breaks – this had me think of that Indian rape victim, murdered. That is just infinitely tragic.

    • That particular statement is so very real for so many of us Noleen. So many of us have terrible histories we must overcome, we must stand up to. If we allow our history to define our future we are crippled in our spirits.

  6. Yes, six is the winner, and it’s a killer! sometimes I long to look across a crowded room, and know someone there is a free spirit, and a lateral thinker !!!!

    • Six seems to be the one many people like the most. I suspect, especially in the crowd we run in, this wonderful blogosphere there are a significantly greater portion of smart people.

      I think for me right now, number three is the one I have to take most to heart.

  7. Deborah the Closet Monster says:

    I love this, but don’t subscribe to #10 for myself . . . even though I do understand its merits. Tweeting this excellent food for thought and heart. Thank you. ♥

    • There are always some things you just shouldn’t tell. Some things that telling would cause harm for no good reason. That is why I have #10, any secret that isn’t yours should not be told unless there is a very good reason for telling it.

      • Deborah the Closet Monster says:

        When the secret is someone else’s, that is indeed a different matter.

  8. OneHotMess says:

    Thanks, Val! I especially loved numbers 6, 8, and 9. 😉

  9. Great Lessons Val and especially love number 4… xox And amazing how you started this post and chose it today to link us too… Was the Ship… Synchronicities at work yet again for me today… 🙂

  10. Thanks Val, I thoroughly enjoyed the read, Grant

  11. Totally love #6 and will admit to feeling the same way often. Also…..#8 and #10 are believe in strongly.

    Love your lessons learned. Great list.

  12. Enter favorite pastime of voyeurism as sucking vacuum embodies the adage:

    Better to be thought a fool than open your mouth and confirm it.

    But, in that instance, I do not think there would be enough fodder for a decent Knock, Knock joke 😉

  13. I laughed hard enough at number 6 to have awakened the children. I have not a scintilla of doubt as to why I love you.

    • I thought of you when I wrote that one. My thinking went like this…..

      What if Red and I were in a room at Frat Boy and Barbie Doll central (you know what I am talking about). We looked around and what did we see? A sucking vacuum of opinionated drunks and overblown females with botulism facial construction. We would be the smartest people in the room and bored beyond tears.

    • Wham bam thank you, ma’am, my qusetoins are answered!


  1. […] Hard Lessons Learned – December 2011 […]

%d bloggers like this: