Wednesday, January 1, 2014

What I Learned and Discovered in 2013

So, 2013 is history.  Usually, around this time, I go back and talk about everything that happened the previous year...but that almost always proves to be difficult, as I seem to end up looking through my Facebook profile history to see exactly what happened when.  Instead, I will give a list of what I learned--and what I discovered--in 2013.  Neither of these lists are in any particular order.

What I Learned in 2013
  1. You never know when the conversation you're having with someone might be your last.  This past February, one of my aunts died quite suddenly, shocking my entire family, especially her own children and her husband.  Though she and I hadn't had too much interaction over the past few years, losing her was heartbreaking, and emotionally impacted me in ways I've never felt before.  That's why I cherish my loved ones while they're still around.
  2. Don't let the rules you've made for yourself keep you from doing what you want or need to do.  Some years ago, when I got a tremendous load of sci-fi/fantasy novels, I set a rule for myself that I would alternate by reading one book in that genre, and one book not in that genre.  I did that so I wouldn't get burned out on science fiction and fantasy.  When I got my iPad, I put that rule into place for my TV shows as well.  However, what ended up happening quite often was that I'd get halfway through a series and abandon it for so long that I'd end up forgetting what happened up to that point.  This past October, I got a DVD from the library of the first season of Home Improvement, and surprised myself by finishing it in a mere three or four days just by watching the episodes one after another.  I am currently applying that same strategy to Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?...or, at least, trying to.
  3. Celebrity crushes are not really a necessary part of life.  In summer of 2001, I became obsessed with a celebrity who I won't name...and, since then, I had it just as bad if not worse for Hilary Duff, Anne Hathaway, Victoria Justice, and Demi Lovato.  As a product of my fixation on the latter singer/actress, I bent over backwards to make sure I saw every episode of The X Factor, where she was a judge.  Though I liked watching the auditions, both the judges--yes, including Ms. Lovato!--and the American public didn't seem to know what they were doing, as the best acts--Danie Geimer, Victoria Carriger, and all-girl group Sweet Suspense--were eliminated early on, leaving only the inane acts, like the annoying couple/duo Alex & Sierra.  After a while, I realized that I didn't want to watch the show anymore...and that I didn't need a celebrity to focus on in the first place.  When an obsession is present, not only is it sinful--it's idolatry--but it's also, I chose to be done with it.
  4. Good things come to those who wait.  In October 2011, after just over 2.5 years of being a volunteer at my local library, I was hired as a library a library all the way across town.  Since I've never had my driver's license, I had to take the bus every time, which was a bit of a pain.  However, this past summer, that library closed down, and I was transferred to the library closest to me; that is, the one where I'd previously volunteered! I'd started to doubt it would ever happen, but it did, and I couldn't be happier about it!
  5. Don't spend your money on something you really don't need, regardless of how cheap it is.  Everybody who knows me knows that I love bargain hunting, whether at garage sales, thrift stores, or even regular stores such as MovieStop or LifeWay.  However, over the past few years, my tendency has been to buy items in excess, as my Facebook friends have seen in the photos.  That's why, this year, though I still plan on bargain hunting, I will tone it down so that I don't get stuck with way more books than can fit in the space I have.
  6. I am loved.  Simple statement, yes, but it's true; I have friends and family who love me, as well as a God who loves me unconditionally.  That's all I need to say about that.
What I Discovered in 2013 
  1. Blu-Rays. For Christmas in 2012, my parents got me a home theater system, complete with surround sound speakers and a Blu-Ray player.  Since said device was backwards compatible with DVDs, and I didn't have any Blu-Rays on hand, I watched only DVDs on it.  When I found October Baby--one of my favorite movies--on Blu-Ray at a thrift store, I bought it, but traded it in soon after because I already had the DVD, and didn't think the newer format would make it any better.  Later on, I got the History Channel's The Bible mini-series on Blu-Ray...and was floored by the quality as soon as I put it in, so much so that I regretted trading in my copy of October Baby.  I look forward to watching more movies on the newer format in the years to come.
  2. The Disney Channel. This was more of a rediscovery, but, I have loved the Disney Channel shows I've watched this year.  I used to be really big into that channel, but, iCarly and VICTORiOUS made me a big fan of rival network Nickelodeon.  However, those two shows ended around the start of last year, and I wasn't sure what to do...until I watched the Disney Channel, and loved it just as much as I did previously.
  3. Tricia. No, I don't have a significant other; Tricia Brock--formerly of Superchic[k]--is a Christian singer with a wonderful message and great musicality.  If you haven't heard her need to check her out!
  4. 1 Girl Nation. Who is 1 Girl Nation, you ask? They are a all-girl Christian group that have quite a few great songs.  Though they have only released one album so far, I look forward to their future releases.  I was able to get their entire album via Freegal.
  5. 90's Nickelodeon. When I was very young, I used to watch the same shows that many people my age watched on Nick; however, some time later, I gave up on the network, saying Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, and PBS were better because one had Growing Pains, another had Scooby-Doo, and the other one had educational shows.  Despite my bias against Nickelodeon, I didn't seem to mind seeing Good Burger in theaters; still, more recently, I've realized that I missed out by refusing to watch the orange network.  Thankfully, I've been able to watch some episodes via my DVR, and iTunes has plenty of seasons/volumes of those shows.  I look forward to watching plenty more of said shows in 2014.
  6. Time away from the Internet.  For far too long, the Internet has been taking up way too much of my time, even getting in the way of my favorite shows.  That's why I've been limiting my time online, especially on Facebook.  It's one thing to use the Internet to look up information; it's another to spend time on it doing pointless things that don't help anyone.
Here's to 2014!

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