RETURN TO ENLIGHTENMENT

e. magill's                        

The Unapologetic Geek

MAIN LIST        

16 Things I Learned in 2016, Part 1

2016 may be well behind us now, but it's not too late to look back and take a few lessons away from such an eventful year. For me, 2016 was relatively peaceful on the homefront, with life as a homeowner, parent, and writer settled into a comforting routine. Of course, things weren't so serene when it comes to the political landscape of what may go down in history as one of the craziest American presidential election years. With that in mind, here are sixteen lessons I've learned, some personal, some general. As it is such a big list, I'm separating it into two parts.


#1. Flooding is No Joke
The Meramec River
#1. Flooding is No Joke
The Meramec River

Growing up in Florida, I knew all about thunderstorms and hurricanes. However, I now live in a more diverse area of middle America, sitting on one edge of the New Madrid Seismic Zone (the most dangerous earthquake epicenter in America outside of California), another edge of Tornado Alley, and at the fringes of some pretty significant flood zones. Thankfully, my house is well situated for a significant flood, but even knowing that, the major flood that hit the St. Louis area in early January of last year was terrifying. It's not as violent as the tidal surges I grew up with, but it's got a slow, methodical, unstoppable nature not unlike Jason Vorhees relentlessly stalking his prey. Before 2016, I'd never seen trash deposited at the tops of large trees by a river that decided it needed a lot more room, nor had I ever seen entire gas stations and trailer parks submerged beneath the waves. It's not something I'm eager to experience again.


#2. Gardening is Cathartic
Broccoli
#2. Gardening is Cathartic
Broccoli

I read somewhere that gardeners who spend a lot of time with their plants get a very real high from the increased amounts of oxygen released by photosynthesis. I don't know if it's true, but there is certainly something about gardening that is surprisingly refreshing and exhilerating. I tend to hate sunlight and have very little tolerance for the outdoors, but I find nature itself to be peaceful, almost spiritual. I never expected to do anything like gardening in my free time, but with my new backyard--which is perfect for a home garden--I have found an immensely rewarding hobby that nurtures both body and soul. That's why I find it pretty easy to believe that I'm just getting high whenever I go out there to tend to my vegetables.


#3. Housekeeping is a Full Time Job
Gutters
#3. Housekeeping is a Full Time Job
Gutters

A couple of decades of apartment living have spoiled me. As a freshman homeowner, I've had to come to grips with all the nitty-gritty of maintaining the house, and as 2016 went on, I kept finding new things that needed to be cleaned, repaired, maintained, bought, or built. I had to buy a bigger ladder in order to clean my gutters, because those things get really gross and clogged if you don't tend to them. My wife and I had to buy all kinds of tools to beat back the wilderness that was threatening to overtake the sides of our house. I had to learn how to take apart a faucet, how to properly dust blinds and light fixtures, how to affix a removeable headboard over a window, how to shovel snow without destroying my back, and much more. I had to build a firepit area in my yard in order to dispose of the mountain of dead branches and sticks I'd accumulated, because piles of wood attract snakes. Heck, just yesterday, I learned how to properly clean a dishwasher. There's always something.


#4. I Can Write Every Day
Writing
#4. I Can Write Every Day
Writing

I've already devoted an entire blog article to the subject, but this year, I finally managed to get into the elusive write-every-day routine. Though there were a few hiccups along the way (I think I topped out at 70-something days in a row), I was a much more consistent writer in 2016. Sure, my blog had a few too many hiatuses (especially over the summer), but I forgive that because my fiction has always been a higher priority. Besides, I finished a first draft quite recently, which makes it all worth it.

|
Page     1     2
|
NEXT >>


-e. magill 1/20/2017

MORE LIKE THIS:
  • 16 Things I Learned in 2016, Part 2
  • 15 Things I Learned in 2015
  • 14 Things I Learned in 2014



  • Copyright 2017 e. magill. All rights reserved.