25 1/2 Things I Learned in 2017

There’s a guy named Tim Whitwell who’s a consultant with Fluxx who does a list of 52 Things I Learned each year. Here’s 2017 and here’s 2016. A couple of gems from this year:

  • 2. Traders in Shenzhen electronics markets now rely on smartphone translation apps to communicate — not just with foreigners, but with people speaking other Chinese dialects. [Mark Pesce]
  • 29. Amazon Echo can be useful for people suffering from Alzheimers’: “I can ask Alexa anything and I get the answer instantly. And I can ask it what day it is twenty times a day and I will still get the same correct answer.” [Rick Phelps]
  • 34. An American TV viewer who watches Netflix rather than normal ad-funded television could avoid 160 hours of ads every year. That’s equivalent to a month of eight hour working days. [Dan Calladine]
  • 41. Men travelling first class tend to weigh more than those in economy, while for women the reverse is true. [Lucy Hooker]
  • 52. Ten out of twelve British water companies sometimes still use divining rods to search for leaks. [Sally Le Page]

This got me thinking. What have I learned in 2017? (Mine are more personal that Whitwell’s, and not all were necessarily learned this year, but may have been reinforced.)

  1. If you are overzealous enjoying archery for the first time in many, many years, you can both have fun *and* pull a muscle that helps you end up spending a week in bed.
  2. Small, consistent efforts accumulate over time.
  3. Being married 30 years is a delight.
  4. Sometimes the process can be flawed, even painful, but the right outcome can still result. (I’m looking at you, marriage equality in Australia).
  5. It can take a long time, but sometimes bad behaviour gets its just desserts. And sometimes, those in power will ignore it for their own ends. The latter is is odious as it has ever been.
  6. Sometime people you admire do things you don’t admire, and it matters. (Al Franken, anyone?) (See also What Do We Do With the Art of Monstrous Men?, which I’ve considered writing about but don’t think I have anything to add.)
  7. Going to live rock/pop concerts has the capacity to make you feel both young and old at the same time.
  8. It is never easy to share your life with someone and then have to bury them. This applies, of course, to animals as well as people.
  9. If you detach yourself from the brain suck of social media, you tend to feel better.
  10. It is OK to leave old, familiar podcasts behind if they no longer fit your head space. This applies to people, too.
  11. Having a 22-year-old daughter is a delight.
  12. Comparison-itis is debilitating. So don’t. Just don’t.
  13. Making time for things that matter helps you make time again for things that matter.
  14. Don Miguel Ruiz’s second agreement continues to be valuable (along with the other three, of course).
  15. I once again am looking forward to new Doctor Who episodes. I didn’t think that would happen.
  16. It is, in fact, possible that a dumpster fire will end up in charge. Despite this, good people will continue to do good. (This may or may not be about the person you might think it is about.)
  17. An almost ten-year-old computer can still make a positive contribution to one’s life, if just.
  18. There is no need to rush into being part of the Internet of Things. Other people can work out the kinks, especially those that have to do with security.
  19. Good password hygiene is more important than ever. (I use 1Password to help with this.)
  20. Lorde and Sia can both still sing like rockets.
  21. It is still fun to read stuff you’d normally think, “That’s not for me.” (No, I didn’t cry reading The Time Traveller’s Wife. Why do you ask? *Wipes eyes*)
  22. Libraries are still awesome, even in the digital age.
  23. If something blows your mind, there will be others who share the feeling.
  24. Putting out a weekly email is trickier than I thought, and more enjoyable than I expected. Also, sometimes “weekly” is “weekly-ish”.
  25. It is still true that when people are kind, things are better. So being kind to others is still worthwhile.
    25 1/2. Kindness toward animals (especially by not eating them) is as rewarding as anything on the planet. (OK, I learned that a long time ago. That’s why it’s 1/2. Still worth including.)

I’m sure I’ll think of more as soon as I post this, but for now, that seems like enough lessons.

So, what has 2017 taught you? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear.