Woman riding bike on dirt path

Hi there! Today’s introspective post is a little different than usual. Back in the day, when I ran a laid-back kayaking/biking blog (2008-2009), I would reflect at year’s end about lessons learned while exploring the outdoors.

Those days are behind me — but I still feel drawn to share a year-end personal reflection. This one has nothing to do with living greener or more sustainably — it’s just random thoughts. I struggled with the title…is it “Lessons Learned in 2022…” like so many other posts out there? Hmmm.

In the end, I realized I’ve known many of these things all along but had yet to accept them as settled truths. So What I Know to Be True in 2023 seems appropriate. Be sure to leave a comment to let me know if anything resonates with you or feel free to share some of your own. As you’ll see, not everything needs to be serious or profound.

  • Just because I have an opinion about something, doesn’t mean I’m obligated to share it or that anyone wants to hear it.
  • When something bad happens to someone we love, we don’t need to find the perfect thing to say or do, we just need to say or do something.
  • Allowing myself to be vulnerable leads to more authentic relationships.
Man kayaking on quiet water
  • I can read online reviews before buying, but in the end, I should trust my own instincts — and always check the return or cancellation policy.
  • Dark chocolate can smooth over a rough spot in any day.
  • Curiosity is one of my superpowers, but I need to use it wisely.
  • I don’t need to stay plugged into the 24/7 news cycle to be well-informed. One-hour-a-day from a well-chosen source is sufficient.
  • The Shark lightweight cordless vacuum is a design masterpiece and one of the easiest ways to do a quick clean-up.
  • There’s nothing on TV that can compete with a bright and clear night sky filled with celestial bodies. I’m incredibly lucky to have a front-row seat.
  • It’s okay to ask for and accept help. In fact, sometimes it’s absolutely necessary.
  • Never underestimate the value of holding and reading real books. They seem to leave a bigger imprint on my heart and mind than the digital version.
  • My local library still has the power to evoke the magical feeling I had as a five-year-old, when I got my first library card.
  • When health problems start to plague you and you’re waiting for answers, remember the cells in your body are renewing themselves at an astounding rate of about 30 billion a day.
  • I still can’t be trusted with a big bag of twizzlers.
  • Always take time to soak in happy moments so they become etched in your memory. You have to savor them before you can revisit them.
  • If you think something nice about a person, tell them right then.
  • Travel, despite all the headaches today, is still one of the best ways to recharge my spirit. I don’t have to travel far to reap the benefits.
  • If you don’t actively nurture it, love will fade. This is true for partners, friends and family.
  • I should always look first for the easiest path; otherwise I’ll inevitably overcomplicate things.
  • Sometimes you can save too many cardboard boxes. Believe you’ll have the right one when you need it and if not, the sky won’t fall.
  • I almost never regret making a phone call over texting or emailing. There’s something special about hearing a person’s voice.
  • Time spent in nature is never wasted. It heals, restores and renews me — and is much cheaper than therapy.
  • Clutter is a mindset of scarcity. When I struggle to toss or recycle something, it’s because I’m afraid I won’t be able to replace it, if needed. Lose the fear, clear the clutter.
  • My true friends are the ones who have been there for me this past year when I felt I had nothing to offer because I was too tired, sick or discouraged.
  • Never underestimate the power of a person to grow and change for the better. Even the people you spend the most time with and have come to know intimately can surprise you — if you are open to seeing it.

I am not a licensed nutritionist, medical professional or cosmetics expert. The information provided on Honest + Simple is for general informational purposes only. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food + Drug Administration and are not intended to treat, prevent or cure any disease. Before making decisions about your health or other concerns, please consult a qualified professional and do not rely on this website for medical advice.

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  1. Well, this is how I truly know we are sisters! I cannot be trusted with a bag of twirlers either, no matter the size!
    Also to your first comment, I had a saying on my digital picture frame at work – “When I want your opinion, I’ll give it to you”

    1. Yes, we are definitely sisters — especially when it comes to twizzlers and giving advice, it seems. Thanks for reading, Jeanne, and for taking time to comment.

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