2016: Lessons & Homework

There is something I usually do at or towards the end of every year. I sit down and think about my experiences within the year and seek out my lessons for the year. I also look out for areas where I need to do more work. This little exercise, I call- lessons and homework. 

Lessons are the things I’ve learned and homework basically are the those things that I still need to work on, in the making of a better me.

So, away we go! 

2016 has actually been an interesting year for me. I spent the entire year in the hospital, perfecting my craft and honing my skills. Skills I hope will eventually be useful to someone, somewhere, sometime. Could be the difference between life and death for them. Eerie thought! I have also spent a good chunk of this year as a patient. I have had more sick days this year, than I have ever had in my entire life before now. Everything from mildly annoying, to sleepless nights, to clogged up nostrils, to excruciating pain,to breathless desperation.

I’ve played both sides of the pitch… OK, enough preamble.


Here’s what 2016 taught me. 

1. Sometimes a sacrifice of convenience, while uncomfortable, can save you a good deal of time.

2. Other times too, you gain nothing by sacrificing your convenience and putting yourself out on the line.

3. Sometimes, you have to say no and insist on no, to keep your sanity.

4. When emotions are high and turbulent, you can never go wrong by keeping silent.

5. In pursuit of knowledge, a few insults here and there are often part of the price.

6. I’ve learned to know when my instincts are speaking and not to ignore them.

7. When you genuinely care about people, it shows in everything you do with and for them. And they can feel it too.

8. I’ve learned to show respect, even when I feel disrespected.

9. I’ve learned to differentiate between the folder in my hands and the person in front of me.

10. I’ve learned that no words are enough to soothe the heartbreak of a grieving father, mother, brother, sister, son or daughter. The tears will flow… for a long time.

11. Love, no matter how fervent,by itself,  will never be enough.

12. It is OK to let loose and have a little fun. 

13. Success is a journey, not a destination.

14. My hands, my eyes and my words will often soothe better than most painkillers. 

15. Sometimes, everything goes wrong, even when you have done everything right. It’s part of life. Keep living.

16. CPR is still the toughest workout ever. 

17. Many times, other people think we’re more awesome than we actually are. The first reaction in the cycle of folly is believing them.

18. I’ve learned to be grateful for every second of good health I enjoy. 
19. It’s OK to give up sometimes.


Here’s what 2016 didn’t teach me and I hope to learn in the coming year(s).

1. Learn when it’s worth it to make certain sacrifices.

2. Learn to put myself first more often.

3. Trust my training and my instincts more.

4. Know the limits of my capabilities and stay on the right side of them.

5. Learn to communicate more effectively and to keep in touch with friends and family more often.

6. Learn to never take anyone’s love or dedication for granted, no matter how tempting. 

7. Learn to live with my mistakes and make something good out of them, when possible.

8. Learn to let go of some expectations- from myself and others. 

9. Learn to overcome pettiness, ignorance and hate, with compassion, love and dignity and not get dragged into the mud, for the sake of vengeance. 

There it is. My lessons and homework from the very eventful year of 2016. I hope I have not bored you with this totally random list. While it may not be much for most people, we all grow at different rates and while it may already be routine for you, I’m only just learning them now. My people say that when one wakes up is his own morning.

Happy new year! 

Better late than never.


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