What I’ve Learned in 2016

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It’s hard to remember all the photos I have taken in 2016; it’s even harder to decide which photos I like better. But I have no problem remembering what I have learned in this year.

Coping/Adjusting
My husband had a surgery on 12/22. Dr. removed two small tumors from his bladder. We, the family, discussed our anxiety before his surgery; my daughter and I shared our fear of if “bad cells” had spread. We asked each other how he or she was doing often and letting each other know that we were there for him/her. This experience brought us closer. (We are grateful that the surgery went well and he is on his way to a full recovery.)

My husband was diagnosed with a bladder cancer and had a surgery a year before. Last year we each cried in our own corner, and when we saw each other, we pretended we were okay. I remember feeling helpless and alone; I am sure my husband and daughter felt the same way.

I learned that when someone remains in silence, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t care. I learned that even under a not-so-good circumstance we continue to grow. I learned that when there is someone caring about us, our problem doesn’t seem as bad.

Introvert
One of the most fundamental characteristics of introverts is that they need time alone to recharge their batteries.

I learned that the older a battery is, the longer it would take to recharge. 😉

Travel
In May, we took a Baltic & Scandinavian Cruise, visited Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, and Warnemunde. (As a classical music lover, my husband’s favorite place was Sibelius Memorial at Helsinki, Finland. I, on the other hand, don’t have a favorite place, but what I liked the most of the trip was the cake we ate in Norway.) In August, we visited Canadian Rockies. And we went to D.C. in July and San Francisco in November.

I always thought seeing places, eating different food, and meeting different people are the reasons for traveling. But, I learned that when I travel, a lot of time, I get to know a different part of me… I like that a lot.

Second Language/Blogging in 2017
The other day while writing to my friend, I used the word “Power”. For some reason, it didn’t look quite right. I looked up in the dictionary and found out that I did spell it right. I have heard that “When people get old, the ability of speaking or writing in a second language is the second (first?) one to go.” Yes, I’m getting old. But how sad it is if I can’t even spell the word “POWER”?

It didn’t take much for me to figure out that I have lost some ability in English writing because I don’t read/write as often as before. I guess I should blog more 😉

Two three years ago (or 4?), I thought it would be fun to write to my daughter every day for a year. Well, I failed. My goal for next year is to write a letter a week to my daughter or nephew, niece, friend… and you can read it here. 😉 I think I can do it,

I want to thank all my blogger friends and those who are following this blog. Together we can make this world better… in our own way. Have a Healthy and Happy 2017!

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About Helen C

A retired computer programmer who loves writing and photographing, and has managed to publish a YA novel "Jin-Ling’s Two Left".
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30 Responses to What I’ve Learned in 2016

  1. loisajay says:

    I hope your husband continues to heal, Helen, and that 2017 is wonderful to you. Fireworks are popping outside so the New Year is on the way. Let’s hope it’s a good one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cee Neuner says:

    You’ve been through a tough tough year. Silence is golden in some cases. Other cases with loved ones, I’ve learned that silence is not always golden. Healing can take place among those we feel safe. Thanks for posting this. I’ll write you later.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Good afternoon, Cee. You are right that silence is not always gold. It all comes down to… understanding each other, I guess.
      Thinking of you a lot. Hope you feel normal now. (Have you received my text message via brain waves? 😉
      Have a great day.

      Like

  3. Edward Tan says:

    Have a great new year, Helen! Glad to know that your husband is on the verge of full recovery. May your family blessed with health, love and laughter the year ahead!.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Edward. Happy New Year! I was thinking… haven’t read anything from you for a long time. It turned out I’ve missed one in Nov. Hmm… I think I will set the option for an email notification when you have a new post.
      Any suggestion for a scenic place in Taiwan to visit at the end of Feb.? It’s getting harder and harder to find a place to visit. ;-( Lots places to eat though. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Edward Tan says:

        Hi Helen, thanks for following my blog, it’s rather flattering for me. I’m living in Hong Kong, not Taiwan :), but many of my friends travel to Taitung County recently, it’s relatively more laid back and less touristic. When it comes to food, I don’t think it’s a problem in Taiwan, no matter which part you visit 🙂

        Like

  4. neihtn2012 says:

    May the new year be a good, healthy, and happy one for you and your family. Keep blogging!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Joanne Sisco says:

    You had an amazing year of travel and exploration. I wish you more adventures in 2017 and a quick journey to good health for your husband. It is very frightening when a loved one’s health is under threat. I hope he is now past the worst and there are only healthy days ahead in this new year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Joanne. Happy New Year!
      My husband is doing well. When he first heard the news, he immediately said “I think I should stop eating those instant noodles.” (I have been telling him not to eat so much of those.) Well, he started eating those again, and that means he is feeling well, I guess ;-(
      Have a great day.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Anabel Marsh says:

    Your words are very wise. I think it is better to look back and learn lessons for the future than to make unrealistic resolutions that we (by which I mean I) don’t always keep. Best wishes for your husband’s continued recovery and Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Anabel. Happy 2017!
      It’s almost funny to read about introvert. It’s like hearing someone describing me. 😉 Apparently, introverts like to think. No wonder I remember my thoughts more than anything else. Ha.
      Have a great day.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Amy says:

    Glad to hear the surgery went well, Helen. What a relieve!
    Travel does open up a new horizon every single time, I agree.
    Typos and misspelling happened to me more often than not. I always discovery it days later by accident (don’t know why). I should kick myself, instead often give myself the credit of doing more than dozen things (addition many other duties) for just one small post alone. So, I just move on and try not to repeat.
    Great read. Thank you for sharing and thank you for the clicks while you are busy and living under such a pressure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Amy. Happy New Year! (I happily say that whole day today because it IS new Year day!)
      I’ve also learned that it is true that if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. This including the ability of speaking second language, or walking, squatting,.. But we have so little time ;-(
      Have a great day.

      Like

  8. Pilgrim says:

    First, sorry to hear about hubby. Hope everything goes well, health wise. Please post about your trip. I will be visiting that place of Finland, Scandinavia and Baltic on May/June as my yearly pilgrimage. As far as losing the English language, I totally understand. Have the same challenge. Do continue to write and Happy New Year to you and yours. Love Perpetua.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Perpetua. Happy 2017!
      Are you taking a cruise too? I am really not a cruise person. Other than restaurant and I used their treadmill twice, we didn’t use any service on ship. I do like Scandinavia. For some reason, people look healthier and seem having less to worry about.
      Does your trip including St Petersburg? We were surprised that the gift shop we went only accept Euros and not their own money (which was good for us since we didn’t exchange any money).
      Have a great day. Love, Helen

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pilgrim says:

        Hi Helen: St. Petersburg is in Russia, no? I believe Scandinavia is one of the happiest place on earth 🙂 We will travelling by air, land, train and sea visiting the Scandinavian capitals in Denmark, Copenhagen, Norway, Oslo, Sweden, Stockholm, Finland, Helsinki. Baltic States such as Estonia, Lavia and Lithuania. Most of this following the footsteps of St. Bridget and Elisabetta. Don’t know them, so I better read their history. Trying to enjoy our snow days that we are not used to. Take Care. Perpetua

        Liked by 1 person

        • Helen C says:

          Yes, St. Petersburg is in Russia. Most of Baltic cruises include St. Petersburg. I like your way of traveling better. I like traveling by car, land, train… You will love the trip! (I have to google St. Bridget and Elisabetta to know more.)
          Good night, Helen

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Inese Poga Art plus Life says:

    Tallinn is just next to Riga, too, bad your cruise didn’t go that route. It’s an ancient city built in 1201.
    I wouldn’t call myself introvert, but my work is such that I need to be alone to do it, so I do understand that one can need to be alone in order to recharge. I like that.
    I speak, write, translate in 3 languages: Latvian, German and English, I can speak and understand Russian, too, but switching keyboard is tough, so I don’t write in Russian, but there are many great books to read. I read in original whenever possible.
    I don’t think you have to worry that you have doubts about spelling or similar things, it’s good to check some phrase or word time to time.
    I’m dealing with medical writing in all 3 language combinations, and it’s very common that some terms do not even exists yet in another language, so we create them. Some new treatments and devices are so advanced, especially in genetics, that one has to learn all the time.
    I’m glad for you, you did so much traveling, it’s great your husband is recovering.
    Good, healthy and great 2017!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      3 languages? Many years ago before going to Paris, I tried to learn some simple French. I figured the most important sentence was “Do you speak English?” I thought I got it, but when I tried it in Paris, the person I talked to didn’t understand what I say at all. Speaking 3 languages is awesome!
      Tallinn is a lovely place. I enjoy the old town (is it called old town?) a lot. It’s a place that has characters. Our tour guide was a wonderful lady and that helped too.
      Take care. Have a Healthy and Happy 2017!

      Like

  10. Dalo 2013 says:

    Wishing you a happy and healthy 2017, and great to hear your husband is recovering. Your photography has taken a few dramatic leaps forward in 2016, so I look forward to what you will shoot in this coming year. Take care Helen ~

    Liked by 1 person

  11. carol1945 says:

    Helen, I am 71, and was a teacher who scoffed at the poor spellers in my life. Spelling was my forte. When I studied French in college, I could instantly remember how to spell those words with all the accents. I never understood how people could not spell. Alas, alas, alas, this is changing. I first noticed it when I could not spell the word amethyst. Amythist??? It was one of my favorite colors, and since I made jewelry, one of my favorite stones. I was only 60 then, and I still remember that very first word I could not spell. I am trying to cope by seeing the humor of it. I deserve to be slapped in the face with this because of my former arrogance. Lately I just have not been able to spell yatch. yacth, yahtc. Why would this word come up for me? Well, I was invited to a lunch at a Yacht club (oh, finally spell check got it) and I wanted to use this word. Spell check could not find it because I could not come even close.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Carol, nowadays I see the humor of a lot of things 😉 I wish my English is better, but it is what it is.
      Amethyst is a hard word to spell! But it sure is a pretty color. I am going to try hard to remember this word! Thanks for introducing it to me 😉
      Lunch at a Yacht Club… how exciting! I’d only seen them on TV. Ha.

      Like

  12. Lady Oscar says:

    Dear~ so glad that things went well.
    Taking care of family is a hard, but sweet job. With understanding and compassion in our hearts, we keep on going.

    Liked by 1 person

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