7 Things I Learned In 2017

In my planning for the new year, I did an exercise that required me to choose one word that summed up my 2017, and then a different word to reflect what I will strive for in 2018.

This year’s word was maxed-out. (as in overwhelmed, over-extended, stretched too thin, but also ambitious and growing.)

Next year’s word is self-care. That’s a huge umbrella of a goal under which many different aspects of my life fall, the bottom line being: I need to work to make myself a priority in my own life.

So as I was reflecting on 2017 and my many uncomfortable growth spurts, I found myself thinking “Wow, I really learned a lot. ”

Since I truly believe we all learn something new every day, this list is a teensy tiny portion of the incredible (and sometimes not so useful) information that has poured into my brain this year.

  1. Writing a memoir is really hard. 

Or I should say: Getting started on writing a memoir is really hard. I can’t imagine what brutality awaits me as I venture future along in the process.

My office when I’m doing research for my book


2. Experiencing a total solar eclipse is life altering. 

Especially when in the company of some of my favorite people. Making the effort to have this experience was worth it a million times over.


3. Never argue with a narcissist. 

Apparently there is an all too common and very harmful connection between narcissists and empaths like myself. This has been a pattern throughout my life I’ve only recently come to recognize and am learning to protect myself by changing my habits.


4. Food additives make my body hurt. 

I’ve struggled for over a decade with one of those “mystery illnesses” that no medical provider can figure out, so it gets called fibromyalgia or autoimmune disease or any number of other things. Through a great deal of trial and error, plus the support of a super smart and understanding allergist, I’ve discovered that many foods with artificial sweeteners and/or artificial flavors and colors bring on my body pain. I have it more under control now than ever!


5. In the early 20th century, people ate radium. 

For real. It was in drinking water, toothpaste, playground sand, jockstraps, you name it. It was believed to be good for you! Science is amazing and terrifying. Also I will probably never follow a brand new trend again. 

PS. Read this book!!


6. Sometimes all you can do for a loved one who is hurting is simply to be there. 

I’m a fixer, a helper, a healer, a hugger, a talker. I want to use words and actions to help make things better. But sometimes that’s not possible. That sucks.


7. The Universe knows. 

Okay, technically I already knew this so maybe it shouldn’t count. I can say for certain though, that this year I saw this in action in bigger ways than I’d ever noticed before. Sometimes my faith weakens, and then it strengthens again when I see what’s around the next bend. All I have to do is show up and pay attention. And that’s not always easy.


What did you learn this year? 

What are your words for 2017 and 2018?!



  1. Betsy

    December 30, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    Love you so, you wise woman. Great year end blog. xoxox

  2. John McLellan

    December 31, 2017 at 6:06 am

    I cannot wait to read any book you write, especially a book about your life adventures. You’re a good story teller. Don’t paralyze yourself by over thinking this thing (if possible, of course). One sentence at a time, no more, no less. I know you. You can do this. Can’t wait. Crush it!

  3. Ramona Mead

    December 31, 2017 at 9:58 am

    Thanks friend. I couldn’t do it if I didn’t know I had people believing in me along the way! xoxo

  4. Ramona Mead

    December 31, 2017 at 9:58 am

    Thank you friend, the feeling is mutual!

  5. Lea

    December 31, 2017 at 10:16 am

    I’ve learned that the depths of sadness and rawness are bottomless but not unconquerable. I love you and treasure your support and I will never forget how my tragedy has strengthened my bo d to so many important people in my life.

  6. Doree Weller

    December 31, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    I love the idea of finding a word to sum up the previous year and a word to go into the new year. I’m going to definitely experiment with that! I love all the lessons you learned. And I love the reminder that the universe knows.

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