3 Life Lessons to Take into the New Year

by Migdalia Rivera

With the year coming to a close,  I wanted to share 3 life lessons to take into the new year.  I have to admit this past year has come with quite a few blessing and problems. Sometimes, the problems seemed to outweigh the blessings.

With 4 oral surgeries, my son’s school accident – Tween now has a herniated disc that requires ongoing therapy,  a close friend’s death, and a family falling out, this past year has been more trying than prior ones. Yet, I constantly reminded myself that “This too shall pass.”

And it did.

Life, Life Lessons, New Year

As it was happening I could not see it. In hindsight, I realize each obstacle came with a lesson, 3 very important life lessons that I plan to take into the new year.

Family Drama

A recent family falling out seemed like a bad dream set on replay. Sadly, it’s been playing out for most of my life. Time has taught me to  take a step back. Getting sucked into old drama, or new for that matter, has a way of sucking one’s energy and creativity. For the sake of my sons, I have learned to let things go. It’s taken me many years to realize what is worth letting go and what isn’t. Ultimately, the response to two questions provide the answer: Will this drama matter to me 5 days, 5 years or 50 years from now?  If so, can I change the outcome? If I cannot, I have learned to forgive, let go and move on. There are just some things that I will never be able to change no matter how I hard I try.

Lesson Learned: Family drama does not have to be your drama.

Medical/Dental Insurance

I chose to forgo medical and dental insurance for myself and the family because of the costs associated with it. My belief that we are all young and in fairly good health almost ruined us. We’ve amassed quite a bit of medical and dental bills from a shoddy Dental Assistant’s work and my son’s accident. Spending over 15K this pass year, has made me realize that we can never know when an accident or an illness will occur. Thankfully, we had the funds to pay for it. Sadly, we now have no emergency savings.

Lesson learned: Health/Dental care coverage is a must.


The death of my close friend, Walter, nearly broke me this year. He was my mentor, my best friend and my “father”. He was a huge part of my life. We met a year after I made New York my home. I was 20 years old. He never forgot a birthday, holiday or major life event. He was the voice of reason while I was raising my sons. He was my heart and when he passed, I was inconsolable. Writing this short paragraph has me in tears and because of that I never wrote of his passing. Writing about it would have made it more real than his viewing. I didn’t want it to be real. His passing brought me to my knees. Thankfully, God was there to meet me.

During our last conversation he asked me what I was doing with my life. “Working”, I responded. He wanted to know if I was having fun, if I was dating. I admitted to him that I was too busy growing my business and raising my sons. Fun, not associated with work, was a rarity, while dating was almost nonexistent. His death changed that. It put life in perspective.

Lesson Learned: Life is short. Enjoy today while planning for tomorrow. 

Join the conversation! What experiences and lessons have you learned this past year? Share them in a comment so that we can all benefit from your wisdom!

About the Author

Migdalia Rivera, also known as Ms. Latina in social media, is a single Latina mother of a teen, tween and 2 Australian Shepherds. When not blogging, or chasing after her energetic bunch, she connects influential bloggers with brands and PR agencies via her blogger network, Stiletto Media.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kimberly Coleman December 10, 2013 at 10:53 am

I’m glad that you made it through such a challenging year Migdalia!

My biggest takeaway from this year is SEIZE THE DAY 2012 was really rough for my family (as we became firmly entrenched in the “sandwich generation” when both sets of parents had serious health issues). This year was relatively calm and peaceful, but 2015 holds a lot of uncertainty/question marks. I’ll just see what each day holds and try not to worry about the “tomorrows”!

2 Onica {MommyFactor} December 10, 2013 at 1:18 pm

I’m sorry this past year has been so hard on you. I’ve had some moments this year also but like you said. These things do pass. Thank you for the reminder to learn lessons from this hard life moments. May this new year bring you happy and good things.
Onica {MommyFactor} recently posted..Visiting CBS “The Talk” Show, Garth Brooks & Holiday Episodes #EverybodyTalks #TheTalk

3 alissa December 10, 2013 at 6:02 pm

It does sound like a lot is going on. I totally understand about health insurance. We have our own. Our places of work are so small, they dropped insurance awhile ago. :( Death is never easy, and drama isn’t either. :(

My younger sister told us she is prego again. I wish I was excited. She’s pretty much playing with fire. She carries an awful genetic condition she can pass on. Thankfully the baby she is caring is normal. She still has the 2 1/2 year old that will never be ok. I don’t know how she’ll do it with a new baby, and a child that gets sick all the time. Plus he doesn’t, and won’t ever walk. My other sister and my husband were pissed when she found out. I had to be the middle man again. Family drama isn’t fun.
alissa recently posted..WW: Bass Pro Shop {Linky}

4 Blanca Stella Mejia December 11, 2013 at 7:20 pm

Migdalia, first of all so sorry for the loss of your friend. With regards to life lessons…every day! I have learned to try to keep things simple and not let my mind get ahead of me….simply following my heart and my gut to get me out of dramas. The health insurance thing..hits close to home. When I had my car accident over 10 years ago, I had no insurance…luckily my car insurance paid for my hospital bill because it wasn’t my fault..but it really scared me to always be protected. Literally my bill was almost $100,000. I had to get an attorney to help me get it reduced.
Blanca Stella Mejia recently posted..Inspirada Por Mi Hijo ~ Entrevista Con Ana Flores y #InspireCare

5 Claudya December 12, 2013 at 7:45 pm

You are a beautiful and thoughtful human being and I am so very proud of you.
Claudya recently posted..DIY: Melted Crayon Christmas Tree Ornaments

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