5 Valuable Lessons Learned in 2023


As the new year begins, it’s fun to come up with New Year’s resolutions. But before I focus on future me, I like to reflect on things I have learned over the past year. Here are five valuable lessons I learned in 2023 that I’ll be taking with me into the new year.

1. You don’t have to postpone a wedding for a funeral

My daughter was born a few days before two important people in my life passed away. It was simultaneously a time of grief and joy. On the one hand, I was heart-broken with the loss of my loved ones, but I was also overwhelmed with gratitude to have my healthy baby girl in my arms.

It was difficult to reconcile these two opposing feelings. I felt guilty in moments of joy, and during times of grief I worried I wasn’t embracing the fleeting time with my newborn. A mourning family member told me that I didn’t have to “postpone a wedding for a funeral.” In other words, although I grieved for my loved ones, I could also celebrate our beautiful baby being born. There was room for both.

2. Behind every “no” is a “yes”

I am a professional people-pleaser. With this comes the difficulty in saying no to requests or invitations. I have learned that although I may think I am saying “yes” to something, I am also inherently saying “no” to something else. For example, if an enticing work commitment comes up, taking that on would sacrifice time spent at home with my family. In other words, “yes” to work can be “no” to family. And vice versa, saying “no” to work would be a “yes” to family or personal time, etc. This has helped me reframe my decisions around commitments.

3. “Play” is not just for kids

In my conversation with Jordan Page, I got a new perspective on how I thought about play. I also realized how important play is not only for kids, but also for adults. I started to reflect on the last time I could say I did something just for fun. Perhaps sometime before motherhood? I have been trying to incorporate more play in my life whether that be exploring new places, trying new foods, or having a game night where adults have a chance to be silly.

4. It’s just a season

As a first-time mom I felt like every phase would last forever. During the beginning days with a colicky baby, I believed the cries would never end. But, of course, eventually the crying baby turned to a happy baby who then turned into trouble making toddler. Now when I have a sleepless night, or a sick child to tend to, I can remind myself that this too shall pass. It is only a season.

5. “If people want to understand you, it doesn’t matter how you say it. If people don’t want to understand you, it doesn’t matter how you say it.”

I heard this quote from Glennon Doyle’s podcast, “We Can Do Hard Things” and it was such a helpful piece of wisdom. I used to be so hard on myself if I was misunderstood. Perhaps, I chose the wrong word or used the wrong tone. Perhaps, I could have re-explained myself in a different way. But I have come to realize that no matter how I try to convey my thoughts, those who want to understand me, will.

What lessons did you learn in 2023?

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Brittany Myczkowski
Brittany is a mom, wife, and outgoing introvert who recently moved to the Columbia area in 2022! She has lived in many different cities from the East Coast to the Midwest and is happy to now call Columbia home. Building a sense of community is one of the reasons she and her family decided to come to Columbia and why she is very excited to be a part of the Columbia Mom team. Physical and mental health is also very important to her. As a physical therapist, she has witnessed the powerful connection of the mind and body and how both need to be given the proper TLC. In her spare time, she enjoys perfecting the fine art of sleep procrastination, listening to podcasts or books on tape, doing anything active, and adding unnecessary items to her Amazon cart. Photo by: Zach and Sarah Photography


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