Technically, I missed the actual link up. But Emily Freeman started a lovely trend of listing the things she has learned at the close of each season, and I wanted to share mine. Since we transition to spring now, I thought I could still hop on the train. Some of these links are affiliate links. Don’t worry though, it doesn’t change anything on your end!
I like junk mystery novels and I’m not ashamed anymore.
I’m a reader. I come from a family of readers. I’m married to a reader. I hope to raise readers. My dad, sister, and I would each bring 3-5 novels with us on vacation. Read, read, pass. 😉 We can put away an obscene amount of fiction when given a pool and 3 hours of solitude a day. It’s pretty amazing, actually.
But there was this window of time in my mid to late 20’s when I felt like I had to pretend to only like “smart” books. You know, the ones that you read because you are smart, it is smart, or you want to learn something? Now, in my mid, ahem, 30’s, I’m embracing my love of nonsense/nonsmart fiction. Typically mystery that is easy to solve and mildly entertaining. I still read smart books and serious books, but I can totally own that I’m no less smart based on the books I do or don’t read.
My 30’s are teaching me about myself.
You can reference number 1 for a small example. I have a friend who is quite passionate about this. We have found we can blame just about everything on our 20’s. But seriously, there is something beautiful and painful that happens when the security of your uber-youth begins to choke. (I know 30’s is still quite young, mom!) I find myself being willing to do the hard self-learning that I don’t think I was capable of when I was younger.
Some of the fun tools I have been using during the “soul work” are the enneagram (a personality categorizing system), lots of prayer and being humbled by the Lord, and the willingness to be crazy vulnerable with a few trusted people. There are several books on the Enneagram. This one is a good introduction and overall resource. Here is one specifically from a Christian perspective, and this one has become very popular and has a podcast that is supposed to be awesome. If you want a great book to challenge you on vulnerability, here you go.
I might actually be able to quit DP.
I hesitate to even put this one out there. I’m addicted, y’all. Have been since college. Like 5 a day. Head hangs in shame. But. During my Whole30 in January, I went cold turkey and it has now been 76 days, 9 hours and counting. And yes, I’m definitely counting. I can’t say that I will never have one again, but the idea of having to start my count all over again does not appeal right now.
I need 3 beverage options within reach at most times.
I’m not honestly sure if I have always been this way, or if it is since I don’t have my sugary sweet, carbonated dream next to me anymore. But I usually have a Topo Chico carbonated water, something caffeinated like tea or a latte, iced or hot, and the third can vary. Usually, regular water or iced tea if it’s not redundant.
Not everything my kids do is my fault.
They are dirty little sinners all in their own right. I apologize if that is hard for some moms to swallow. But the truth is I don’t have to teach my kids to be selfish, to lack compassion or to be lazy. They have a broken little person inside just like I have a broken big person inside. And no, this doesn’t take away my responsibility to teach and train them. It was just freeing and lifted a lot of pressure off me to finally understand this. And the coolest part? They do some really, really beautiful things that aren’t my “fault” either. Thank you, Jesus.
I wear my headphones a lot with no sound.
My darling husband sends me out once a weekend, for a big chunk of time to write and work on the blog. I find myself with my headphones on and no music, far more often than with music. I also sleep with ear plugs. I think it must be a sensory thing that helps me to focus. Something about muffling the sound with pressure on my ears. So if you have trouble focusing with music on, try my silent headphones trick.
Cold brew coffee is amazing.
After ditching sodas, I needed some caffeine. Also, I apparently love my beverage rituals. But we all know how expensive coffee shops are. Enter Trader Joe’s Cold Brew coffee. I can drink it hot or iced. You just pour some in with either hot water or something creamy and voila! No need to visit a barista. There are several other brands if you don’t have a TJ’s close by. The link is to Amazon, but it’s about 7 or 8 bucks at Trader’s. Even that Amazon price is way cheaper than a coffee shop. I have tried a couple other brands that are great too. I think I found them at Target and Whole Foods.
It doesn’t matter what time we start, the kids are in bed at the same time.
Ugh. Every night, we attempt starting bedtime earlier. And every night, they end up in bed at the same time. I am convinced there is a morning and evening time vortex. I encounter the same thing on Sunday mornings. It doesn’t matter what time I start getting ready, we are still late by about the same amount of time. Please tell me this is not just me?!?
Family Meetings/Check-in’s change the game.
Bret and I are long-time advocates of family meetings. Which in reality are just us until the kids are older. We called them this pre-kids, as well. But once a week, on our rest day, we check-in with each other. It’s a chance to have conversations we need about logistical things, heart things, etc. We go over our schedules for that week and any new add-ins for the coming months. I’m able to have an open place to let him know about house projects I’d like help with, or parenting issues we need to figure out.
It is soooooo valuable in getting on the same page and avoiding frustrations later in the week. It also is a great way to connect with each other, especially in the weeks it feels like we pass in the night. Note that it doesn’t have to be super long, though it can be if you have that kind of time.
That’s it for now. Happy Spring! And if you want more, head over to visit Emily Freeman, for lots of other lists. Also! I had the opportunity to interview my super talented friend, Allison, here. And she was kind enough to design this beautiful hand lettered monthly calendar just for us! Enter your email below to get your download.