So it’s the end of January, and I’m keeping up with this “what I learned” business! But I also like the “what I’m into/loving” train, so I’m combining the two for this month. Don’t take any bets on me making it to June or anything. Grant and I have found that it’s helpful to have a recap/looking forward date at the end of each month. We take notes on what is working for us, what isn’t, and what some of our “highs” from the month were. So I thought adding the component to reflect on what I’m learning and loving would be helpful, as well. I’ve already noticed that it helps me remember because, if I think I might want to add it to this list or that it might be beneficial for someone else, I write it down in my notebook.
This month has been a bit crazy for us – Grant had to travel for half of it, things with Project Eden are back in the upswing (it feels like there wasn’t much a downswing, actually), and there have been some big changes at work for me, which means our schedules are totally out of whack and that we haven’t been able to get into much of a routine. Without further ado, here’s my what I’m learning list for January:
- Getting outside needs to be on my to do list every day. Our new house is about half the size of our old house, which was all part of the plan, but Grant and I started to feel a bit claustrophobic at the end of Christmas break when there was just so much together-ness. I don’t know about your kids, but ours are so loud. Getting outside, even on old dreary days (scratch that – especially on cold, dreary days) makes everybody happier and less irritable. Science is on my side too.
- For my “be Sara” project, I’ve been learning lots with Brene’s Living Brave semester, although I’m finding it hard to keep up!
- I had to return it to the library before finishing it, but I started Mindset and really resonated with the parts that I did read so far. Between reading that and this post from Modern Mrs. Darcy, I’ve been using the “it’s hard right now” line on the kids and Grant and me often lately as a way of reminding all of us that challenges and hardships are temporary things and that with time, hard work, patience, or a combination of all three, that this too shall pass.
- My go-to home remedies work best right when you’re starting to come down with something (i.e. the tickle in the throat, that pressure feeling in your head). I find if I wait until I’m actually sick, they don’t work nearly as well, but if I can use them to fight off at the first sign of sickness (plus get tons of sleep), it makes all of the difference.
- A favorite pen can make a big difference – for me anyhoo. Grant and I started journals for each of the kids this year (well, re-started. We have tried this before, which is why I’m almost hesitant to jinx ourselves), but I treated myself to some new pens, and it has me much more likely to journal or write a thank you note or get much too-elaborate with my to-do lists. I’m loving these and these right now (I like to be able to color code things. Yes, I’m a dork).
- Grant and I have found that we get a little frantic if we have plans for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, which is where those monthly check-in dates come in handy because Grant reigns me in when I go into over-planning mode. We’ve been trying to keep Saturday nights for our family or just the two of us, and it makes a big difference around our house. We typically host small group on Sunday, so staying at home on Saturday and then trying to keep Sunday morning quiet means we have almost an entire 24-hours of Sabbath!
And here’s my what I’m loving list for January:
- This tea. Sadly, it was a holiday only special and now I can only find it on Amazon for like $40 (approximately five times what I originally paid for it back in December). But I did find this stuff, which appears to be somewhat similar. I’ll report back next month!
- Planning for our upcoming Reconnecting with Creation retreat. We are hoping this will be a rejuvenating time to reconnect with creation and with God, and I think all you locals should definitely plan on being there before the craziness of the spring starts back up.
- Garden planning for Funky Farms. There are SO many more possibilities than at our last house that it’s almost overwhelming, but still so much fun. Grant and I have been circling all sorts of seed catalogs like little kids in 1986 with Sears catalogs in December. We need to narrow down our choices before things get out of control.
- Reading lots of fiction. I like to read lots in the winter months before we’re busy outside once it gets nicer out, and I read lots of good books this January. My favorite was Beautiful Ruins. It was lovely.
- So I’m a bit obsessed with podcasts (Grant would argue with the “a bit” part). I’m looking forward to doing laundry and other chores, just so I can get through some more of them. The problem is that Grant says I start every-other conversation with, “I heard on this podcast…” Some recent faves – I’m linking to episodes now because there is so much good stuff out there that I can’t keep up:
- On Being with Brother David Steindl-Rast. I’ve raved about On Being before, but this one brought me to tears many times. The visual that I can’t stop thinking about: “the future won’t be a new big tower of power, but well-trodden paths from house to house.”
- Entanglement from Invisibilia: This one made my brain hurt in the best possible way. A great reminder that we all belong together (even physics says so).
- Dr. Rhonda Patrick on the Rich Roll podcast: Good reminders and fascinating science (well, I think so anyway!) about fiber, Vitamin D, and longevity.
- I like to listen to the “denser” pods when I’m doing something like laundry or cooking where I have a notebook nearby to jot down any keepers, in terms of ideas, quotes, books to read, etc. But I love The Popcast (best tagline ever: “Our mission is to educate you about things that entertain, but don’t matter”) and the Exotic Fruit Review for walks or getting ready or driving in the car or just when I want a good laugh (psss…start with these two pods of EFR with Grant and yours truly – or maybe not mine because my voice was definitely not made for radio!).
YOUR turn…share what you’re learning and loving, so we can pick up ideas from each other!