Cumulative progress over time is the most important. When Jasper was little, I had an “aha moment” when we started introducing real foods to him. I had lots of questions for the pediatrician about starting him on real foods (you’re shocked, I’m sure!), and she told me to shoot for a variety of veggies over the course of the week, not to worry too much about what he does or doesn’t eat per day. For whatever reason, this really stuck with me. I’ve thought about it with food over the years for our entire family, but it has seeped into other areas, as well.
May is a busy month for everybody: the end of the school year, Mother’s Day, graduations, etc. For our family, Project Eden, our own gardens, and three birthdays add to the crazy. I’ve learned that it’s just a full month and to lower my expectations. I try not to stress about slacking on being social, reading much, working out. For example, I shoot for annual reading goals instead of monthly ones (see reading as therapy), so I front-load my reading at the beginning of the year to give me a cushion for the growing season. Or I try to recognize that the gardens require lots of time and work in May, but there’s time to rest a bit in June with easier upkeep chores.
I was listening to this Robcast, and he talked about the importance of our everyday actions in whatever we’re doing. So if we’re working on learning something new, you’re most likely going to take two steps forward, then three back, then maybe a few to the side. We should measure ourselves over time, not beat ourselves up for screwing up for a day (or month for that matter). He used the example of forgiving someone (or ourselves) and reminded us that it’s a slooowww process. Sometimes “a win” is just getting back to zero and not going further down the path away from growth. This is true of almost everything: spirituality, parenting, health, learning a new skill.
This was a good reminder for me in May when some of our family and personal rhythms fly out the window. It’s also a disclaimer for this month’s “what I learned post” when I don’t really have much to report that I’ve learned this month!
Santosha. I listened to this podcast with Brene, and Jess explains the concept of santosha, which is the Sanskrit word for contentedness. She explains it as the concept of thinking of your life in terms of “this AND that” versus “this OR that,” so you balance out the good with the bad.
I love working in the garden, AND I’m worn out.
I love my children, AND I need a date night away from them.
Start practicing with it – it’s addicting! I have found it to be an easy way to practice contentedness in the every day, especially since so much of life is the “both and,” not the “either or.”
What I’m loving
My bullet journal. This is a repeat, but I figured out what I love most about the bullet journal: I maybe have six days from the entire month of May that made it into my bullet journal this month, and it doesn’t matter! I will just start over in June! I love buying planners, but when I have a busy month and don’t keep up with it, I get frustrated for the next month trying to play catch up. With the bullet journal, I just turn the page and start over. It’s much better for my treehugger/guilt trip tendencies than a regular planner.
Charcuterie board. My parents gave me a giant charcuterie board (ideas on Etsy here) for my birthday. It will be a family heirloom. We’ve had lots of last minute get together the past few weeks, so I just throw some cheese, bread, tomato jam, fun mustards, and maybe a few other random bits from the fridge — and it looks as if I’ve been planning for hours instead of the ten minutes before people walked in the door. I’m obsessed!
Summer nights. We stick to a pretty strict bedtime for the kids during the school year, but we’ve started to slack as school wraps up. Maybe it’s just the kids getting older, but I just don’t have the heart to put them to bed at 7 when they’re playing outside and having so much fun together. I’m more than ready for summer and a break from the hustle of the school year.
Skimmies. [My three male readers besides Grant can skip this one!] I love wearing skirts and dresses all summer long, but I don’t like that shweaty leg feeling. I’ve never worn Spanks before, but I don’t think these are at all like those. They’re comfy, not tight, and make skirts and dresses way more comfortable – for me anyway. I like the shorter versions that I don’t have to worry about sticking out under shorter dresses/skirts.
Lazy sangria. I’m sure this little formula isn’t anywhere close to authentic, but it’s our go-to for parties in the summers.
1 cup vodka
1/2 cup fruit (we like fresh-picked berries best, but use whatever you have on hand – pineapple, grapes, watermelon…)
1 bottle sparkling or white wine (I like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon blanc for this)
1 cup Sprite or tonic water (if you’re not using sparkling wine above)
At least four hours before serving, add vodka and fruit in a jar and let steep in the fridge. I like to do this a few days ahead of time, so I have it on hand, and the vodka soaks up the fruitiness. After steeping, add the wine and vodka/fruit mixture to a large pitcher. Stir and store in fridge until ready to store. When you’re ready to drink, pour “sangria” into wine glasses with ice, and top off with a bit of Sprite/tonic if desired. Scoop out some of the fruit to add to the glass.
What have you been learning and loving this month?
Linking up with Emily Freeman, as usual.