We’re eleven days into February, but better late than never, right? I loved the discipline of writing down these learning/loving posts so much last year that I’m going to try to continue the tradition into 2017. I would love to hear your lists in the comments!
What I’m learning
There’s one page for all of your Kindle notes and highlights. I have been reading more books on my Kindle (or Kindle app on my phone) lately, and I just figured out that there is one page on Amazon’s website that has all of your Kindle notes and highlights. I do like to go back and see my notes/highlights from books, but this is one spot where ebooks win out over real ones because seeing your notes all in one spot beats flipping through a whole book.
The difference between working through and working around. I was listening to a podcast with Dave Evans, and he told a story about leaving a big time job when his kids were younger because he just wasn’t around enough to be a good dad. He said that he didn’t work efficiently enough to do both jobs well (fatherhood and his big time job at Electronic Arts) and that he quit the job because “he was on a deadline,” meaning that his kids were only going to be young for a short while. In the interview, he said he had to learn what was worth his effort to work through versus what wasn’t worth the effort that he should work around. In this example, he had enough self-awareness to know that he couldn’t do both jobs well, so rather than work through the challenges and become more efficient, he decided to just quit the job and find a job with much more flexibility (i.e. working around his so-called faults). I think this is an important concept because we shouldn’t expect ourselves to be experts at everything or expect that every lifehack will work for us. Self-awareness is crucial to recognize our own gifts and limitations – but it isn’t worth much if we don’t apply it. I like Evans’ thought process because it gives me permission to be willing to accept that some things, based on my personality or season in life, just aren’t worth the effort to work through. Of course, figuring out what falls into each category is the hard part.
Dry shampoo can thin your hair. Yikes! I got a little carried away with the dry shampoo these last few weeks because January is for being lazy in my book. But I somehow came across this article and decided it might be better just to take more showers. Those of you who see me on a regular basis are likely thrilled with this news.
Go on a walk to solve a problem. I read Deep Work last month (required reading), and many things stuck out. I immediately started implementing one practice that Newport (the author) recommended: using walks outside to think through a specific problem. I already knew that getting outside has all sorts of benefits for me, but I hadn’t thought about using it as a tool to work through challenges. I have used it several times in the past month, even if the challenge I’m struggling with is my own impatience or anger about a situation. There’s something different about heading out on a walk with a purpose. Check out this blog post for more details (or better yet, read the whole book).
What I’m loving
A nice yoga mat. Grant got me a Manduka yoga mat for Christmas, and I loooove it. I have always just used a cheap Target version that is probably ten years old, but having a nice mat makes it easier to hold poses (which actually makes the workout part of yoga harder, if that makes sense). He got mine at Shine in Noblesville for you locals.
The January vibe. Grant and I have been hygge-ing it up this winter. We’ve been having lots of reading dates by the fire, but we also rediscovered puzzles. Dorky, I know, but puzzles are fun because they give you something to do but don’t require a ton of brain power, so we’ve had some great conversations since our brains are only semi-occupied. We’ve been putting on some good music, pouring a dark beer or two, and puzzling it up.
Qalo. I got Grant and I Qalo rings for our anniversary last year, but I finally got to the jeweler to measure our ring size right before Christmas. I get nervous wearing my wedding ring because I’m constantly taking it off to cook or garden or work out. Plus, I’m clumsy and forgetful, so wearing nice jewelry is just a bad idea for me. I love how comfortable the Qalo is, and I find myself just wearing it all the time.
Good fiction. The news has been overwhelming this month, so I have found myself turning to novels. I’ve read lots of good ones this month, but The Dog Stars , Everything, Everything, and The High Divide were favorites.