What I Learned in June

One of the things that happens when you challenge yourself to read more, is that, well… you read more.  Which is usually a good thing, but can sometimes be a bad thing when, the more you read, the more things you find you want to read!  For instance, when I’m reading one blog, another reader’s comment inspires me to check out their blog.  It can get to be a kind of rabbit hole sometimes.  But even with all the  fabulous new “finds,” there are a few blogs that I read with absolute regularity.  One of those is Emily Freeman’s Chatting at the Sky.  She’s the author of Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life, which challenged me in a really good way.  Once a month, she offers up a “what I learned this month” post, and this time, she invited her readers to link their own learning lists to her blog.  Here’s my offering:

1.  I own one of the same green tops as Emily Freeman.  It’s a lace peplum shirt from Target.

2. On Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman (his voice!) I was amazed to learn that the same kind of “rat maze” studies have been done with octopi (unless you’re a marine biologist how often do you get to drop that word into conversation?) and they too have the memory necessary to associate a certain stimulus with the exit.

3.  I’ve put more stock into being a mom than being plain ole me for a long, long time. My oldest has just graduated college and is living his own life, my 2nd son graduated high school in May and is a camp counselor for the summer before he too, goes away on his own adventure, and my baby girl just got her first job. As a homeschool mom, I’ve pretty much been with my kids 24/7 for the past 20 years or so. And as an introvert, I’ve always relished the thought of “that day” when quiet would again reign in our house. That day is here. Now, I’m learning just how strange and even slightly unsettling it is just being me again.

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4. Despite having a reputation for being somewhat of a peacenik, Bono was an aggressive adolescent. I’m reading U2 by U2, and he’s quite open about that. His mother died when he was 14 and his father never spoke of her after her death. Even the male gender apparently need to talk about some things on some occasions.

5. Every time I hear Debussy’s Claire de Lune, I cry. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve heard it before, the unadulterated beauty of it always always always brings me to tears.

6. I’ve had a small batch ice cream maker for years, but until I received Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream at Home as a gift, I could never get that true creamy high butterfat mouth feel that commercial ice creams always have. Mine were always icy and/or grainy, but Jeni’s method of a cornstarch slurry and a bit of cream cheese is genius, I tell you, pure genius. Also, I learned that Jeni’s is opening a store in Atlanta just down the road from where we get my daughter’s hair cut. Incidentally, we drive three hours – three HOURS people – to get my daughter’s hair cut. She has super curly hair (it’s a gift, Botticelli hair) and Atlanta has the closest Devacurl stylist. If you have curly hair and have never heard of Devacurl, I urge you to investigate.

7. I can have ice cream if I eat healthy most of the time. Recently, I’ve been attempting to amp up my iron so I’ve been trying to be more like Popeye and “eats me spinach” as much as possible. Usually, this means a spinach and feta egg white omelet, but I learned that those green smoothies all over Pinterest aren’t so awfully bad. Throw in some lemon and ginger, and I might even start becoming hooked on them. Egads!

8. Although I already knew this, I find that it must constantly be re-learned: Tell the people that you love that you love them right now, as often as possible, and before it’s too late.  I was at the lake last week when someone drowned and despite a quick rescue and a valiant effort to save him, he didn’t make it. To say that I’m haunted by how dreadful the news must have been for his family is an understatement. In different ways, I’ve learned this lesson before, but for some reason, the busyness of life always intrudes and I keep forgetting that this must be practiced daily on a much grander scale than I usually work at it.

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9. For some reason, I have awoken at 6:27 every day this week. If that doesn’t mean I fundamentally operate on a circadian rhythm, I don’t know what does.

10.. In spite of having a strong foundation, and yet like so many others, my eldest went to college and walked away from the faith that was once so dear to him. He isn’t living the life God intended for him. I learned that even with our best efforts – my best efforts – I can only do so much at this point. What I can do is pray. Hope. Trust. What I can’t do, God can. And more.

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