10 Things I Learned in January

At the end of each month, I write a post about things I learned. This practice has helped me pay attention to life, myself, and God’s presence. In no particular order, here are 10 things I learned in January:

1. Staying up till midnight for New Year’s Eve…I’m over it. 

2. As much as I love having a To Do List, I think I need to make a habit of having a Not To Do List. First items on the list: don’t worry about dust on the bookshelves, don’t apologize when I haven’t done anything that merits an apology, and don’t eat while making the kids their meals. 

3. Heating pads work miracles on strained necks.

4. Steve and I make a pretty good catering & bar-tending team. For parties, we love to conceptualize the food and drink menu together. He executes drinks, I execute food. We joke about one day opening up a catering business, restaurant, or bed & breakfast together, but maybe there’s something to that.

5. Fixing a broken toilet yourself is nasty work, and sometimes it’s totally worth paying $90 to hire a plumber.

6. Telling your neighbors from Sichuan, China, “I love spicy food!” may result in you being served a meal with dangerously high levels of heat. 

7. I know I’m reading a good book when it messes with me and threatens to change how I view myself and the world. I read two books this month that fall into that category: Daring Greatly by Brene Brown and Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg.

8. Making decisions about our kids’ education is pressing me to think about our personal and family values. I have a lot of questions to consider: What sort of education will fit our family right now? How do we nurture creativity, curiosity, and character in our kids? Who are the people we want to have significant roles in our kids’ lives? 

9. When I decide to make myself available to people, it increases my level of joy, compassion, and love.

10. Laughter is really, really good. The Book of Mormon was just the dose of laugh-so-hard-you-nearly-pee I needed last week.

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