Tag Archives: what I learned

3 Things I’ve Learned, Winter 2017

This has been a good winter.

I’m grateful  because  they haven’t all been good.

I’m grateful for opportunities to learn things that make life better.

Here’s to winter.

Linking up with Emily Freeman sharing what we’ve learned.

Run your own race.

Credit to Jeff Goins for this nugget.

I needed this reminder.

I’ve had a hard time finding my way on this blogging journey.

I’m having trouble finding my voice, my niche, my tribe and my compensation.

My daily appointment with the keyboard is driven by a need to figure things out for me. To make sense of life and come to peace. Because it doesn’t always make sense. You have to evaluate your experience with your beliefs and make adjustments when they don’t line up.

I’m driven by an inner compulsion to find answers for myself. Maybe the answers will help you as well.

Your journey is not the same as anyone else’s.

You have twists and turns that they don’t have.

You have hills to climb that they didn’t deal with.

Granted, they face different obstacles than you, as well.

But, the point of having this mantra echoing in your head is that you avoid the comparison trap and the discouragement that trips you up or sidelines you.

Run your own race.


I wrote 55 book reviews in 2017.

I found this surprising because I never stopped to count before.

Writing book reviews has been good for my reading life.

Reading book reviews has been good for my reading life.

I get it. You’re busy. I’m busy. You don’t want to waste your time on bad books.

That is why I read book reviews. That is why I write book reviews.

Out of the 55, one rose to the top as my favorite for the year.

Read about my favorite book of 2017.

I need the structure and accountability of the pillars in my week. 

Spontaneous and impulsive is hard for me.  Life tends to throw curve balls.  It helps to have weekly rhythms I can count on.

Writing for Five Minute Friday every week.

Wednesday night Family Night.

Tuesday morning moms’ prayer group.

Sunday morning worship.

It helps immensely to have those planned into my schedule. Without them, it’s easier to get sucked  into the pit of negative emotions.

The daily rhythms help, too.  Pausing for gratitude every day changes my outlook.

Here’s what else is saving my life right now.

What are you learning this winter?

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3 Things I Learned, Winter 2017


Winter has been screwy this year.

Three years ago, the view from my kitchen window looked like Winter.

This year, not so much.

It’s been a great season for learning new things, though.  I love learning!

  1. Routine can be an idol

“Don’t make an idol of routine” has been echoing in my head since I read it in Jesus Calling a couple of days ago.  Boy, has that been a problem lately.

Today we had a breakfast meeting.  That throws all my morning routines into chaos, unless I am able to get up earlier than normal and get them all in.  Today I wasn’t able to.  So, I skipped most of them.

Even though habits help me so much, I  have a problem being consistent.  I fall off the bandwagon over and over and over.  Right now, I’m not exercising.  I’m hit and miss doing my 3 minute mail purge every morning, even though those two things are good for me.

We haven’t had family night for the past three weeks.  This sends me into a tail spin.  I didn’t realize how much I depended on having one relaxing night every week.

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So, have I made an idol of routine?  Even when I’m not good at keeping up with habits that are good for me?  When I’m trying to accept and deal with unforeseen circumstances? Or unavoidable scheduling issues that prevent me from following through on routines?  I don’t know.  It’s hard to let go.  It’s also hard to push myself to be consistent.  So, I don’t really know where I stand on this.  But, I do know it’s a struggle for me and one that causes me stress.

Also, just like money can be an idol, whether you have it or not, routine can be an idol whether you have it or not.  Brand new thought for me.

2. Writing 500 words a day is good for my emotional health

Last Fall, I took on the challenge to write 500 words a day.  This method of writing intersperses all my random thoughts, pre-writing and self-talk along with some deeper, more profound thoughts. You have to sort through the fluff to get to the nuggets.

Focused writing is good for blog posts.  But, getting down all the random thoughts is good for my emotional health.

Another thing I learned was the importance of separating  my writing (drafting) time from my blogging (editing, formatting, pictures and promoting) time.  I need time for both every day.

Even more of a breakdown than that.  Journaling is a different activity than drafting blog posts, though they do tend to overlap and influence each other.

Also, brainstorming is a completely different activity. I need time for that, too, but it’s not necessarily something I need every day.  It could happen once a week.

3. The definition of grit

Grit= passion + perseverance

This definition comes from Angela Duckworth’s book Grit: the Power of Passion and Perseverence .

I checked this book out as an ebook from the library.  I was maybe a third of the way through when the book came due and disappeared from my Kindle.  But, the definition of grit stay with me.

The author proposes that grit is a better predictor of success than IQ.  I see her point.  I need to check it out again and finish the book.

There’s scads of things I’m learning right now, but I’m having a harder than usual time synthesizing and articulating them.

So, I’ll leave it there for now.

Linking up with Emily Freeman and other bloggers sharing what we’ve learned.

What have you learned? 

(Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.  At no extra cost to you, a percentage of your purchase goes to support this site.)


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What I Learned: Hashimotos and Why Hit and Miss is the Best Consistency

girlbythewaterI have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

What that means is that my body is producing anti-bodies that are attacking my thyroid.  When I got blood work done a couple of months ago, it showed that my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) numbers were normal, which means my thyroid is still working.  My TPO ( thyroid peroxidase antibodies test) numbers were elevated, which indicated the problem.

At this point, I’m not looking at taking thyroid medication, but looking into nutritional options instead.

Now this is where it gets sticky.  Who do you trust?  How many “experts” do you consult?  Do you only accept the advice that is generally agreed upon, or do you go further afield?

I have made several changes in my diet and I’m seeing some encouraging results:  I have eliminated gluten from my diet, which isn’t as straightforward as it might seem.  (My multi-vitamin has wheat in it.  What?  What’s that all about?)  I’m also taking some vitamin and mineral supplements: ashwaganha, selenium and B vitamins. When I ran out of Vitamin D supplements, I could tell a difference in my health, so I bought some more and started taking them again.

There has definitely been  decrease in frequency and severity of my headaches.  And, I have more energy.

Izabella Wentz and Josh Axe have published quite a bit of nutritional advice for dealing with Hashimoto’s.  I have the most confidence in the areas where they are both giving the same advice.


Hit and miss exercise is the best consistency for my life right now.

I remember about a decade ago hearing a friend in her fifties say, “I thought I’d be farther along by now.”  I can totally relate.  I find it hard to believe that I’m still tripping over the same boulders that have been a problem for decades.  I can’t believe I’m still trying to establish consistent morning routines.  At my age.  I thought I’d be farther along by now.

But. Here I am.  Focusing on establishing foundational habits in my life: trying to get up out of bed when the alarm goes off.  Every day.

Which is why I’m giving myself grace on the exercise.  Some days it happens.  Some days it doesn’t.  I’m okay with that.  I’ve got, hopefully, a lot of time to establish exercise routines as well as all the other good habits I need to incorporate.

I enjoyed Gretchen Rubin’s book on habits, Better Than Before, more than I thought I would.  I got a little burned out on her books after reading two or three in a row.  It’s a great follow up to what I learned reading The Power of Habit.

BetterThanBefore Buy it now from Amazon

I signed up for Crystal Paine’s Make Over Your Evening course.  I felt like I had a good handle on my mornings.  I was making progress, moving forward, hopeful that I was on the right track and I was going to make it.  But, I didn’t have a plan for the evenings.  Honestly, it seemed like a goal for the distant future.

The course wasn’t what I expected.  I thought it would be a list of things to check off to make evenings more productive.  Instead, Crystal challenged my mindsets and beliefs.  Wow.  It’s amazing what some subtle paradigm shifting will do.

What have you learned this month?

(Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.  At no extra cost to you, a percentage of your purchase will go to support this site.)



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