What I Learned: Winter

December 2017 - February 2018

In early January, I stumbled across this brilliant idea from Emily P. Freeman to record what I am learning and compile a list at the end of each season. In her words, this list is a place, "where we pause to reflect on the past season before we move ahead into the future."

Here are 9 things I learned this winter:

1. I really, really love reading.

This was more of a rediscovery but definitely counts. When I graduated from Liberty, I was burned out on reading textbooks and the thought of opening a book for fun felt laughable. I’ve had enough of a break though, and I was itching for a good book to rekindle my love for reading this winter. In February, I joined a Book Club, I read 3 books that I LOVED, and I feel like myself again.

2. Flats dress up any outfit (with zero effort).

I don’t know how I went this long in life without a good pair of flats. I can be wearing jeans and a tshirt, but slip on a pair of flats, and that outfit is elevated to an effortless Parisian chic (at least in my humble opinion).

3. Organizing my Google Drive has saved my sanity.

I work as a technical writer for the DoD where document organization is the utmost priority. I was inspired to carry what I learned from my work computer to my home computer/my Google Drive. It has made my life feel so much more organized (!!!) and I actually know where every file is and how to quickly navigate to it.

4. Seeing goals as a purposeful direction rather than a destination works better for me.

This post from The Lazy Genius Collective totally changed how I view goal setting. The biggest impact on me was the first step: “Pick your path. Decide who you want to be, not what you want to do.” If you’re wondering, I decided (at least for February) I wanted to be a reader. See number 1 above.

5. Shaped macaroni tastes so much better.

I don’t know why and I don’t know how, but the macaroni that is shaped like Star Wars characters actually tastes better than regular macaroni.

6. Orange juice + ginger ale is the most delicious combination

I recently started pouring orange juice and ginger ale together over ice and I love it. It is a magical, refreshing party for my taste buds. Now orange juice and ginger ale are staples on my grocery list.

7. I’m a 5 on the Enneagram.

I’ve been interested in the Enneagram for a few months now (Ian Cron’s Typology podcast is one of my favorites), but it wasn’t until this season that I fully leaned into and accepted that I am a 5. It has been really neat learning more about my type and the areas in which I can grow to become a healthier version of myself. (This podcast episode with a panel of 5s tipped the scale for me. I found myself saying “YES!” to everything the panelists were saying and friends, that is when I could no longer hide.)

8. I really love recommending things to people

This season, I learned that it is so fun to me to recommend things I have loved to people! Once I realized how much I enjoy it, I started a weekly email that just lists articles I read and liked, albums, books, skincare products, clothes, etc etc etc. It has been so. fun.

9. The Lord is a Father who gives good gifts to his children.

There were very few bright spots in this winter, but I can say with absolute confidence that the Lord delights in surprising us with good gifts that are so unexpected. Some of these gifts: a sweet note from my friend Han on a day that was especially hard, a super warm day in the middle of February that was a small reminder that winter will end, a trip to Disney World with my family, acceptance to a writing mentorship I thought was a long-shot when I applied, and so many other things.