Thursday, March 08, 2018

What I Learned | Winter 2018

I'm sharing the lessons I learned this winter. #whatIlearned

The seasons are streaming by faster than I can process them. Yesterday, it felt like the beginning of fall and now the trees are starting to bud and spring is peeking around the corner, teasing us all in the Northern Hemisphere. A change in season means it's also time to share what I learned over the last few months and link up over at Emily's place. P.S. If you want to see some of the things I've learned in seasons past, you can read those here.

Here's what I learned this winter: 

The car goes where the eyes go.
This is a line from my favorite book, The Art of Racing in the Rain. Essentially what it means is that when you are behind the wheel, if you are looking away from the road, your car will soon follow your gaze. This season, I've seen evidence of this theory, first hand, when it comes to my mental health. When I focus on being positive, my mind tends to stay on course, but when I let my mind wander to things that I know will bring me down, my depression and anxiety are able to sneak in a lot faster. This isn't to say that I never have bad days anymore. That isn't the case at all, but there are fewer of them, and given the fact that we are in Seasonal Affective Disorder prime time, I'll take it.

I need to pay attention to premonitions.
I wrote about dreams in this post a few weeks ago and have been thinking about them ever since. I have this history of dreaming about very specific events, and within months, these dreams have become reality. Now, I'm not claiming to be psychic or anything, but there seems to be some significance to these occurrences. Almost as if I'm being prepared for things or getting a forewarning ahead of time since my body physically cannot handle stress. For the first time in my life, I had a good premonition. This winter, I saw a very specific person in my dream and over a month later, I met him in real life and he has changed my life in the most amazing way.

I am grateful for revolving doors.
This winter was the end of a pretty long season of loss for me. Over the last several years, I've lost partners, family members, and friends and I'm not referring to them dying. They have chosen to walk out of my life. The simple fact that these people no longer wanted to have a connection with me hurt at first, but then I changed my perspective. I've grown and learned so many new things about myself and I've met and developed close relationships with new people and none of this would have been possible had a door not been opened up by someone who was leaving, giving me the opportunity to reflect on things. Sometimes, instead of being upset about a relationship ending, it's important to be grateful for the revolving doors that keep the stale moving out and the fresh moving in.

My brain functions better when I'm taking good care of myself.
I've come to realize that I am not in my twenties anymore. I am no longer able to stay up all night and function the next day on just a cup of coffee and a smile. I also cannot tolerate a constant barrage of fast food and the crap I ate a decade ago. This might seem obvious to many, but it is a new development for me. It seems that over the past year, my body has decided it wants to act like a senior citizen and revolt when I'm not taking care of myself. My skin screams at me every morning when I'm not hydrated enough. I'm lethargic and moody when I'm not eating whole, fresh food. My brain feels like mush when I don't get a good seven hours of sleep every night. Hello, old age. If you need me, I'll be in the produce aisle with my 64 oz jug of water...

You will find love the moment you take the life jacket off and step over the edge.
I remember thinking to myself as a child that I'd love to go scuba diving and hunt for treasure some day. The only problem was, I was always terrified of taking off my life jacket. Anyone who has spent some time in water knows that life preservers will keep you on the surface and prevent you from diving down and reaching the bottom of the ocean. This is also the story of my love life and that life preserver, while keeping me from getting hurt, also kept me from finding the treasure. Until this winter when I shed that life jacket and jumped off the boat with my snorkel... You have to be vulnerable and have an open heart if you want to find your buried treasure.

It does not pay to deep-dive into hashtags that were applicable in my 20's.
Take my word for it. Just because you used to be a raver in your late teens and early twenties and had a grand ol' time back then doesn't mean you can go down the hashtag rabbit hole on Instagram to check out what the scene looks like now. It will only make you feel old. Very old.

Now it's your turn. What is something you learned this winter?

The post What I Learned | Winter 2018 first appeared on A Simpler Grace. If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your friends! Don't forget to join the ASG Tribe!


  1. What a great post! It looks like you have actually learned a lot this winter! I think I have learned the importance of self care and the importance of slowing down and trying to be present in the moment. It's a work in progress, but I'm getting there.

  2. Dang girl, these are some epic lessons from winter! :) I'm glad to hear that you are taking care of yourself. You are inspiring me to do better, too. I try... and then I fall off the wagon and it takes forever to get back on and stay on.

    I've learned that it's OK to be/feel positive. I used to always focus on the negative and worry about 'what if' instead of just enjoying where I'm at and staying in a positive mindset. No more Negative Nancy over here. :)

  3. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH!! I feel like you have quite a bit in common: eyes on the road, dreams and life jackets!! I'm on the path of more focus and self-love. I hate when I have dreams or feelings about something happening and then it does or something quite similar. My mom calls it a gift, I'm wondering if I can regift it. And I've learned to hang up the life jacket, but trust me it wasn't easy.

  4. These are all great lessons! I've lost friends in the past, and it can still hurt, but I just remind myself that they weren't meant to be on my journey anymore. And some friends from the past have come back and we're closer now. It just works out, I think.


  5. Your first lesson is so important! I know you're using it as a metaphor but, on the road, it can mean the difference between crashing or not. Vehicle-operators, especially motorcyclists, have to learn to avoid "target-fixation" which is our natural tendency to look at danger and focus too exclusively on it. I've learned to instead "look where you want to go," toward safe roadway and away from cliffs, etc.

  6. It has definitely been a season of learning! Self-care is a valuable lesson. It wasn't something that was promoted when I was younger, but I'm glad to make it a priority now. :)

  7. Girl, we ALL fall off the wagon sometimes. I'm always here to offer a hand back up. That is, if I haven't fallen off with ya. ;)

    I am with you on the negative focus. My theory had always been, "plan for the worst and be surprised if it doesn't happen" but I spent way too much time with my head in a bad place. Yes, we will have some bad days, but the outlook is so much better when I'm coming from a positive place. <3

  8. I'm always happy to meet a kindred spirit. Self-love has been my focus this year too. And yes! I sometimes wish I could give that gift back as well. :)

  9. Amen to that! I don't need anyone in my life who doesn't want to be there. :)

  10. This is so true and even more so when you are on a motorcycle! Metaphor or not, it's always better to focus on where you want to go. :)

  11. I love all of these! I especially identified with #1 and #3, as these are all things I've noticed so much recently. In my life #3 was more about me walking away from the people and places who were dragging me down due to a combination of how they treat people and how I let it impact me. That was an overwhelming theme of 2017 for me. Also, feeling old! Yes! I used to be able to be able to operate on 4 hours of sleep at night for days in a row. Now I need at least 7 hours to feel like I'm functioning well. I can't even wake up if I don't have at least 6. Goodbye all nighters, I guess. It sounds like you have some great things happening in your life! I'm so happy for you. :)

  12. Thank you so much, Crystal! I'm glad I'm not the only one who can't function on no sleep anymore. :)

  13. Great insights, friends. Sometimes, when we hurt, it's hard to see how any good could come from it, but every event in our lives influences what happens next. It's a good perspective to have.