Thursday, February 27, 2020

What I Learned | Winter 2020

Today I'm sharing the lessons I learned this winter. #whatilearned



Winter has been a bit of a dud around these parts. What is usually a very snowy and cold season has instead been mild and rainy. Flower bulbs are already beginning to break ground, signaling the start of spring. The birds have returned to their favorite perches and squirrels fat from their pre-winter gorge are scampering about, trying to work off the extra ounces and find their mate.

Even though I'm a winter girl through and through, I found myself growing restless this season. I am ready to press open my windows and purge the heaviness of the last few months. I am ready for the growth that comes with spring, but before all that, it's time to reflect. Once again, I join Emily Freeman in sharing some of the things I learned this season. 

Here's what I learned this winter.

You just won't click with some authors.
I've done a bunch of reading over the last few months and have read multiple books by a few authors. One of those authors has an average of a 4.5-star rating on Goodreads and rave reviews. The thing is, I don't like his books. In fact, I can't stand them. I kept trying to get into the stories and telling myself that I was only a few pages away from whatever was in there that would make me fall in love with those words. It never happened. I've had to learn that there are some authors I just won't click with. Even if every other reader seems to love them. And that's okay.

It's always best to be true to yourself.
This winter, I made the decision to return to private social media accounts. I changed my handles, removed the links in my bios, unfollowed the people with whom I had no real relationship, and started posting content about topics that matter to me. I had grown so weary of making sure my Instagram account had the right aesthetic and only featured posts that were curated for select followers. I discovered that I enjoy following people whose feeds aren’t perfect and posts are real and raw with emotion. Making these changes has been good for my soul.

Even people who look like they have it all together are crumbling on the inside.
I remember walking through this beautiful luxury model home once. I wasn't in the market to purchase, but I'd had my eye on this house for ages and was dying to get a peek inside. It was gorgeous, but being the daughter of a carpenter, my eye naturally gravitated to the imperfections. The stress cracks along the ceilings and the chips in the marble kitchen counter. The lopsided cabinet doors and the mismatched hardware in the bathroom. It looked perfect on the outside but wasn't what I expected once I stepped inside.

I was reminded of this house as I listened to a blogger friend share on her Youtube channel about her recent decision to leave her husband. Until this moment, I thought her life was perfect - a loving husband, adorable children, a beautiful home, the ability to do what she loved every day. Picture perfect. But I realized that even the people who seem to have it all together on the outside are crumbling on the inside. We never really know what is going on in someone's personal life until we walk a mile in their shoes and we certainly cannot judge what we cannot see.

When I have an anxious mind, I can try a new form of meditation.
Meditation is great at combating anxiety, but there are some days when I can't sit still, let alone focus on clearing my mind. This season, I was blessed to stumble on an article (I couldn't find it to link here) that detailed a meditation exercise to try. It's called "5, 4, 3, 2, 1." While sitting in a quiet space, I slowly tick off five things I can see, four things I can feel, three things I can hear, two things I can smell, and one thing I can taste. This gently nudges my mind away from whatever has me worried and instead focuses it on feelings, things that are tangible, and I would recommend it to anyone who struggles with a traditional meditation practice.

Harris Teeter has the best selection and prices on Twinings tea.
If you've been reading here for any length of time, you know I'm a big tea drinker. From Oolong to Earl Grey, peppermint green to Russian black, I love everything in the tea spectrum. While doing my weekly shopping at the Teet, I happened to notice that Twining's boxes of tea bags were priced ridiculously lower than any other store I frequent. Plus, they had such a great selection. Obviously, I stocked up, which came in handy when flu season rolled around. I thank the tea gods every time I wake up with a scratchy throat or feel a chill and promptly brew myself a big mug full.

What did you learn this winter?

The post What I Learned | Winter 2020 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!

34 comments:

  1. I agree with so many of these. Especially the one about things not always being as perfect as they seem. That's something I struggle with daily. I see everyone's highlight reel and get upset about all of the things I don't have. It's something I'm working on.

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  2. I really like that meditation practice! I think I will try that next time I'm feeling anxious about something. This winter I learned that I write better when I'm happy.

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  3. It's so easy to compare our crap days to someone else's best days. That is something I'm always trying to work on.

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  4. I hope the meditation works for you. I've really enjoyed the practice!

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  5. MarissaTeachableMomentsFebruary 27, 2020 at 9:22 PM

    I really want to work on my ability to meditate. I need to look into various forms of meditation.

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  6. Thanks for sharing such a real post! I love how you decided to stay true to yourself when it comes to your social media. A lot of food for thought for many people, including me.

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  7. Meditation has been an amazing practice in my life too. It has helped me regain focus and the attention I need in super busy seasons.

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  8. I love all of these! I love the meditation practice so much!

    Kileen
    cute & little

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  9. I've been meditating more lately and it really helps!

    xoxo
    sabiithefirst.com

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  10. Beth Gilles KondrickFebruary 28, 2020 at 10:43 AM

    These are some great lessons! I agree that not every author is going to click with you. There are a couple of authors that I know a lot of people love that I just can't get into and that's ok. And amen to staying true to yourself. That is 100% one of the most important things you can do.

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  11. I totally get the author bit. Sometimes you hear raves about an author or set of books and you just can’t relate or don’t enjoy them. And it’s perfectly okay! And your meditation practice sounds wonderful. I’ll need to try that sometime!

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  12. There are so many good meditation ideas and practices out there. Good luck!

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  13. Yes! It just doesn't make sense to change who I am to please everyone else. :)

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  14. Meditation has been a lifesaver for me many, many times.

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  15. Yes!! Here's to being true to yourself and reading what you love. :)

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  16. I hope you find the meditation helpful. It's been a wonderful addition to my own practice!

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  17. I am also a Twinings girl. Love a good cup of tea in any season.

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  18. "Even people who look like they have it all together are crumbling on the inside." - Truth.

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  19. Such a meaningful post. I'm going to look for those teas. I've noticed I don't click with all authors either. It was just this winter I realized this.

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  20. I agree about the authors! Sometimes different styles of writing just do not resonate with me.

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  21. I love your point how no one has it all together. We are all imperfect messes and should celebrate that we are all human.

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  22. This is so well said, we all are unique imperfect humans! XO

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  23. Thanks for coming by to read, Catherine. :)

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  24. I love that you found the 5,4,3,2,1!! I use that with my kiddos all the time. They like it because they generally get a little snack for the taste 😉
    It was awesome to learn your dad is a carpenter. My fam is from the construction world too. I always use the duck reference in my mind, calm and collected on the surface, swimming like a mad duck under the water. I learned this about my own family when things came to light. It's often an illusion which is why I do not use social media. When I started feeling like my bright, eccentric home needed to be painted white... I quit. I've always lived my life in bold color but having the (we will call it) clean white Scandinavian looks shoved down my throat by countless people, I just felt like I wasn't something. Now I am just me, though I have always just been me, take it or leave it. If people don't like it they can leave and obviously they weren't that important at all. Our winter has been bland compared to last year. In Feb last year we has so much snow that they closed down one of the lanes on our main road thru town. And it was like 5 feet tall in that lane. It was crazy. But this year I've shoveled maybe 10 times but that's because I have my tiny tiny pup who is a dainty princess and she does not like to have her toseys wet.
    I wish we had a (did u call it Teeter) because it sounds awesome. I love tea but I am either peppermint or black. And during my cold season I had to throw hot cider in there too.
    I seriously write a novel every time I read your posts and respond 🤦‍♀️

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  25. I am very against social media making you feel like you need to do anything to fit in. You do you! :)

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  26. Tobia | craftaliciousmeMarch 4, 2020 at 2:58 AM

    I love this post for its writing and the things you learnt.
    And how fun your dad is a carpenter. My great grandfather was one and my dad is one by heart and passed lots of knowledge to me. I am always seeing imperfections too. But even more beautiful is the learning you said there about the beautiful outside and we have no idea what’s going on inside if we haven’t been in the persons shoes. I try to remember that though when I am being to harsh with people.

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  27. That must be something all carpenter’s children benefit from. :)

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