What I've Learned {Winter Edition}

Each season Emily P. Freeman does a link up about what we learned that season. It's a great practice that forces me to pay attention to things I may not notice if I wasn't being intentional. 

A lot has happened over the last few months of my life, it's been a time of change and transition. There have been lots of good adventures and I've learned a lot. 

Here are 10 things I've learned this winter:

1. I have too many books. I decided to switch my office and bedroom so that I had a more dedicated space to work. I have loved it, but it meant moving a lot of things including a ton of books. I didn't realize how many we had! I tried to get rid of some, but I Marie Kondo"ed" them all and they basically all bring me joy so I kept most of them. 

2. I can put a desk together. This was also a result of switching my office and my bedroom. I'm not great at reading directions so assembling anything is usually not a good idea for me. I usually just look to see where I think things should go and go with that. You can imagine how that ends. Even though I really tried to read every step I still did it wrong. So I guess I should be honest and say I can put a desk together with the help of Jenn...who is way better at following directions.

3. Talking about shame lessens its power over you. When you actually acknowledge the way shame is affecting you it makes you feel freedom. It makes you feel less alone. It's like letting go of secret you didn't really know you were keeping. I recently recognized I was feeling a lot of shame about something that I don't easily talk about. I started talking about it for the first time and I have experienced so much freedom. I feel like I can breathe easier, but I didn't know I was holding my breath.

4. When we're silent about issues that matter we're still saying something. There's a lot going on in our country right now...obviously. The easiest option may be to say or do nothing, but when we do that, we're saying something. Our silence communicates that we're okay with what's going on. We must speak out against hate, against anything that dehumanizes others, anything that oppresses people or pushes anyone to the margins - which is what is happening right now. I was lucky enough to attend the Women's March on Washington to say something about how I feel about the rhetoric that our President and others are spitting out. It was encouraging to see so many people refuse to be silent.

5. I'm not the best at claiming I'm starting my own business. When people ask me what I do now I don't always remember to mention my business...I know, I know it's problematic. I'm working on it. Awareness is the first time, right?

6. You can't smile or have your hair over your shoulders in passport photos. I renewed my passport and went to get my mugshot...I mean my picture taken to send in with it. Let's just say there's a reason the picture is not included in this post.

7. My sister's backyard is beautiful. While I was out there for Leah and Josh's wedding, I spent some time at their house for the first time and it's a breathtaking view...water, pine trees, mountains. Basically heaven on earth. 

8. Saying yes to things that scare you is worth it. I've been on this crazy journey of starting a business for a couple months now. I'm still not 100% sure it's the right thing or that I've really made any progress, but the things I've learned, the people I've met and the things I've experienced during this time have been transformational. Also, I said yes to sponsoring a Trevecca trip to Croatia in May and even though it scares me a bit, I know it'll be worth it! 

9. A is for Activist is a great children's book. Em got Jonah this and I read it to him lots while I was in Seattle. If you're looking for a gift that not only teaches the ABC's but teaches about caring for others, standing up for justice and reminds us that "an injury to one is an injury to all" this is perfect. 

10. Lauryn Hill can show up to a concert on time. Ms. Lauryn Hill does not have the best record of showing up to concerts on time, if at all, so I was so happy she decided to for her Nashville show! It's been on my bucket list to see her live and she did not disappoint. One of the best shows I've ever been to - even if we had to wait it would have been worth it!

Winter was a great season (even though it was basically spring/summer in Nashville this winter - where were the snow days!?!?). Tomorrow I begin the practice again of paying attention to what I'm learning so that I don't miss out on the big, small, silly, practical or sentimental things that are hiding in my every day.

I would love to know something you've learned this winter - leave me a comment and let me know!