What I Learned This Winter // December 2020 to February 2021

I have always been a recorder at heart. I keep planners and old calendars. I’ve journaled irregularly since forever. I went through a bullet journal phase. (I made my own versions in blank Moleskines. Multiples of them.) I love keeping a record of memories and events. I love being able to look back and see videos and pictures from where Ant and I were three years ago . . . five years ago . . . seven years ago. And I am finally committing to this season’s “What I Learned.” It originates from Emily, a blogger, author, and podcast host. She writes beautiful words and I’ve been a fan of her blog for awhile now. I just read her post on what she learned this past winter and was reminded once again that it doesn’t have to be extensive, in-depth, detailed, or an essay written about each thing.

*deep breath*

I’m just going to jump in and write this.


Here we go:

  1. I learned what constitutes a Great Throw and Nice Throw in Pokemon Go!

2. I learned that God is faithful in providing my church family with a place to rent and to meet safely out of the cold. We’re not dependent on a third party’s rental agreement and we don’t have to stack chairs and vacate the building after every meeting. It’s a beautiful thing to watch us settle in.

3. I am learning about my strengths.

It’s a process to notice them, acknowledge them, record them, and believe them. I’ve been keeping a list of them since January-ish #counselinghomework

4. The Enneagram

I’ve learned a lot about Anthony’s personality and my own by finishing The Road Back to You at the end of last year. It has been very insightful and there’s hope for our communication yet. Ant’s a 9 and we’re pretty sure I’m a 1 (close second would be the 6.)

5. Buying Christmas presents early is the Best Thing Ever.

I’ve wanted to do this for the past two years. Christmas 2018 was chaotic thanks to moving 17 days before Christmas into The Hobbit Hole. Christmas 2019 . . . I think we just waited October out like we normally do and started thinking about it in November. This year, though, I bought two before the Fall was over and wrapped one before Halloween and it was the coolest. Ant bought all my gifts in one weekend. Only one present was late this year #winning It was so nice to enjoy the holiday season. Ant also hung up Christmas lights on the front roof-line of The Hobbit Hole and it was magical. We also bought our second table-top Christmas tree this year, Bruce the Spruce. He’s ready to be planted in the backyard and find his roots.

6. Health insurance is actually not a waste of money from my paycheck when I put it to use.

I’ve been with PRIDE since the summer of 2018 and have been signed up for health insurance since open enrollment that fall. I just now picked a doctor and a dentist *facepalm* and finally scheduled (and have gone to one!) appointments with a doctor and a dentist in the Auburn area. I want to know my baseline and what healthy looks like for me. So, here we are.

7. I’m trying to be more specific in my communication and leave hangout requests less open-ended.

8. And along those same lines, I’m learning to embrace myself as the planner. It’s a strength I have and I love my people, so planning the next game night, sibling day, movie night, etc. is something that I need to do.

9. As an extension of that, I’m learning that I can be relaxed and more go with the flow when I’m happy, healthy, and excited to be somewhere.

10. I’m learning that in group settings, Ant is okay when he puts his headphones to watch the next episode of the anime he’s watching to recharge his social battery. I’m learning not to ask him 54654321 times if he’s fine or okay.

11. And the reverse of that: I’m also learning not to ask, “Are you sure?” 156498521 times either. I described it to my counselor as loving and needing the reassurance, but feeling like I was a bucket with holes because, while it feels good to hear all the affirmations over and over and over again, I feel like it runs out quickly. We’re working on it.

12. Listening to albums is like a different version of Story.

I love Taylor Swift. After all these years. After she made the switch from the Country genre to whatever Folklore and Evermore are considered. They’re beautiful–the music, the words. My friend Monica has never stopped loving Taylor. When we hung out earlier this month, we talked extensively about her music and I started the Long Pond Studio Sessions, Taylor Swift’s documentary on creating Folklore. It was a reminder of my love for the creative process and her music, which I’ve been listening to lately on Spotify. But it was also a reminder that I haven’t listened to an album straight through multiple times in a long time, so there definitely be more of that in the coming months.

Currently listening to on Spotify:

And a few things I’m going to work on and want to learn as we head into the spring season:

Making more time for myself and not pouring myself into my job coaching life.

I love the company I work for and the clients I support, but they get my best hours of the day, the majority of my day, and I can’t continue to help them be their best selves or support them if I’m not taking care of myself. So here’s to more reading, writing, interacting with writers and readers online, and having more fun. Also learning WordPress–I have not been on here in awhile and he editor mode feels cleaner, easier to type in almost, like a Word document, setting up a newsletter, reading more dog books (thanks Togo), playing a video game for fun, and baking more regularly.

Also, I celebrate 30 in a month, and it will be spring soon. So, I’m looking forward to warmer weather, day trips to the Pacific Ocean, learning to grow strawberries, and more walks at the park.

What have you learned this winter? What are you looking forward to as we move into spring?

P.S. I’m going to honest with you all, this doesn’t feel finished. I have no pictures for the Christmas point or the Enneagram one, but I don’t have time to edit it for another hour, so I’m pressing “publish” anyways.

P.P.S. As I scroll through my camera roll looking for pictures to fit with this blog post, I discovered some more things I learned. Here’s some bonus ones for fun 🙂

  1. Moving to round frames is a whole ‘nother ball game in the glasses world
  2. I turned the Thanksgiving turkey carcass into stock!
  3. We picked mandarins after church one Sunday.
  4. I love my job because even though late nights and the occasional weekend shift and the random covering of an off-site group, I am fascinated by how different companies run their businesses.
  5. Seeing Christmas through Azzie’s eyes is the best thing ever.
  6. I really do have a genuine love for football haha
  7. The vision in my head never compares to the beauty of how things actually go in real life.
  8. I will always be fascinated by snow falling.
  9. Comic books are awesome!

Writing Process Notes:


// started approx. at 4:20pm? dining room table. Ant sleeping. No music; just my laptop keyboard. Writing time: about 50 mins. Adding links and pictures: took a break for dinner, ice cream, and an episode of The Office with Ant. But this step always takes me waaaaaayyyy too long. I think I returned to this at like 6:30pm-ish and it’s almost 8pm and I haven’t finished yet. Granted, tonight I had to scroll for pictures and relearn how to upload images into the editor. Words: 1351.

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