Wednesday, December 30, 2015

What I Learned in 2015


Instead of doing a "What I Learned in December" post this month Emily is doing a link up of "What I Learned in 2015". As usual, I find it such a delightful and fascinating exercise. For the big year end post, Emily broke hers up into categories and (y'all know I love that kind of thing) I decided I'd follow suit create my own.

1. I am much happier and have less anxiety when we are deliberate and disciplined in decisions about things, money, and time and when we preference a slower, smaller lifestyle. I really actually learned this in New York, but it's been interesting seeing the difference it's made here and I'm hoping to spend another year focused on this sort of thing.

2. Incidentally, it's very hard to find the balance between play dates, school, family time, and other necessary obligations. I mentioned this in my goals recap post for the year, but it's just hard (for us) to find the right balance. I felt like we hit it really well this Summer, but Fall wasn't ideal. I'm hoping we can recapture that balance this Spring with some intentionalality.

3. Getting outside does amazing things for my mental health.
Peyton used to try to tell me this all the time, but I've finally learned how true it is. Obviously, the kids benefit hugely from it, too. And now we're back to having our own backyard, so that's really nice!

4. I'm not a big picture person at all. I get really overwhelmed when I look at a big project or try to think too long term. I'm much, much stronger in the daily details of things.

5.  If I'm successful with something small (cooking a new recipe comes to mind) it can sometimes just give me such a boost. But the converse is so true of me and when I fail at something even if it's not a big thing, I just want to shut down.
I've learned this about myself from observing it in Annie, especially with math. If she's successful with something, it makes the next few lessons so much easier but when she struggles she really shuts down. I think this is pretty normal, but Peyton isn't this way at all and I sort of doubt Graves will be, either.

6. I think my personality naturally leans toward a strict and structured in some ways. I think it's the teacher/lifeguard/ect. that comes out and I'm naturally a little bossy. However, that isn't really how I parent right now. I think Graves and Annie both, in very different ways, forced me to loosen up a bit. Annie just really benefited from that "emotional coaching" style parenting. And Graves just needed me to relax and lower my expectations for the first few years of his life. Both of which I think were positive things for me to learn just personally. It's interesting how much those little people can change you.

Struggles and Joys
7. Pregnancy is hard.
I'm so, so grateful I get to do this again but honestly, I'm also really grateful we already decided this will be our last biological child. I'm finally at a place where I can say that pregnancy is difficult for me (not dangerous or debilitating but really, really hard) and it seems to get progressively more so each time.

8. Newks is hands down my favorite restaurant in Jackson. Probably in the Southeast. Possibly in the world. I had so many restaurants that I was excited about eating at when we moved home. One of my absolute favorites closes, some are just a little too high end to eat at more than once or twice a year, and several we've gone back to but I was so disappointing. However, I don't know if I could ever get sick of Newks. I think I could pretty much live on their soup and salad combo, but since we've been back I've discovered my love for their cobb salad and Mediterranean pizza. I feel like it's ALWAYS super fresh, I always have several choices I know I'll love, the staff is always really friendly, and it's pretty much the perfect price point (definitely above fast food but inexpensive enough to eat there pretty regularly).

9. It's totally acceptable (and really amazing, though also sort of heartbreaking) to call more than one place home. I don't think I'll ever stop missing New York and a piece of our hearts will be there forever.

10. Truly trusting in God's sovereignty and Christ's sufficiency has simultaneously been really hard, really important, and really amazing. This has been the biggest take away from this year. In so many ways, I still grasp for control but I feel like I'm learning a lot about resting in God's faithfulness.

What did you learn this year? I'd love to hear!

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