Lessons Learned (Spring 2019 Edition)

Lessons Learned (Spring 2019 Edition)

It has been a long time since I have been here in this space.  What better time to begin again than with a recap of my Spring. These past few months have been a blur of activity and transitions, a wedding, and keeping up with my students at school.  My emotions have run the gauntlet from contentment, to anxiousness, to joy to sadness.  I have been in West Africa and also California.  Looking back, here are just a few of those lessons.

1. Rhythms can be lost but they can also be found.

One of the hardest things about our move in February was that I felt off my game.  I felt rushed in the morning and often had a hurried mindset.  I loved our new space but struggled with getting a good routine that worked for this new season. 

My new routine doesn’t look exactly like my old one but it does fit this new season.  It requires me getting up a little earlier and some days packing a lunch to eat at work instead of coming home.  But the biggest game changer for me was factoring in time at home to “cook and piddle”.  I had forgotten how those two things ground me as I take care of my family (even if it is just my husband and I in our empty nest).  I am also realizing that my commute back and forth along the beach road does something to my soul if I take the time to appreciate the ocean and its Creator as I walk or ride my bike.  See an aerial view of my commute below.

2. We often fight the same battles again and again…

but hopefully our battle strategy gets better.  One day everything is great.  Then all of a sudden the next day, the lies start to creep in.  The insecurities return.  At this point, I have a choice.  Do I recognize the lies and fight or do I give in and fall into despair?  Thankfully more and more, I am recognizing the lies as what they are – lies.  My emotions are telling me a story that is not a true story.  The challenge comes with the underlying melancholy that remains below the surface.  For me, a good prescription for melancholy is a nap, walk outside, journaling, or even cooking a fun meal or dessert.   These all give me time to think and process without allowing me to dwell on the negative. 

3. I still need to be a student of my husband.

At my daughter’s wedding rehearsal lunch, each father gave a word of encouragement to the soon to be wed couple.  In his, my husband talked to our daughter about being a student of her husband.  It was a good reminder to me that I still need to be a student of my husband even after 25 plus years.  I think it is too easy to take things for granted.  Am I listening well?  Do I see what is important to him in this season?  

4. Staying near the airport is a great way to start a long trip.

In May, we were in California for our daughter’s wedding.  The closest international airport to fly into was LAX.  Depending on the time of day, getting to and from the airport can be long and stressful.  Instead of having to get up early and have someone drive us to the airport, we decided to take an Uber to a hotel near the airport the night before.  After a full weekend of wedding festivities, it was delightful to rest at the hotel with no agenda.  We were also able to get a good night’s sleep making our next day of traveling less stressful.  For two people who are on the introverted side, it was a great way to refresh after being around people constantly for the past few days.  Lastly, it also helped us recover from jet lag quicker on the other end.

5. I miss my friends.

At our daughter’s wedding, we were blessed to see friends from Texas and also from our time in Central Asia.  It was great to reconnect, but I missed not having a longer time to really talk about where we at now and what life is really like in this season for both of us.  I am thankful for the reminder that I need to do a better job of staying in touch.  

These friendships were forged during the hard seasons.   They are like family.  I miss that.  It is not something you can recreate.  For now I am thankful for the gift that they are to me.  I pray that someday our paths will cross and maybe we will be in the same location again.

6.  Last but not least, my daughter getting married doesn’t mean that I am losing her.  I am just gaining a son.

My daughter met her husband in 8th grade at an international school in Central Asia.  We have been friends with their family all those years.  After they both graduated from high school, they realized that maybe they wanted something more than friendship.  Four years of dating long distance all ended as they were married in May.  We could not have picked a better husband for our daughter and are happy he is part of our family.  
What are some things that you learned this month?

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