What I’ve Learned (January 2016)


Slow and steady really can win the race.

I was slow at the start of this month with plans and goals and lists. I think I was a bit overwhelmed after my holiday season. However, I have given a lot of thought to those goals and plans, and I think I might be more committed, even if I was a bit slow to the start. I know there are a lot of people who will tell you you don’t have to wait until the first of the year to make changes, and I do indeed know that, as I often use other arbitrary start-again dates throughout the year to commence various self-improvement plans. However, the start of a new year? Come one, that is one of the best times to make those changes (if you are ready) because lots of other people are trying to make changes, too. There’s a bit of a community spirit behind it. So, even though my list might not have been ready on January 1, I am definitely committed to it on January 30.


It doesn’t have to be fun, just effective.

One of my oft-repeated goals is to lose weight. (I realize I am not alone in this.) I have recently read The 4-hour body by Tim Ferriss and am trying to implement his Slow Carb Diet. So far, so good, for me. It is pretty strict during the week and then you get a cheat day once a week. In the book, he is answering some of the criticism he’s gotten for all the restrictions, and he says it is “not designed to be fun, but effective.” For some reason that phrase stuck with me. When I am thinking I don’t really like the limitations of the diet, I remember that phrase and it makes me feel better. So far, the scale has been moving in the right direction, so it is easy to keep relying on that- it might not be fun, but it is effective. And right now, I need effective. Over a year of trying to handle things on my own resulted in no appreciative losses, so something had to be done. The best part of this diet is that there is no counting of anything. I know what I’m allowed to eat every day, and I can have as much of that as I want. Then I get a cheat day, where I can have anything and I don’t have to track that either. In so many diets, I became obsessed with calories or points or whatever, and how many did I have left for the day and what could I eat with that many left, and pretty much all I thought about was food. This way, I don’t really think about food very much at all during the day. (I do think about things I want to eat on my cheat day, let’s not be crazy.)

shoveling24” of snow is a lot of snow.

I love snow. I love snow from the comfort of my home, sipping hot chocolate or hot tea and looking out at it. Luckily for me, my husband does the shoveling around here. And has he ever been shoveling. He has shoveled multiple times a day for the last three days trying to make sure we would be able to leave the house if we need to. I am so thankful he is here and willing to work so hard. We currently have a wager on the last day snow will be in our front yard. (our house faces north and shadows the whole front yard) and our guesses are all at least a month out. We rarely get this much snow at once (I can only remember one other winter.) We tend to be in the 6-8” range for a big snow. The difference is pretty astounding. And being from the south, my plan for snow is to wait it out and stay inside until it’s gone. (In Atlanta, that is rarely more than one day.) Here, I’ll have to get going soon, but it’s enough that even people used to it aren’t up for going out in it.

Even when you know it’s coming for almost a year, the death of a friend hurts really badly.

When I started this blog, I mentioned a friend who had been diagnosed with brain cancer (a particular offense given how brilliant his brain is) and that his diagnosis, along with the beautiful way he was handling it, inspired me to start this blog. His news brought with it the realization that I had many things I wanted to do, and I wasn’t doing them. Knowing something, anything, might happen that would keep me from it, was finally the impetus I needed to sit down and start writing. He isn’t gone yet, but the end days are near, and while thinking of his family who will miss him oh so much more than I, I have been hurting physically for them. I have also spent a lot of time remembering great things and great times and the great soul he is. Pretty sure my Mama is waiting to greet him when he hits heaven. She’ll have a great time showing her friend around. (Given how private he is and that he shares nothing on the internet, he would be aggrieved to know that he was the impetus for my very public sharing, I’m sure.)

Have you learned anything this month?



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