What I Learned Winter 2021

What I Learned Winter 2021

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There was a day last week that it felt like summertime here in South Central PA. Should I be writing about winter in the middle of March (although it is technically winter until the 20th)? No, probably not, but the days have gotten away from me again.

It’s been an interesting few months but thankfully, I have a new journal to help keep everything straight in my life (not that it really does, but it helps when looking backward.) May I introduce you to Emily P. Freeman’s The Next Right Thing Guided Journal? Emily is actually the reason why I am here writing this in the first place, in more ways than one. She used to have a way to link up your blog posts onto hers, so after reading what she learned, you could click through some other people’s posts. It was easy and fun! It’s also an excellent way to catch up a bit if you haven’t written much lately. (Am I speaking about myself? Yes.)
Emily is also one of the co-founders of hope*writers, a writing group I am a part of that has given me the confidence to write. I stumbled upon her book Graceful when I was sixteen, and two years ago, I saw an ad on Facebook for a writing group co-founded by her. The rest is history! Emily has some wonderful books out and has a podcast also called The Next Right Thing, which I love listening to each Tuesday when she releases the latest episodes.
But, enough about Emily, you’re here to read about me.

That’s a little weird to say, but if you’re here, in a way, that is true.

Well, what did I learn this winter?

Ingrown toenails are no joking matter.

Three rounds of antibiotics later, maybe my toe is healed. I think that started acting up in the middle of January, so it’s been an ongoing adventure.

Sometimes what you think isn’t THAT big of a project turns out to be much more involved than anticipated.

Re: The story of redoing our pantry last year.
We redid our mudroom this January since my little brother was off work because of the weather. We were planning to renovate the inside but ended up having to tear the walls down and start fresh. Only two walls this time! I now have useable windows and much more sunlight! It makes me happy. We replaced the window in the kitchen, too, which caused a massive difference in that room! I no longer feel a breeze flowing from there!

Progress while taking apart the mudroom.
New kitchen window! (It looks a lot better now, it’s been all cleaned up. LOL)

Forgiveness does not equal forgetting.

“Forgive and forget.” Why is this something taught as a Biblical truth when it’s not really something we are called to do? It says God will remember our sins no more, but nowhere does it say we have to forget about every hurt that ever happens to us if we want to say with honesty that we forgive someone. I also learned there is a difference between making a decision to forgive and feeling the emotions of being hurt when something reminds you of the situation. We are not computers that can delete a file and no longer remember it; we are human beings with feelings and emotions. Making a decision to forgive someone does not mean we won’t be hurt by what they did, but that we set a marker down on that day that we are forgiving someone and will forgive them no matter how long it takes.
I learned a lot by reading Lysa Terkurst’s book Forgiving What You Can’t Forget in preparation to write about some difficult things during February. I highly recommend it to anyone who has ever been hurt. So, everyone.

Finding clarity in your writing can cause breakthroughs.

I did a Story Clarity challenge led by Traci Skuce and discovered what format in which I want to write an upcoming book. I am excited about it, even though it will make writing a lot more complicated. It will also make it more fun and give me an imaginative twist that will make me more excited to write it. I worked on that project during February, and despite having 28,000 words written, I don’t know if any of those written words will go toward the book. Who would have thought that non-fiction would be so much harder to write than fiction?

How to knit lace.

If you don’t know, I enjoy knitting. I often have a few projects going simultaneously, so some people think all I knit are easy little dishcloths; when at home, I have a more complicated creation being made. I knit a couple of baby blankets for friends and then stumbled upon a beautiful shawl I wanted to try my hand at, so I practiced a few different lace knitting techniques and got to work! I had to find the right kind of yarn and search for my proper-sized needles since my craft room is even more of a disaster than usual right now. (Oh yeah, we’re renovating a whole room, including making a hole in the dining room wall and taking out half of a closet. We’ve been a little busy lately!)

A terrible picture of my progress as of a couple of days ago.

My great-grandmother had a collection of books that she called her “cigarette money books.”

According to my mother, in the ’50s and ’60s, ladies would put money aside to buy cigarettes. In the ’80s and ’90s, my great-grandmother would set aside money for books but called them her “cigarette money books,” which makes me oddly happy. I discovered this after talking about dreams we’d been having about her house and how I had a dream she had a secret stash of Harry Potter and Twilight books. Perhaps I should start a cigarette money book collection, too…

I can now run in circles around my house!

Our apartment was U-shaped until we put in a door from the dining room to the middle bedroom. The only way to get to the bedrooms was to go through the other bedrooms, which technically means the apartment could only be listed as a one-to-two bedroom apartment despite having four. (My current study could be listed as a bedroom, but it doesn’t have a closet, so that could be a little sketchy. It’s been listed as one before, so I sort of consider it one, hence the one-to-two.) Now the apartment is a two-to-three bedroom since we put in the door. I can go from the dining room to the kitchen to our bedroom to the middle bedroom to the dining room! I was way too happy about discovering that.

A picture of where the hole was planned to go…
Apparently the only in-progress photo I had was a screenshot of a Snapchat from Andrew.
New door with the closet finished to the left, Andrew standing in what I am calling the boulevard, and lines of primer down the strips in the paneling.

There’s a book called Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy??

I love Anne of Green Gables. I have since I was young and watched the VHS tapes of Anne of Green Gables featuring Megan Fellows. I have also loved the books (and am currently listening to the first one via audiobook on Spotify!). When I found out there’s a book about Marilla that has good reviews, I was intrigued. I have not bought it yet, but it is on my list!

My husband is really talented.

It’s not so much that I learned this as I am fascinated by all the different talents possessed within one body. He touches electronics, and they work. He strums a guitar and makes music. He picks up a tool and creates a puzzle table, bookshelves, and a doorway. He picks up other tools and changes a vehicle from an automatic transmission to a manual transmission. He rebuilds entire rooms in our house, cooks a fantastic steak, somehow gets this introvert to write words and share them with the world, is patient, kind, loving, and is practically perfect in every way. He just amazes me.

If I don’t slow down, life flies by.

I go through seasons when I forget to take time every day to write in my journal. Next thing I know, a week has flown by, and I haven’t given a second thought to how I’ve spent my days. It makes it hard to remember or even realize what I’ve learned. Many of my random writings come out of that time, so when I forget to journal, I miss out on many words I could be sharing with other people. Maybe my goal for this next month should be to get back into focusing on writing about my life so I don’t stay too focused on one thing and ignore the rest of the world.
I haven’t been great at sharing anywhere lately, not just here on the blog, but I have been writing. I wrote 28,000 words towards a memoir last month, and this month I am spending time on World Anvil world-building the world I made during NaNoWriMo. I wrote a fiction book. Before I go through revisions and editing, I want to build the world better, so I am consistent because, spoiler alert, I plan on there being at least a trilogy of books. Look at me being alllllll over the place with my writing!
If you didn’t know, I post my poetry over on my Instagram. Maybe eventually I will get that integrated over here and preferably get a whole page set up where they can be found as well. (I may need to talk to my tech guy about that…and by my tech guy, I mean my previously mentioned extremely talented husband, who also does some website designing.) I got some of my poems printed as 4×4 pictures and almost cried when they came. There’s something about reading your words printed out on something instead of just on a screen. Maybe I’ll get ambitious and create a poetry book as well…so many things I want to do and so little time to do them.

I have missed being here, and I have missed posting on Instagram too. I love getting to connect with you and would love to hear from you!

Until next time!

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