One of my favourite bloggers, The Modern Mrs. Darcy has a monthly series about the things she learns each month. I love it. It’s everything from the serious to the silly… and I can’t help it, I want to try it out.
So, here goes. The things I learned in May.
1. Watching five year olds play soccer is the BEST thing ever.
Attending my niece’s soccer practice and game was pretty epic. The number of times that the coaches had to say “Not in your goal, turn around!” practically made me pee my pants. Seeing them score on their own goals? Priceless. It was also a true delight to be outdoors in the warm summer evening, surrounded by families cheering on their kids. I look forward to this stage with my son.
2. When you’re sick – stay home.
It’s funny, most places that I’ve worked, they say to stay home if you’re sick, but they rarely mean it. I mean, if someone is gone for more than a day, there’s this vibe, an undercurrent that they’re just not committed. It’s like that in many places. My husband HATES taking sick days, not because he feels unwell, but because he worries what people will think. My new employer? They mean in. To the point that when I was home sick and emailing about a work thing, I got a text saying, “Dearest Victoria, it appears you are working. Stop it. Watch Netflix.” Basically my supervisor rocks.
3. I am an addict.
Not to drugs or booze, but to emotional eating and social media. To be fair, I probably knew this about myself before, but this is the month that I really learned it in my bones. And so… starting June 15th I’m taking a social media detox for the summer. The emotional eating… that’s a longer journey, but I’m working on it.
4. Have you chosen something/someone or are you choosing them?
I got to watch our CEO in action during a board facilitation this month. It was with a group who were struggling with conflict (aren’t we all?) and there seemed to be a sense of micromanaging the executive director. My boss finally asked the question to the group, “Are you choosing Janet*, or have you chosen her?” The room went silent and we all thought long and hard about this. This ED had been hired by the board a year ago. He made a great point. Every time that she showed up, were they asking her to prove that she was worthy of the role, or did they trust that she was worthy? It made me think about my own relationships, how I work with people, how they work with me, the work that I do. Am I choosing it each day, or have I chosen it? It’s all about commitment and respect. That one question will stay with me for a long time.
5. There is very little that is superior to freshly baked goods, specifically chocolate chunk cookies.
6. I’ve learned that it’s possible to recover from postpartum and feel incredible joy about parenting.
My kid is hard work, but the pure joy of hearing his laughter, of the smile on his face when we play peek-a-boo, of him learning a new word… I want to bottle it up and keep those memories close to me forever.
7. To live a balanced life requires serious strength and a solid core.
I feel out of balance most of the time, particularly since becoming a mom. I haven’t yet figured out how to balance home life, working life, writing life, relationships, etc. When I think of a balanced life, I picture shades of white, the smell of clean laundry, sitting in a zen yoga position and cups of tea. Then, recently I got to thinking about balance exercises that I do in yoga or at the gym. They require serious strength from my abdominal muscles so that I don’t teeter and fall. Maybe the balance that I’m striving for doesn’t actually exist. Maybe balance isn’t about relaxation. Maybe balance is about getting to a place where you’ve built up a strong foundation, a solid core, and can do what you once couldn’t, because you’ve strengthened the muscles.
So… what have you learned this past month? Comment below. Do any of these resonate with you?
*Name changed for privacy.