The One Thing I Learned This Summer

The One Thing I Learned This Summer

A lovely formal garden discovered on our summer travels
I’m joining Emily P. Freeman’s linkup sharing what I’ve learned this summer. 

Sometimes it’s okay to take a summer off!  I’m the queen of to-do lists.  Writing lists motivates me to get things done. Nothing’s more satisfying that to put a check mark by a completed task. 

But this summer, I took everything  off my to-do list. You might say I had a minimalist summer.  Instead of ramping up my daily agenda, I slowed down. While others (along with my internal voice) might judge this summer as unproductive, I experienced my best summer yet. 

Just like my Compaq laptop I had in grad school, I learned my brain needs defragmenting periodically for it to run faster and more efficiently.   Summer was the perfect time for me to pause and let my mind rest, reorganize information, refocus priorities and rid my brain of all the junk taking up space. 

I still did my normal summer thing. We travelled to the beach, hung out together, explored museums and historical locales in nearby cities and celebrated some amazing answers to prayers.

This painting really spoke to me!
Honestly, I thought I might never find any motivation again.  The floating, untethered laziness was uncomfortable at times. But then these words seized my soul as I read them late one night:

“A seed knows how to wait. A seed is alive while it waits. Every acorn on the ground is just as alive as the 300 year old tree that towers over it. Neither the seed nor the oak tree is growing; they are both waiting.” –Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Life is still inside me as I wait.  Resting and waiting does not kill the life in me but ignoring my need to rest and wait will. 

What have you learned this summer?  Share in the comments or link up to Emily’s post!

What I’m Into This June

What I’m Into This June

Can’t believe the last day of June is here already!  I’m joining up with Leigh Kramer to share what I’ve been into this June.

Shopping at Aldi

We have a local Aldi, but I had always avoided it because how different it was compared to other grocery stores. The biggest deterrent for me was not being able to use a credit card (as we earn travel points on our cards).

So when I heard that Aldi now accepts credit and debit cards, it was time to check it out again.  The oddities about Aldi (25 cent deposit for carts and bringing your own grocery sacks) don’t seem as odd after grocery shopping in Brussels and Berlin, where it is the norm. 

Because of those oddities, Aldi can pass on savings to the customer and some staples are ridiculously cheap!  

so yummy!

Aldi now carries many organic staples such as organic grass fed beef, produce, and baking items. My current favorites right now are the mango chipotle cassava chips, churros and 100 calorie guacamole snack packs!

Listening 

Besides my favorite podcasts:

Anne Bogel’s What Should I Read Next?

The Lazy Genius Podcast

The Simple Show

Happier

I’ve also discovered this amazing app when I don’t want to listen to random conversations poolside whilst reading the latest beach read. 

Yes, the app is h_ _ r


Just like Prince, this free app is in a legal fight over the name Hear and so it’s officially the app formally known as Hear.  You can find it here and even enter a contest to rename it!

Basically this app works when you plug in your headphones and distorts the outside noise into pleasant ambient sounds. I love to use this app when I read because it masks the chatter but allows me to focus on reading!

Reading

I’ve almost worked through my June reading

All so good except Eight Hundred Grapes


Besides the above books, I’m also rereading:

Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving & Thriving with the Self-Absorbed 

and reading:

Walk Two Moons

Morning Walks

We’ve had some scorcher summer days already this month. Usually I walk in the evenings with my husband, but the humidity has been killer.  So, I’ve taken to walking in the early  morning before the mugginess descends.   



I’ve seen so much beauty in the morning hours!

What have you been into this June?  I’d love to hear!