Things I Learned in May

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I’m following the lead of Anne Bogel and Emily P. Freeman again this month with a reflection on the things I’ve learned. I can’t believe another month has already flown by! This month was a bit hectic for me as I wrapped up my teaching semester, and then transitioned into summer mode as my boys ended their school year as well. I realized as I sat down with my bullet journal to write this post that the things that I learned this month all kind of fall under the health/wellness category. With a bit more time on my hands, I’ve been working a bit this month to improve both my physical and spiritual health. I’m a firm anti-dieter, perhaps a recovering yo-yo dieter would be a better description, but I’m working hard to incorporate better eating and exercise into my life without making it a thing. Without giving any more away, here are the things I learned this month–both significant and extremely minor.

Spaghetti Squash is an excellent pasta alternative.

Sunday nights are spaghetti night at my house, and we switched to whole-grain pasta a few years ago, but I decided this month to try spaghetti squash instead of spaghetti noodles, and I was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed them! I’m a super picky eater, and vegetables have never been one of my favorite food groups, but this is a switch that I think I can make.

My morning runs go a lot better with a book/podcast playing in the background.

Again with a bit more time on my hands, I’ve been running more. I’ve never been much of an audiobook listener, but recently I ditched my music playlist for a Christian audiobook or a favorite podcast episode. The switch from music to a book/podcast has been a very good change for me. It allows me to focus on something else during the hard parts of my run, and it really feels like I’m killing two birds with one stone. It’s a win-win!

My kids actually enjoy audio books!

Related to my morning runs, I’ve also been enjoying audio books with my kids this month. I have long been inspired by Sarah Mackenzie and the Read-Aloud Revival. I read her book The Read-Aloud Family last year, and I immediately begin trying to implement reading routines in my house. This month I joined the Read-Aloud Revival Premium Membership, and I have so enjoyed being more intentional about reading with my kids both on out loud and via audio book. This month we are reading The Secret Garden (just a chapter at a time) and my kids are really enjoying it. It is so rewarding for me to see them find enjoyment in reading. I’m so excited about continuing to explore the world of reading with my boys.

Silence and Solitude aren’t that scary after all.

I have heard multiple times over the year the immense value in starting the day in silence and solitude. Not only is the practice intended to invite God’s presence into the moment, but it is also a good way to start the day from a place of peace and calm rather than rushing straight into the to do list. I started reading Invitation to Solitude and Silence by Ruth Haley Barton on audio and she has really encouraged me to give it a shot. I was initially pretty intimidated as I usually plow straight into my to-do list the minute my feet hit the floor. I’m starting with a modest 10 minutes as Barton suggests, and it is much easier than I anticipated. I actually appreciate a reason to sit still first thing in the morning. I’ve only been doing this a few weeks, but it has been a great practice to my morning routine.

I don’t really need my scale.

I realized this month that I was still allowing the number on the scale to overly influence my diet and exercise habits. I have lived in the “diet-culture” for most of my adult life, and it has only been recently that I’ve understood how much damage this culture has had on me over the years. I know consider myself an anti-dieter, but I until mid-month I was still weighing myself every day. I listened to a podcast this month that really made me think about my relationship with my scale. As soon as I realized the scale was still giving me too much information about my body, I put it away. I’m not saying that I’ll never weigh myself again, but it has been so freeing for me to not have a number each morning to attach to my body.

Well that wraps up what I learned this month. What about you guys? I would love to hear what you have learned this month! You can connect with me here in the comments or over on Instagram at @stephy_reads. I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

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