Sunday, December 1, 2013

10 Things I learned in November

It's so easy to get into the habit of not writing regularly after writing for a whole month straight in October. So, I'm thankful for Emily Freeman's link up for sharing the things we learned during the month of November! 

Here are a few things I've learned in the past month in random order. I invite you to hop on over to Emily's blog, Chatting at the Sky, to read what other people learned in November!


1.  Frozen might be rivaling Tangled and Wall-e for my favorite animated film. Even though my kids are now adults, we all still love animated movies, so our whole family went to see Frozen for our annual Thanksgiving movie tradition. This movie is over-the-top cute. You should go see it, whether you are two or ninety two.

2. As one of the lead characters in Frozen, Kristen Bell has a great singing voice! I loved her in You, Again, but I didn't know she could sing. Which isn't saying a lot because I don't really keep up with which celebrities can and cannot sing. 

3. I read an article last week while on the elliptical about weight loss tips from a gal who lost 100 lbs. (is this ironic, or just coincidental that I was reading about weight loss while on an elliptical? I'll have to ask my daughter.) Anyway.....the tip that stood out to me was to focus on my strengths while on my fitness journey.

I decided that I'd rather lift weights mostly on machines in a different part of the gym instead of with dumbbells right near all the Arnold Schwartzeneggers. I was much more comfortable doing the machines. A small change, really, but the impact was huge for my mood while lifting.

4. Gratitude is best when practiced. What I mean is that often I think about being grateful when something good is happening. Brene Brown and Oprah reminded me in last week's online class that gratitude is a practice that we learn by doing

We learn by being grateful even when we don't feel like being grateful. 

Oprah says, Gratitude leads to joy. Brene says, Joy is additive. When we practice gratitude we fill our joy reserves. This is not huge information, but it felt like a mental shift happened in my brain. I dragged out the gratitude journal that I started in 2012 and began adding to it again at about #436. I felt so much better about my life after practicing gratitude in this way. 

5. There was a day about two weeks ago, that I felt absolutely stuck with an issue in my life. Prayer wasn't cutting it. Journaling didn't really help all that much. What I needed to do was to phone a friend. So, I did. (sometimes I'm reluctant) I called a friend and basically said "help." She did. She listened and she understood because she'd been in my shoes. Never under estimate the power of phoning a friend when you need help! I'm still learning this.

6. Through this Brene Brown online class I've been given assignments to work on an art journal. I've journaled prayers and thoughts and feelings for years. What I've never done until November was to work on an art journal. I'm kind of intimidated by it. Meaning that I suffer from a huge case of perfectionism

But, I'm realizing that being perfect is overrated, not to mention impossible! Actually getting my hands in there and being creative is the idea. And, I've noticed that when I work on my art journal (simple water color painting and drawing) my mood always elevates. Bonus!

7. I had been feeling especially bad about myself and my weight because of the category the trainer at the gym put me in after he weighed me. But, when I went to Maurice's to try on jeans, Taylor the jeans specialist was there. She was truly a jeans artist (and an angel). She said she had read and studied up on their jeans and which styles fit which body types. 

She brought me a pair of sparkly pocket jeans in the dressing room and said,

"Have you seen the traveling pants movie? Well, these jeans are just like that. Everyone who tries them on loves them! They are my go-to jeans!" 

I left with those jeans. And, I left feeling so uplifted by Taylor's care and encouragement in helping me find jeans that made me feel like a new woman! Jeans faeries really do exist! This one's name is Taylor.

8. On the same jeans shopping trip, I asked my college daughter if I was too old for sparkly pocket jeans. She said, "Not if you like them!" So, I guess fifty is not too old for sparkly pocket jeans because that's exactly what I got.

9.  I've discovered that I can get into a creative flow in my art journal or writing while listening to Jim Brickman radio station on Pandora. I've also discovered Anthony Burger so I added Anthony's piano loveliness as variety to this station. Today, I appropriately switched over to Jim Brickman Holiday station, which is working just as well. I love lovely piano music. Without lyrics. And, apparently it likes me.

10. Favorite quotes written in my journal this month. 

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there." ~Rumi

"When she transformed into a butterfly, the caterpillars spoke not of her beauty, but of her weirdness. They wanted her to change back into what she always had been. But she had wings."~Dean Jackson

Each of these quotes deserve their own blog post, so you never know what might be coming up.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you are having a great start to December!



  1. Hi Anne,
    What a fun list...I love Brene Brown and I agree...gratitude practiced really does build in the gratitude journal has really glad you found a pair of jeans you love...linked up behind you at Emily's...blessings :)

    1. Thanks for sharing, Dolly! Yes, the jeans were a blessing. Finding great jeans is like a needle in a haystack! Blessings to you!

  2. This post makes me want to take some time, put on some music and write. Thanks for the inspiration. Great, thoughtful, thought-provoking list. Glad you shared.

    1. Thanks, Lisa, for your comment. Have you tried the writing to music yet? I am about ready to put on Jim Brickman again! Blessings to you!


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