January 10, 2020

5 Things I've Learned in the Last Year (a birthday post!)

It's my birthday!

Instead of going on and on about things about me or "34 things in 34 years" (though I've only actually completed 33 years), or something like that, I'm giving you 5 particular things I've learned in the last year.

I would consider all of this to be brand-new information to me, to be honest.

1. First, going to counseling is incredibly beneficial if you can make it work. I started going last winter and it's been a positive addition to my life and our routine. While there's so many reasons to go to a counselor, it doesn't necessarily mean anything is wrong. In fact, I can usually tell by just my time in the waiting room that I'm probably the easiest appointment of the day.
It's a place I can get objective opinions and keep a verbal record of what's going on in life. It's nice to talk to someone who has no skin in the game. That was my motivation for going: I wanted to talk to someone who knew nothing about me. I don't know that I would've kept it up for this long if our insurance didn't cover it, but our insurance does cover it, so I usually go twice month and I take Wells with me. It's like this thing that we do together now; a set appointment in our routine like a playdate or something.

2. In the same realm here...I have discovered that it's really not about me. I'm still thinking about this so I can't articulate it as well as I'd like. But I think, in the past, I always read devotionals or listened to self-help podcasts and read self-help books with the idea that it's all about "me". It's not. All the self-love in the world doesn't help when you're up 4 times a night with a baby. All the TED talks and motivational quotes and "Jesus loves you, so you do you" isn't actually a good way to live.
Again, I'm still processing this, but I've come to a realization that prosperity gospel can be secular as well.

3. Winter > summer. I know. This is a hard one for me to admit. While there is probably no place with no perfect seasons, winter is almost always more comfortable than summer. In Missouri and Pennsylvania, the humidity makes you crazy. In Colorado, the heat was unbearable for a couple of months, and winter never seemed to arrive. It would just be weirdly warm and windy for long stretches during the winter months.
And, hear me out: it's so much easier to get dressed during the winter. You don't have to worry about being cold in A/C either. It's just nice to put on some layers. I like shorts. Shorts will ALWAYS BE GREATER THAN PANTS. PANTS ARE TERRIBLE. But...all the summer things that go with shorts (humidity, bugs, sunburn, make-up melting off, the smell of garbage, etc) don't balance it in summer's favor.

4. I prefer lightly-scented hand soaps to the strong Bath and Body Works ones. I started using this brand, specifically. When I tried to order BBW after that, I couldn't stand them. They were absolutely overpowering. So, after many years as a BBW soap fiend, that is no more. My wallet thanks me.

5. Speaking of scents, I've learned that diffusing essential oils just gives a more pleasant atmosphere to the house. Along with the added moisture, it just smells good. I buy cheap oils, usually from Amazon or Whole Foods-type grocery stores. I don't look for health benefits in oils. I just think they smell less artificial than Scentsy or candles (I also discovered I prefer Woodwick candles 100% to BBW candles, so I do light those occasionally).

There's probably more that I've learned; Air Pods are the greatest thing, maybe, ever. Cry-it-out for babies is also the greatest thing ever. <<< those are the other two that come to mind.

But a lot of what I've learned in the last year is also about Pittsburgh and, since we've been here for a year now, I'll share that in a forthcoming post.

Anyway, Happy Birthday to me (still deciding on a "real" gift) and happy 18 months to Wells!


  1. I love that your insurance covers counseling!!! I was just talking with someone the other day about that - how it would be nice to talk to someone who isn't involved in the situation - isn't biased. I love you do that .. & enjoying it.
    I need to get a new diffuser - mine broke. I know they're cheap enough on Amazon so I just need to add it to my next order.
    I have BIG TIME issues with prosperity gosepl - & the whole idea of "You do you" - Everyone is so ME focused - its no wonder OFFENSE is just the first thing that happens any more. When focus is solely on me & my feelings & MY opinions & views... then why wouldnt I get offended with someone elses point of view. It's only getting worse.

    All that to say...
    A BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!! May your next year just be full of more fun things to learn to make life happier each passing age.

  2. Happy birthday to you! I hope it's wonderful.

    I like early autumn best. Summer is too hot and winter is too dark - I don't mind the could so much but the darkness is depressing.

  3. Happy birthday!

    I would like for k & I to go to counseling. I think it would help tremendously especially with demons he wont admit to. Unfortunately my mil has instilled in him that if one goes to them, theres some sort of problem. Shocker I know. So I may start going then he need to come to one or 2. It's hard with all this.

  4. Happy Birthday!

    I've thought a lot about counseling, just to help deal with stress and things like that. But I have nooo idea if insurance covers it, and then there's the issue of no childcare. So I haven't.

    #2 all day long. YES. I find myself getting extremely passionate about all of that. I am so tired of self-obsessed culture out there. It's toxic.

    Winter is forever the best. I hate summer.


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