At the end of each month, I write about things I learned. This practice has helped me pay attention to life, myself, and God's presence. In no particular order, here are 10 things I learned in August:
1. Online clothes shopping is a saving grace. Taking my kids shopping in a store is like herding disobedient goats, so online shopping is super helpful. At first I was hesitant to buy clothes that I can't try on, but realized that the key is finding sites with free and easy return policies. Currently I like Asos and Modcloth. Any other online clothing retailer suggestions?
2. Pineapple is my favorite fruit. As you might imagine, pineapple is available everywhere in Hawaii. I've been eating so much of it, I think I should dedicate a portion of my stomach to it.
3. My son can teach me about being brave. For a while Aaron has been asking to take martial arts lessons, or "Ninja School" as he calls it. We enrolled him in a trial class, but right before the class was about to start, he said he was afraid and didn't want to go. We talked about what it means to be courageous, and choosing to do something even if it feels scary. He agreed to give it a try, and loved it. I am proud of my son, and inspired by his courage.
4. Grief and death remind me that my real hope is in the eternal life. Our pastor talked about this recently, and it's been something on my mind because there have been profound losses around me. We live a life that is full of pain, injustice, and decay. But there is a world of endless glory and freedom to come. Thank God for that.
5. When I can't be motivated to run or do a full workout, yoga is a good option.
6. Asking for help is hard, but if I don't ask, I won't get it. Obvious, I know. I hate asking for help...mostly because I hate revealing my limitations and weakness. But the times I am courageous enough to ask for help are so good - I experience the joy of friendship and shatter the false perception that I'm Super Woman.
7. August is a good month to get into cheesy, dorky reality shows like The Quest. I'll probably regret publicly admitting this, but there you go. I'm balancing it out by also watching quality TV (like the West Wing...best show ever).
8. The human race is an anomaly in that the female gender typically focuses on appearances while the males seem to care less. But with other species in the animal kingdom, the males are more colorful and elaborate in looks than their female counterparts. Mallard ducks, male lions with their fancy mane, and peacocks are a few examples. Why is that?
9. I'm really not a patient person in the morning. Our morning routine of getting the kids breakfast, piling into the car, and taking Aaron to school is not my favorite time of the day, and it shows in how testy I get with the kids.
10. When you live in a tropical place where it's always 80-90 degrees, you forget that other people are welcoming Fall. No boots and scarves happening here. But maybe I'll have a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte to commemorate the season.