As I get older, I am trying to reflect more and more on my life, and especially, my soul. What things do I love? What gives me life? What makes me sad or tired or like I want to check out? By paying attention to my life, I’m hoping it helps me make good choices as I move forward. Some things we just have to do and others we get to choose – I want to do both with grace and joy and intention.
One little practice I would like to do this year is take a few minutes at the end of each month to look back over the last 30ish days and think about what I’ve learned. My friend Emily does something similar and I always love reading her insights. I’m following her lead and sharing my things with you …
WHAT I LEARNED IN JANUARY
I’m stronger than I thought
You’re probably getting sick of me talking about it, but I have fallen in love with Barre class. I worked out semi-regularly at home using online videos last summer (here’s a post about that) but started loosing steam. It’s hard to stay committed when it’s just you. My girlfriend and I finally found a local studio that offers group classes and since October, we’ve been going every Tuesday and Thursday morning.
This is literally the first time I’ve worked out consistently in my adulthood.
We do light handheld weights for the arm portion of the class. I started with 2lbs (and my arms nearly fell off). My goal was to switch to 3lb weights at the new year.
I’m happy to report that I did it! And while the weights are heavy for me and my arms feel like jello after class, I feel stronger. And it feels great.
Making the decision to close the shop was a sad but good choice
Last week, we made the official announcement that my house + home shop is closing. It was not a hard choice financially, since it was the least profitable arm of my business, but anytime you close the door on something, it feels like a loss. Will I regret it? Should I keep it open just in case? What if I decide later I want an online shop? Ryan and I went round and round with these questions and ultimately decided that it was best to shut it down. An e-commerce shop requires regular promotion, tons of inventory, constant upkeep and I just don’t have the margin to do all of this well. And so, we’re closing it down.
We have a little bit of inventory left that we’re selling at 50% off. You can shop until next week when everything will be officially off the market. SHOP HERE.
Friends are more valuable than followers
Please don’t take this wrong because I truly do appreciate you reading the blog, subscribing to my email list, following along on instagram. We have built our business on these relationships and I care deeply about fostering positive connection.
However, I can so easily get caught up in numbers and it messes with my heart.
Last weekend I went to the most adorable beach town (I’ve talked about it on the blog here) with women from our church and had the greatest time. I’m so grateful to have made wonderful, deep friendships since moving and was delighted to make a few new friends over the weekend.
When I came home, I discovered a new analytics bar for Instagram business accounts. I clicked on it and it told me that I was -17 followers over the past 7 days.
I spent the weekend barely touching my phone, only posting once to instagram. I chose to be present at the beach, with friends, worshipping, listening to speakers, helping clear tables and staying up way too late laughing (and crying). It was such a great weekend.
Upon seeing a drop in instagram followers, I could easily feel bad about myself, my business, the future, my decision to put my phone down for the weekend. This thing can feel so competitive and graspy if I let it.
Instead, I decided to relax and recognize that while I may have lost instagram followers, I gained a few real life friends and that felt like a good trade-off.
Podcast interviews are fun
In 2017, I was interviewed exactly zero times. In January, I was invited to share on two different podcasts. It was so much fun! I like talking to people. I like interesting questions. I like listening back and thinking about how I would change or add to my response if I were to do it again :)
You can listen to a conversation about how blogging has changed and how I have adapted on this episode of In The Storyhouse. If you are a blogger, this podcast is so wonderful. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed catching up on past episodes and love the honest conversations happening over there.
I chatted with Jessica from Extraordinary Moms podcast about being a mom, parenting a teenager, the balance of motherhood and work. Warning: I cried at the end. This one goes live on Tuesday February 6th.
Yes to a real rain coat
I have lived in Seattle for all but 4 years of my life (when I was in Southern California for college). Never once have I owned a rain coat. Well, maybe I had one when I was little but I can’t remember.
In the fall, I found this coat on sale and bought it. I promise you, everywhere I wear it, I get compliments.
It seems most Seattle-ites/Pacific North-westerners do not own a rubber rain coat. But I’m here to say that if you live where it rains, you should get one. The one I bought is warm-ish, has a hood, a cute back detail and comes in four colors (black, navy, wine and olive). I bought mine at Nordstrom (here’s that link) but I also found them on Amazon and some color/size combos are way less expensive (shop here). It fits true to size (I have a size small and can fit a sweater under it comfortably).
Did you learn anything good this month? I’d love to hear in the comments!