While June in the Midwest has felt strangely like November in Texas, the calendar says summer has arrived so I am appropriately basking in its slower pace, longer days, and lovely produce.
Despite the persistent brain fog that has enveloped me over the past few weeks (and which I suspect is directly related to my children’s recent resistance to naps) I have managed to put my finger on ten ways in which I’ve mentally grown in June.
This month’s roundup includes representation from the fields of literature, grammar, child-rearing, home dec, and chiropractic care.
Diverse, yes. Degree of mental growth? I’ll let you be the judge.
June’s Lessons Learned
1.) My vocabulary lesson for the month:
Meme: “an image, video, phrase, etc. that is passed electronically from one Internet user to another”
-Oxford American Dictionary
Thanks Bob Hostetler, for providing proof that even being Facebook friends with smart people can make you smarter.
2.) June’s Grammar Lesson: The use of the Serial (or “Oxford”) Comma is not a matter of absolute truth but is, in many cases, one of preference.
As a enthusiastic user of the Oxford comma, this realization pains me. And yet it’s true. Or so says Lynne Truss.
Yet, I will still die on the hill of clarity in comma usage; as this illustrates, one absent comma can be a matter of life and death.
3.) Coronata stars are a decorating trend.
Who knew? Not me. Thanks, Nester.
4.) Not finishing a book doesn’t make me a bad reader.
Having 6 books going at once doesn’t mean I’m non-committal. Preferring certain genres to others doesn’t mean I’m less intelligent. You can benefit from a book without being able to regurgitate its contents.
I am now relinquishing my guilt over a half-finished Brothers Karamozov (though I won’t commit literary blasphemy and say it’s objectively not worth finishing) and preferring children’s literature to NYT best sellers.
5.) Nutritional response testing may not be (quite) as crazy as I’d thought.
I still hesitate to tell certain people I’ve had it done on my son (and yet I proclaim it on the internet…) but after seeing some fairly profound results, I am convinced there’s something to it. Although I don’t pretend to understand what that is.
6.) Ditching my daughter’s paci was not as traumatic as I’d imagined it would be.
Naps are still a bit touch-and-go, but nighttime is perfectly peaceful.
6b.) I should not google “what happens at nap-time when your toddler gives up the paci” if I’m looking for encouragement.
7.) Making skinny jeans out of a pair of regular jeans is possible but tedious.
For me, it involved about 20 “fittings,” most of the ink in my invisible erase pen, lacerations from the seam ripper and safety pins, and just enough awkward hobbling to make me think paying to have them altered might have been better for everyone.
8.) Saying no to good things is sometimes necessary.
And somewhat liberating.
This month’s big “no” was to the neighborhood garage sale I’ve been planning to join in for the last year. When it came time to do all of the prep, I just didn’t have it in me. Too many other things had already claimed my time and energy.
Saying no brought a strange mix of guilt (that I didn’t follow through on something) and freedom (from tagging endless piles of junk). I did my best to discard the guilt and embrace the freedom. There’s always next year. Or donation.
9.) Having friends in different life stages is awesome.
They offer refreshing perspectives (You mean you can leave your children at home and go out with your husband? That day is coming!?!?!) and conversation fodder outside the scope of toddler drama (Ohhh, you’re dating such a sweet boy!). Thankful for the whole multi-generational thing.
10.) It is possible to befriend someone on the Internet.
For years I have been incredulous when bloggers spoke of this phenomenon–skyping with other bloggers they’d never met in person, planning to meet up at conferences, etc. It took experiencing it for myself to realize what a blessing it is to authentically connect–online–with someone juggling the same responsibilities and pursuing similar goals.
**Bonus: There’s a “What We Learned in June” link-up over at Chatting at the Sky today! Emily’s posts were my inspiration for this series and I’m looking forward to checking out what everyone else has gleaned from June.
What did you learn in June?