Uncategorized · What I Learned

What I Learned this Winter

Every three months, I pause and reflect on the past season and share with all of you. This year I am using a tool called The Next Right Thing Guided Journal by Emily P. Freeman.

This season was a time of learning more about my temperament, organizing more parts of my life, and taking care of myself. There was a lot of inner work done this winter with more time at home, the pandemic, and current events.



I learned that having a chill Christmas is okay. Christopher had and exposure and had to quarantine from Christmas to New Year’s. Luckily none of us got sick and tested negative. During that time, we had a very small but lovely celebration at home on Christmas day. Once the quarantine was over, we saw my in-laws, then the next week we went to my mom’s. I actually really liked spreading out the celebration, spreading out the gifts, and I was not emotionally fried like I often am with all of the Christmases we do in a normal non-pandemic year.



I have learned quite about about my temperament this winter. I am helping lead a mothers group right now at our parish using materials from the Cana Family Institute. This program is called The Temperament God Gave You. I remember Peter read this book in college, so I was familiar with it. At that point I thought I was a sanguine/melancholic person. But now that we are over halfway through the program, I have learned that that combo is actually impossible and that I am actually and truly a melancholic.  It was really tripping me up, because I really thought that I was a sanguine.

After reading more descriptions of the types and their motivations for certain behaviors made me realize how melancholic I really am and how sanguine I really am not. I think I thought that sanguine-like behavior was how I thought that I should be when I was in high school and college, when that actually really conflicted with myself internally. I am definitely still a social people-person, but I do have to feel comfortable with who I am with and where I am. We’ll finish the program in May, so maybe I’ll have more to share in the spring!


Morning Person

I re-learned that I am such a morning person. During Lent, I gave up alcohol (and coffee creamer) and I think I accidentally improved my sleep quality! I have been naturally waking up around 6 or 6:30, but sometimes even as early as 5:30! Although, now that I’m naturally waking up early, I’ve noticed that I can hardly keep my eyes open after 9pm!


Clean & Organized

When overwhelmed, my environment quickly becomes untidy. I have learned a lot this year about the amount of peace I have when things are fairly clean and organized. This is both physically in a room, but also mentally with tasks and work that need to be done. Having a home for every item has helped a lot, regularly decluttering, and having a system has been helping me a lot. I still use the app Tody for cleaning and other tasks. I am still using Trello for work and I also use Trello for meal planning and keeping track of workouts. Much of my work is planning events. Writing out the details of that plan from start to finish has helped me a lot. I know where I am, where I am going, and what still needs to be done.



I have an improved system for my email inboxes (that is still a work in progress). Peter was talking about how he has “rules” for his work email inbox to sort things into folders, so he started doing the same for his personal email, which inspired me to do the same for my work email and personal email. Promotions are all going to one place and aren’t even visible in my inbox. So I can still look and read them when I intentionally choose to, instead of them cluttering my inbox with emails of higher priority. I also have been able to sort emails into folders automatically based on who they are from, so I can sort different categories of my job!



I learned that if I don’t put self-care items on my to-do list, they won’t happen. This winter, many items got added to my Tody app, such as drink water or go for a walk, but also things like regularly reading, knitting, or praying a rosary, because I know that these things are good for me, and that they likely won’t happen unless I prioritize them.



I re-learned how much I love to read. I was reading so much for school that I didn’t do much personal reading, so it had been hard for me to get back into the habit. I have been able to start with some easier-to-read books, and I am someone who likes to have a variety of options so that I can pick something that I’m in the mood for.


Small Groups

I have learned and re-learned the value of having small groups. Large group gatherings are nice too, but when you are regularly with the same small group of people, you can really dive in together and grow together. I am seeing this in my work with youth, moms, and young adults right now, and it has been beautiful to witness. I’m still going five years strong with my personal small group!


So this winter, I learned more about myself and how I can set myself up for more success, especially in terms of organization and self-care. Hello spring.

I’m looking forward to chatting with you next time! Until then, let’s take small simple steps towards being more intentional.


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