The calendar turns today to a new month, but it's always good to reflect on the previous days, if even just for a moment, in order to move forward in a positive fashion. I love closing up a month by sharing what I've learned, but I will tell you that upon sitting down to write this one, to tell you what I learned in April, I have had a harder time putting together my thoughts.
Perhaps because April flew by so fast, the lessons or newfound points of life I learned are actually ones I have to stop and slow down to ponder a little. So, without further adieu, here are a few bullet points of what I learned in April....
1. My friend Julie writes a beautiful blog. She said in one of her blogs this month that she doesn't say goodbye, she says, "See you soon..." And I loved her thought process on this.
So, I too, have begun to view "goodbyes" as "see you soon" instead. April closed by saying "See you soon" to our adopted college daughter. She has spent the last 3 years coming over, eating with us, hanging out, house sitting for us, enduring our life struggles and pretty much becoming a part of our family. Watching her graduate is special, but strange to think she is now moving on.... but it's not goodbye... it's see you soon.
2. I do not have to prove myself to others
This is a hard-learned lesson. I may have to learn and re-learn this time and again (though I hope not) but April was a pivotal point for me in this aspect. I had some humbling lessons, although most would find them humorous rather than humbling, but they were times that I realized how much I am at times trying to prove myself to others , at the risk of transforming into someone I am not. I had a small "accident" in the truck, I fell in the middle of the store, I was called out in some silly ways, and I had some doctor appointments that were, in essence, results of stress related factors. All of those events over the course of the last month helped me come to the place of this lesson. I do not live life to prove myself to others. I just need to be true to me. And I live for an audience of ONE. So long as my life is pleasing to Him first, that is what matters. And when I live in that mindset, and am true to me, I am at my best.
3. I love talking to random people
Ok, so this isn't a new found lesson per say... I have always known this about myself. I am a people person. But I love talking to runners when i go to the expos. I love talking to someone who is having a bad day and watching that day turn around just by being someone who is taking time to listen. Many times that is all a person needs. But my favorite conversation from the month that sticks in my head is a random conversation I had with a young mom. She had this little toddler girl, who had ice cream all over her face. I stopped and told her "I'm sure you've heard this many times, but just enjoy these moments... they go so fast (as I pointed to my almost teenage daughter). Don't worry about how messy her shirt is... one day you will wish for those precious days back." And her response nearly made me cry... you see, you never know what a random person might need to hear or might need to say in response. So, take time to smile or say hello, even if you don't know the person (so long as this is done in the right fashion, mind you...) I love conversations and moments like that.
4. Budgets are hard
I grew up learning great lessons about money. I have at times, strayed from these foundational habits. But lately, we have returned to them. And it's hard. But, that being said, I am loving the lessons it's teaching my kids. They are raising money for camp and learning the value of the dollar and hard work. I am learning that I don't always (ok, pretty often rarely do actually) need things. they are more wants. And if I say no and let it go, I usually forget about it. Returning to these habits is challenging, but so so good.
5. Dance in the Rain
The analogy of dancing in the rain stands strong in my mind. I have been embracing this concept as the month of April has gone along. Dance in the rain. Be thankful at all times. Find the beauty in the storm. Smile in the midst of pain. Dance in the rain.
6. Quality, not Quantity
It is so challenging not to focus on numbers at times. Especially in event planning. But I have been learning it's not about quantity, it's about quality. And remaining in that thought process can be a challenge for me as people ask "how many..." or "how much " in regards to certain aspects of my events, and my response can at times leave a person challenging my worth, or leaving me with words of failure... but those are not thoughts or words for me to embrace. Because quality is more important that quantity. Again... I perform for an audience of One first and foremost.
April has been a beautiful month, but I welcome the doors of May opening. No doubt there will be more lessons, but also beautiful times to come in this month.