Lessons Learned (Spring 2017 Edition)
For much of the world, spring is turning into summer. For West Africa, rainy season is here with its downpours, thunder, and lightning. So whatever the season, the last few months have been full of lessons about cooking, clothing, and living life. So here are my lessons learned as I link up with Emily at Chatting at the Sky as she shares what she has learned this spring.
1. Sometime Things Aren't as Scary as We Think They Are.These past few months I have found myself zipping across canyons, climbing mountains, and driving to the airport. Okay maybe that last one doesn't sound too scary but considering it was only my second time driving outside of our compound, it was a big deal for me. They all seemed pretty scary at the beginning but after starting, I soon thought what was I so scared of?
My husband, son, and I did a zip line course while we were in Southern Africa for vacation. The view was amazing, and I actually enjoyed the whole process. Now the mountain climbing was mostly hiking but it had a lot more climbing involved than I am use to. It was fulfilling at the end of the afternoon to have climbed to the top and then have a ride down via the ski lift. I still don't care for heights but I didn't have any freak out moments.
In regard to the last item, we have lived here over a year, and I hardly ever drive. I either walk or ride with someone. When there was no one to pick my husband up from the airport, we decided that I could do this. I somehow even ended up taking a guest to the airport. We made it in one piece, and it really wasn't that big of a deal. Now I am planning my next outing -a trip to the salon to get my hair cut.
2. I Have a Choice on What Attitude I Will Have.
On our vacation, we went on a safari. The first day was draining, and I might have been a little whiny. I thought I didn't have a choice, but my husband gently reminded me that I did. I could choose to focus on the hard or on the good. Thankfully for the rest of the trip, I focused on the good as I soaked up the fresh air, enjoyed the smells of fresh grass, and attempted to spot the big 5.
3. How to Hold a Knife Properly for Chopping.
These past months, my husband and I together read through Kitchen Counter Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn. In the book, the author gave cooking lessons to a group of ladies that were interested in doing a better job cooking as well as how to save money in the process.
The first lesson was on how to hold your knife properly. This small thing made a big difference in enjoying the prep process for our cooking. My husband will volunteer to chop for me as it chopping veggies has become a stress release for him. In addition, we have learned to roast a chicken, make homemade chicken broth, whip up a better omelet, and bake a no knead bread. The book was informative as well as a fun read.
4. Having Clothes that I Like and That Fit Properly Makes a Big Difference
Recently I was able to buy their sewing machine off of someone who was returning to their home country. One Saturday while my husband was flying, I tested it out by putting darts in two pairs of my pants. I hate wearing belts so wanted to be able to wear these pants without one. The darts worked and now I enjoy wearing these pants more often. Inspired by this success, I just recently put new elastic in another pair of pants that I kept having to pull up despite wearing a belt.
For the first time in a long time, I am enjoying the clothes that I have. I have a nice mix without too many. It is a blessing to be able to go pick something out quickly that is comfortable and will work for what I need to do that day. I still might need another pair of workout shorts so I don't have to wash clothes so often but for now I can make do.
5. Sometimes It Takes Going Away and Coming Back to Realize You are Home
When we came back from vacation in April, it had been my first time in and out of our country since we moved here a little over a year ago. It was wonderful to feel like we were coming home. We had our house, our jobs, our friends, and this was home. Feeling like a place is home is a gift. It does help that these past few months we have been putting personal touches around our house like paintings and throw pillows. But a home is more than stuff, it is the team we work with and the students I teach. It is the conversations with the guy who owns the grocery store, or the gardener who comes by selling me his produce. It is knowing that in this season this is where we are suppose to be.
What are some lessons that you have learned this Spring or whatever season you are in where you live?