A Few Things I Learned In November

One of the things I love about blogging is writing in community with  writing friends. One of my favorite “writing groups” is over at Chatting At The Sky where Emily Freeman just comes up with such clever ways to write in community. For a few months now I have been participating in her monthly wrap-up where we share “A Few Things We Learned…..” during the previous month.

Here is my wrap up. I may have more fun here than you. So if you don’t have a hankering (great Southern word) for random things, or if you don’t like lists, step away from the computer now. Or stick around and see if you are up for a little November list of what I learned in the last few weeks.

1. I may learn more about humanity, spirituality, kindness, the human condition and what it means to be part of the “sea of humanity” when I visit the Dollar General than anywhere else. I have seen, heard, and witnessed some amazing things in this little place. And I  have written about some of it here.  I am very likely to write more about it in another post. It is where I am getting some of my best “writing inspiration” as well as where I meet some really neat people.

2. Sometimes you can touch a soul by “paying it forwards” or “sideways”.  After lunch after church last week, as we were checking out of another little store in our little town, we noticed an elderly woman had forgotten her money and was unable to complete her purchase of an allergy medication. She left the store without her medicine so  we picked up the tab in an effort to help. My daughter ran out to the parking lot, gave her the package and told her we understood as we have allergy sufferers in our family. That one small moment reminds me to pay attention, to be available in the small things, and some of life’s sweetest lessons for our children are taught in the classroom of the real world. True that? And that her gratitude and reaction will never be forgotten by one teenage girl.

3. Sometimes you cannot fathom in your wildest dreams (well that is a bit of an exaggeration but hey, I am going with it) that you would get a song stuck in your head repeatedly. Well now said song has a new version which is on you tube which now allows you to have the song stuck in your head 23/7 and the cool video version from the Florida State Accabells. See what you think. And tell me how many times you want to watch it. Be honest…

4. True Confessions….this little girl has stolen my heart. I love the look of the little boy beside her who doesn’t get a word in edge-wise, not one, because she totally steals the show. I learned that there are some advertisements that just totally knock it out of the park and I might stay in the room, and turn up the volume and  enjoy the ad more than some slash most television shows.

5. I have just finished a 12 week writing workshop over at Tweetspeak PoetryIn the
“The Writing Life” my expectations were surpassed ya’ll. In every way. And I met some of the most amazingly talented writers. Trust was developed, friendships made, and a writing group was formed, consisting of women spread out all over the country. From coast to coast, literally. On those days when I want to throw the internet under the bus, an opportunity comes along to provide me with a virtual classroom and the internet is redeemed. I am once again amazed at the ability it has to make my world better and smaller. On a good day. As in the last 12 weeks. I am a believer. For now. I am also apt to change my mind. Ya’ll if you have an opportunity to join a workshop at Tweetspeak, go there, do that, and then come back and tell me how over the moon you found it to be.

6. Have you ever heard a word cuter than peabiddie. Yeah, me either. My good friend Shelly Miller, who blogs at Redemption’s Beauty sent me a message last week in which she recommended a read a book by Flannery O’Connor entitled “Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose”.  Shelly,  who lives a hop skip and a jump from me, knows my love of “Southern voice”. She may not have known that I have a mild obsession with peacocks, which paired with my obsession with words is a match made in heaven when you stumble back on the word “peabiddie.” Ya’ll it is too precious. I learned when a friend, especially a writer friend suggests you get your hands on a book, get you hands on that book. And discover how well you are known.

7. The night that you want to skip your new “bible study” which isn’t a bible study but rather a couples group which is studying a book on simplicity is always the night you were meant to be there. So I learned again that your internal desire not to so something will align in direct proportion with the ways you will be touched and impacted and changed.

8. Many slash most experts recommend blog posts not exceed 500 words. That means I may have just lost many of my readers back up there on an earlier number and so I should wrap things up here.

9. I need the “bible study” I am taking on simplicity.

10. And I am reminded again of my love of poetry which may help my prose in terms of brevity and word economies. Just saying.

11. People never really grow tired of being thanked properly.So…. Thank you for being here. You have a hundred and one things you could choose to do with you time. Thank you for choosing to be here.

12. If your husband invites you to go for a walk in the mountains, down a road that you’ve never been down because you are guests of friends at their mountain home which you have never been to, GO. When he says he wants to show you the rabbits he found on this road, he meant it. He means it. And you will have the beautiful opportunity to feed a rabbit the carrots you brought on the “rabbit” walk.

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4 thoughts on “A Few Things I Learned In November

  1. 7. The night that you want to skip your new “bible study” which isn’t a bible study but rather a couples group which is studying a book on simplicity is always the night you were meant to be there. ***So I learned again that your internal desire not to so something will align in direct proportion with the ways you will be touched and impacted and changed.***

    I can relate to this on so many levels and 100% agree. It’s always the night you REALLY don’t want to go that you needed to be there most. I think there is something else at work in that as well, and after #6 on your list, I’m going to go ahead and recommend The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. I discovered this book on one of those days I felt like I’d rather crawl in a hole and die than do literally anything else. While I was sulking my friend called me and challenged me to pick up this book (which she had lent me) and read it for 15 minutes (she must have known I hadn’t started it yet…), and then call her back and tell her how I was feeling. I tried to argue that she wasn’t understanding where I was at, but okay fine! 15 minutes later, I literally slammed the book shut, dried my sulky little eyes, and got up to conquer the world! No joke. Anyway- it’s got some bizarre theology (mysticism-esque) toward the end, but it will give you the swift kick in the pants you need to do the very thing you need to do most in that very moment. Sorry- this is totally coming from a random stranger, I just really connected with your point! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Totally agree with #6, I LOVE it when writing friends tell me a book is good and I should read it, thank goodness for Amazon 1-click purchases! 😉 Also, I love your writing style so feel free to exceed that 500 word limit any day! 🙂 So glad you linked up so that I could find your blog, I will be visiting again!

    Kailey

  3. Elizabeth, well, this list confirms it again. I’ve got a hankering to come visit you, sashay on down to the Dollar General, pay it sideways at a coffee shop and then sit for a long time to hear all about your adventures in reading and poetry and visiting with bunnies. I just love you more all the time. Yes, I do. Thank you. Reading your words makes me happy.

  4. Love your list, you are such a gem. My list vanished in the great magic act that stole my peace last week. It’s all in my head, as it should be. Hugs. And I’m so glad you are enjoying that book, makes me happy.

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