9 In Books/ Just For Fun/ Savor Summer/ What I Learned

What I Learned in August

It’s that time again for a calendar turn and the reflection on what another month taught me – big or small. Maybe you want to join me in the practice of noticing?


  1. Keep an audio book in the car 

It takes me three minutes to get most places in this little town, eight if I’m going way out to Dominos. And yet, somehow, I’ve gotten through multiple audio books in the past month. The short errands and unnoticeable commutes add up and those minutes are worth using. (It is helpful to choose straightforward, quickly paced and engaging novels in order to keep track of the storyline with these short snippets of listening.)

2. Going to Disneyland intensifies my desire to return

On a whim, my sister and I decided to make a quick trip to Disneyland this summer. Spinning around on teacups underneath brightly colored lanterns and running from roller coaster to roller coaster is the epitome of happiness. The minute I walked out of the park through the turnstile and the melodies floating through Main Street USA began to fade I was ready to go back. I’m plotting to execute a Disneyland retreat with my husband ASAP.

3. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful (or functional)

I know Myquillyn Smith uses this as her mantra for homemaking, but I had to repeat it to myself over and over again while shopping for a new journal and pens. As it turns out I am a high maintenance journaler. I’ve been all about using basic spiral bound notebooks – but you have no idea how hard it is to find a good spiral notebook. The paper has to be thick, it needs to have at least several hundred sheets, the front has to look appealing – none of those cute kittens or that flowery nonsense, and heaven forbid the lines be wide ruled. I at last found one I deemed workable but it is still not ideal.

4. It is sometimes more helpful to read well-written books rather than read books about writing.

I love books on writing. I could read them all day. But I’m realizing I learn more about what actually works and what makes good writing by simply reading excellent literature.

5. Traveling at the end of summer is a good idea

Filling the days with different places and new experiences seemed to extend the last weeks of break a little. It also made returning home to routine and schedule appealing.

6. Using the cracks and crevices of minutes within your day can provide you with a plethora of reading time. 

I read 30 books this summer. (I reviewed them all over here.) I had several comments (wistfully) regarding the time commitment it would be to read that much. But the thing is, I did a lot of things besides read this summer. Yes, there were days I declared reading days in which I cozied up on the couch with a large stack of books for hours on end. But for the most part I fit these books into the nooks and crannies of my day or “Fringe Hours” as Jessica Turner has titled these minutes waiting for an appointment, sitting at the splash park while the kids I watch play happily, and the time spent winding down in the evening.

7. I’ve loved my experiments with minimalism

The start of August marked a whole year living in a studio apartment with a quarter of the possessions we had previously owned. I am so glad we chose this as our lifestyle for this season and listed seven reasons I love minimalism over here. 


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  • Reply
    September 2, 2016 at 11:49 am

    I enjoyed reading about what you learned in August! ^_^ Thanks for sharing. I’m going to look into getting an audio book for me to listen to with my kids while on outings!

    • Reply
      September 6, 2016 at 1:52 pm

      Audio books make me so excited to drive! Thanks for stopping by, Valerie!

  • Reply
    September 2, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    I wish I could get into audiobooks, but I just get too distracted! However, I do always have a book in my bag (can’t get into e-readers either) and I love having them around for when I’m waiting in lines or travelling. Good for you for reading 30 books, thats amazing!! <3

    • Reply
      September 6, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      I’m not an e-reader either. I take a book (or three) with me everywhere too! Audio books are hit or miss – I’ve found the lighter the material/less complicated the writing and storyline the easier it is to get into. But they aren’t for everyone!

      • Reply
        September 11, 2016 at 8:33 pm

        Ya, maybe one day I will give it another shot, but for now I’m ok with the little extra weight in books I’m carrying around 🙂

  • Reply
    September 4, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    I hope one of them i have..

  • Reply
    September 19, 2016 at 6:42 am

    Love this post and love the idea of a “what Ive learned this month/year” type of post! I am a bit new to the blogging world and Im curious how you created your graphic. Do you have an app?

    • Reply
      September 19, 2016 at 9:53 am

      Thanks, so glad you stopped by! I use picmonkey.com – it is a free online picture editing site.

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