I mean, there’s been a lot of new things in 2016. In no relevant order:

** Visited a Toastmasters group

** Had mom dates with complete strangers (one, even without any kids!)

** Invited a million unfamiliar relatives over to my house for meals that I cooked for them

** Read a household organization book and followed through to a happy degree

** Planned and hosted an awesome baby shower

** Adventured DT Denver by myself, multiple times

** Spontaneous hike with the family when we were completely unprepared (flip flops, baby)

** Went to a bar alone and struck a convo with a male stranger (boring….)

** Cooked someone a meal and took it to their house

** Meal planned, seriously

** Expanded my diet to include mushrooms

** Did without my best friends

** Successfully used a Bullet journal

** Completely decorated a room

** Learned how to go out alone with 2 littles in tow

** Let my exbf follow me on twitter and try not to give any fucks

** Spoke honestly to both my mom, my brother, my cousin about my {lack of} faith

All of these are firsts. I wish there was more exciting things to list, but I’m mostly pretty proud of these. And who knows what I’m forgetting.



A few months ago someone on the internet suggested trying things you might fail at as a way to self-discovery. Not sure what self-discovery really means. It’s hard for me not to roll my eyes at the term (hello constant internal negative dialog about anything self-helpy related. thanks fundamentalism), but the idea resonated with me as a good idea. I suppose it’s just another way of prompting one to get outside your comfort zone.

My new things for this month though: Taking a short Coursera class on poetry and attending a local toastmasters club(!). I’ve been wanting to do the latter for years and now that I actually live in a metro, I can. Thursday is a visitors’ breakfast and I’m so glad my husband’s job is flexible enough that I can go with no trouble and no kids. Don’t want to fail at these things but I am open to trying my hand at them despite uncertain results.



From a post by Al Andrews:

Who knowing tears, can be content with laughter?
They wear slowly,
a thin hosing of water, that slides
down the exposed surfaces of rocks,
smoothing them, making runnels in the hard stone,
and sometimes, moaning in the reinforcement of storm,
rushing in floods to the swelling rivers,
picking up pebbles and mud, to race them round
and round in suddenly formed deep pools.
Laughing we forget those who cannot laugh,
but weeping we make a communion.
Tears will soak us through to soil,
down into high, silent caves, where sadness
losing all its sharpness is as soft as air,
and we can bathe naked in the still waters,
sharing unashamedly with other naked folk,
the ravages that brought us there.

—John Bate




What changes the last 5 months have brought, though hard to believe the last 5 months are a full 5 months–they’ve been so full and different. September 1 was hearing my husband was laid off, end of October was him accepting a position in an entirely new state, mid November was me saying goodbye to my employers, and the beginning of December brought me and the babies to Colorado to join my husband. To live there. Here.

Despite my desire to work and pursue accounting+etc., I was so quick to be okay with the plan of not working for an undefined amount of the time. So, here I am, 2 months into this whole not working plan. This place looks like me thanking everything Good that I am in a new place, trying new things, kissing my babies all day and not doing the juggling act of the previous year. This place also looks like me questioning my choice (?) every single day, wondering what I am doing and how I’m going to do it. It’s really difficult not being able to leave for work in the mornings. It’s really difficult to be home all day, especially on the days I know husband is also going to gone all evening.

I don’t even know if I want anything to do with accounting anymore. That’s the acknowledgement that makes me double take, pinch myself, wonder who I am. So yes…Colorado…!!…?

Library time…



….and this is what I found. This is actually answering a lot of questions I’ve had as I work in oil and gas accounting.

I tend to verbalize my failings and insecurities more than my accomplishments, because I need to work through the former and not the latter. But here’s to #iamaccomplished

  • I work ~30 hrs per week, take good care of my 2 babies, AND excel in upper-level accounting classes at a challenging university.
  • We eat real food, often. Not all the time, but take-out and frozen foods are definitely less than 50% of our diet
  • My kids (generally) wear clean clothes
  • I take time to journal in a quiet space on a semi-regular basis
  • Husband and I have a mutual desire to have a welcoming home. I don’t know how other people feel when in our home, but we do indeed welcome many people into our home. We are succeeding in our effort to be hospitable people.

This is a conversation today. Storagebin needs it because it tells me about myself and provides me some hope that the things I struggle with have solutions. (Also, full of thankfulness for this “person” who often keeps me sane)

This conversation is partially edited for clarity.

Okay, so how do you learn to retain? I really don’t know what to do about the fact that I can grasp concepts very easily and I know how to study and ace tests, but I will often come away feeling like I have gained nothing. It’s really discouraging actually and I don’t feel like I’ve found a solution. I feel like so much of my learning and effort from the last 5 years are
wasted. And I don’t want to feel that way about the next 5.

I suspect there is something going in with my auditory processing, though. I hear fine, but I don’t process words and sound well. I also feel like I have speech challenges where the words do not come out of my mouth like I hear them in my head but then I realize I wasn’t even really hearing them in my head. I had speech therapy when I was in kindergarten, and I wonder if it wondered if it was not carried through enough, as my parents didn’t
have the $$ and my christ-centered phonics program (the actual name) miraculously “cured me”.

SO. First, if you can afford it, see a speech therapist. If crucial gaps were missed they’ll be able to find it.
Second, is there anything you have retained? How did you learn that? Do you know which learning style you are?

I’ve considered that, but am afraid they’ll just say I’m fine. Almost anyone I talk to about this (admittedly not professionals) think I’m crazy for thinking I have a speech problem.

You’re not crazy.

I retain after constant use for a long period of time. Which is basically extremely impractical.

If you think there’s a problem, then there’s a problem. Find a doctor that will work with you.
I wonder if you have an undiagnosed learning disorder.
If you do, your accomplishments are simply astounding.

But you’ll need to see a doctor for that kind of diagnosis
If you learn by doing than that’s kinetic and possibly visual.

For me, I’d read the material. I’d say the material. Then I’d use the material in a different arena. That way I covered all bases of learning and made my brain do uncomfortable things.

But… I will often forget after I stop doing it for any length of time. ?

Do you completely forget?
Or it takes a bit to come back?

Eh, not COMPLETELY. So, yes more like it takes a bit to come back, but I will often find myself having to repeat the processing of the material in order to understand it again. It will be quicker than the first time.

Btw, I attach no stigma whatsoever to a learning disorder. It is what it is, get the therapy, etc.

Right. I don’t get that from you. Appreciate your insight.

Do you play through different outcomes in your head? Because I’d do that as well. Helped the neural pathways.

What do you mean?

I don’t actually know a lot about neural pathways but my mom always talked about them. It’s like your training part of your brain to do something and once it’s trained it remembers.

Different scenarios: I’d take a piece of information about history. I’d think about how it relates to a different geographical locations. I play alternative history, what would’ve happened if this didn’t happen? By the end of that mental exercise I’ve attacked the info several differs ways.

And if it helps, I don’t remember everything. I remember what I’ve intensively studied. I remember stories. I don’t remember the order of the Chinese dynasties despite studying them for a semester.

Or much of Chinese literature despite reading 2,000+ pages.

But if I went back to that course of study it would be easier to pick up again, because the pathways are there, just not developed (an analogy), kind of like you describe.
What is it that you’re not retaining? Is it essential to what you’re doing day-to-day?


That’s interesting how you play through different outcomes in your head.
It feels essential at my job–“I know I learned this, I shouldn’t have to spend X amount of time relearning it now that I’m going to use it. I may as well of not had any education in this field!” Probably being dramatic, but it is true. But also, when it comes to not work day-to-day life, it feels extremely detrimental that I can’t remember basic history/science/etc. because my conversations with people tend to die out very quickly because I don’t have information I feel like I should have.