Monday, January 9, 2017

Bookclub and Wedding Dress Update

First of all, THANK YOU! to all of you who responded to me via Facebook, Facebook Messenger, by commenting on my blog, or texting me. I appreciate your help so much!

And the result is:  Olivia found the perfect wedding dress!  We bought it Saturday!  A friend of ours who read my blog post kindly went to a bridal store in her town (about 80 miles from here) and asked if they had a dress in the style we were looking for. They did! And since we had been at my parents house (to spend the night so Jimmy, Julie, and Big Sam could run a marathon and Clay a half, but the race was cancelled due to ice and freezing cold temperatures---another story) and would be passing through Starkville on our way home, Olivia, Leah, Sam, and I stopped by. The dress was beautiful! It fits her perfectly, and only needs hemming.

So now on to our bookclub!  Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin, chapter 2 (the chapters are not numbered, but this chapter is titled, "Different Solutions for Different People:  Distinctions".
What a fun chapter! As I read through the descriptions of each set of pairs, I frequently would say to myself, "It depends....". While for some of the choices I definitely am one or the other, but for some of them it really depends on the area in my life.

Here is the rundown of the distinctions and in which one I chose to categorize myself. (Depending on the habit I was considering.)

  • Lark or Owl?  I am definitely a lark. I stay up later than I intend most nights getting Leah and Sam to bed, turning off the lights, setting up the coffee pot, reading for a few minutes, etc. but I function so much better and more efficiently in the early mornings. In fact, I am pretty much done mentally and physically by suppertime. My preferred wake-up time is 5:00 AM.
  • Marathoner, Sprinter, or Procrastinator? Well, in the running world I am definitely a marathoner, literally at some points in my life. I am NOT fast. But in all areas of my life I prefer to work on projects, tasks, housework, and anything that requires planning with a slow and steady pace. I tend to begin working on things way before they are due, and I like to make lists and charts to plan and mark my progress along the way. Sometimes my life gets hectic, and even though I have a slow marathon plan, as the deadline approaches I sometimes have to sprint to catch up!  I do not consider myself a procrastinator at all. :)
  • Underbuyer or Overbuyer? It depends. I overbuy items like toilet paper, paper towels, kleenex, washing detergent, toothpaste, school supplies, etc. Anything that would be highly inconvenient to run out of. However, I underbuy clothes and shoes for myself. I usually am at Walmart or Old Navy buying some item of clothing I need for a vacation the day before we leave!
  • Simplicity or Abundance Lover? I think I lean more toward simplicity. I like to have adequate amount of supplies that I need, but I do not hoard things, nor do I like a lot of clutter in my home. In fact, clutter is my enemy! :) I like an empty shelf, a half-full drawer, and I love quiet. No background music for me!
  • Finisher or Opener? Both. I love to try new things! But I usually finish whatever I start. I like the satisfaction of finishing a project, of meeting a deadline, of planning an event, or of completing a running plan.  I will not knowingly open something I do not plan to finish.
  • Familiarity or Novelty Lover?  Definitely familiarity. That's why we are about to take our 8th trip to DisneyWorld (the 5th trip with Kelly and Lynn) and why our other vacations are at the same beach (Seaside) or a national park. I like doing the same things in the same order every day. Too much novelty in my day stresses me.
  • Promotion or Prevention Focuses?  I think I focus mostly on promotion. I get a lot of satisfaction from keeping my habits, and if my family notices and compliments me, well that's just icing on the cake!  :)
  • Small Steps or Big Steps?   I like to take small steps. I set goals that I know I can achieve, then after that I raise the bar a little bit higher. Baby steps. Baby steps. 
At the end of the chapter Gretchen poses a series of questions. I wrote my answers in a notebook. Pondering the answers to these questions can help you figure out how to best motivate yourself to keep your habits and achieve your goals.

So how does this look in real life? I'll take personal Bible study for an example. Let's say that I have a goal of increasing my time spent reading, studying and meditating upon God's Word. Based on how I answered the sets of pairs above, here is how I would strive to meet my goal.

1. Since I'm a lark I will set time aside each morning for my Bible time. My goal is 45 minutes each morning. 
2. As a marathoner, I will select a reading and studying plan that stretches out the task over a set period of time. Like reading the Bible in 90 days or copying several books of the Bible in 6 months.
3. I will underbuy for this habit. All I need is my Bible, Frixion pens, and a notebook or two.
4. I want simplicity during my Bible time. Quiet. No people around. (Which is why I wake up at 5:00).
5. I will be a finisher in my Bible time. I will not "open" a different method of studying every couple of days. I will choose my method and my routine, and I will stick to that for the duration of the goal.
6. I prefer familiarity in my Bible time. I do the same things in the same order each morning.
7. Bible study can be both promotion and prevention focused. 
8. As in most areas of my life, I like to take small steps. A little each day, building slowly, but hopefully retaining what is most important. 

What about you? Did you like choosing which pair better described you and your habits? What would you like to share?

We will read Chapter 3: "We Manage What We Monitor:  Monitoring" next Monday.
Enjoy the reading!


  1. I am so happy for Olivia!!!! She will look beautiful in that dress.

    I haven't done the questions (need to) at the end of the chapter. But here's what I am in each category--I really had to think about a couple of these:

    Lark or Owl? I prefer being a lark, as I get more done and feel better that way; but realistically speaking I'm often an owl because my children go to bed around 9ish and then I often read, pedicure/manicure (last night!), tidy, etc. Getting up at 6:00 is my goal, but it's hard to meet at times! (I am a devoted sleeper and try to get 7-9 hours every night.)

    Marathoner, Sprinter, or Procrastinator? Definitely a marathoner. I hate procrastination and do not work well under pressure.

    Underbuyer or Overbuyer? I am under underbuyer for sure! Except when it comes to something totally worthwhile; for instance, I found 10 signed oil paintings at the thrift store for $2-$4 each recently. I bought them all. (They were gorgeous.) Then I took them home and did research and discovered that this artist sells her smallest paintings for about $800 each. I was pleased at my abundance. ;)

    Simplicity or Abundance Lover? Simplicity!!

    Finisher or Opener? This one was harder for me. I like to try new projects, but sometimes struggle to finish them all (this is also true with books); however, I LOVE the feeling of wrapping up a project or a book, so I usually do it unless I deem it futile (like one of my daughter's dresses that was just annoying to sew--I quit and did not regret it...or a book that is just not that good...I won't finish it and I don't care!). I think I'm both.

    Familiarity or Novelty Lover? Familiarity. I love the familiar. I like exploring new places *sometimes* but what makes me happiest is revisiting the familiar. I honestly think I could spend most of my time in my house and on our farm and be perfectly content. Cabin fever is hard for me to catch. :)

    Small Steps or Big Steps? Small steps, but with the big goal in mind!

    I need to ponder this more. I've come up with a new cleaning and tidying regime so far this year, and am thinking of trying to implement a better habit for my workouts (it's so hard for me to workout first thing in the morning--my body is just too creaky--but if I don't, the day is busy and it's much harder to do it later!).

    Thanks, Roan. And hooray again for the dress!

  2. Yes, priorities can shift by the day, week, month or year; sometimes, there are shifts minute-by-minute.