Three Things That Brought Me Joy This Month – And Two Things That Didn’t

Published by The Connected Reader on


For the past few years, I’ve been doing a monthly reflection that includes recapping the month, thinking about how I stayed well, what I’m grateful for, and what I want to continue, start, and stop. I enjoy doing this reflection, and I’ve noticed that I often identify the same things I want to start and stop over and over again. To give myself a little more motivation and accountability, I’m going to start sharing a bit of my monthly reflection with y’all. Read on for the things that brought me joy in January – and the things that didn’t.

What brought you joy in January? What didn’t?

Three Things That Brought Me Joy In January

Connecting with my people

Quality time is a huge part of the intentions I have for 2024 and I really prioritized this in January. We had two family meetups with Big E’s (my 8-year-old) friends from school, we started a monthly park meet-up with friends we’ve known forever and don’t ever get to see enough, and we had a double date night with friends. I also got to have an epic three hour long catchup dinner with a friend, a coffee date with another friend, and phone calls and Facetimes with a few others. It was a lot of connecting for my introverted self, but it was the cup-filling kind.

Golden Oreos

Which type of Oreo is better and why is it the golden ones? I bought a package of these at the grocery store because a child wanted them and they just hit the spot. A couple as a post-lunch sweet treat really brought me joy in the afternoons this month.

Taylor Swift sing-along car dance parties

You haven’t lived til your three children are belting out “Wildest Dreams” in the backseat. I spend a lot of time driving children to and from places every day and our current shared love of all things Taylor is delightful

Two Things That Didn’t

Shin splints

So, I made peace with how I would never be a runner about 10 years ago. And then, for some inexplicable reason, I started to feel the urge to run again. I started Couch to 5k this month and was feeling good about the movement – except that I developed excruciating shin splints. I tried different sneakers and shoe inserts, but within five minutes of starting my runs, my shins and ankles would be on fire, and when I stopped running, I felt like my legs would give out. Within five minutes of resting, the pain and weakness would be totally gone. I felt really frustrated and was ready to just give up the whole thing, but I took a breath and pivoted to doing the interval training on the bike and I’ve been really enjoying it pain free.

Holding onto things that used to be true

For a while now, I’ve believed that there is no full-time job that can offer me the flexibility and autonomy I need in my life. A few things have changed and clicked into place for me recently, and I’ve realized that I’m letting past experiences and a season of burnout influence how I feel about the present. With this new awareness, I am slowly, but with less hesitation, moving forward on a new path in my professional career – and I am starting to feel excited about it.


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