Emily Freeman hosts a monthly link-up called “What I’ve learned this month” for both the  silly and serious things we learn. All kinds of learning! I’ve been meaning to do it since January, but ya’ll know how my life went down a different path than planned. So, April it is :). I learned …


1. The DVR may accidentally record a new show and you’ll like it. This is how I discovered Mr. Selfridge in the second season.

2. Golden Shanghai has delicious, authentic Chinese food! The Chinese friends who ate with us agree =). Not sure if being far, far away from me is good or bad. Probably both.

3. Four months into hosting the #Oneword365 monthly link-up, there are folks who’ve been linking up from the beginning. The slow, meandering unfolding of a word in their lives is helping me slow down myself.

Tulips at Monticello

4. I’ve worked with editor before, but this month I have a post I’ve been working on (check back Thursday) and had a small group of friends/editors look at it – WOW, did their input take it up a notch! Editing is good!

5. Grief is so very individual. I’m finding (and this won’t be a rocket science announcement here), many of us approach other people’s grief through the lens of our own experience. I sometimes feel a bit guilty I’m not doing worse than people expect. Or by not doing worse I’m dishonoring how much my dad meant to me. Life really does go on after loss. And it’s OK. And that doesn’t mean you didn’t love someone or they didn’t impact you or you don’t miss them. OK, so that’s a whole love of lessons in one point.   

6. I spoke at a Senior Monthly Luncheon (really, many of the people were quite elderly). I’d been told to keep my words to only ten minutes and not to be surprised if people didn’t listen to me. I spoke on several myths about China and the vast majority of the 190 or so present tracked and seemed rather engaged. Afterwards as I walked around the room, while they ate lunch, many wanted to keep talking with me (and I even got a kiss on the check from a lovely widower). Here is what I learned – they were engaged because they were approached as human beings. Not talked down to. They have lived rich full lives and just want space to share their stories and be reminded of their lives.

7. At Monticello I learned tulips used to be much shorter, but have been bred to have longer stems for vases.

8. Keep up with gardening. You can’t really take a year or two off. I’ll leave it at that.


9. And one from March – Hire someone to record the funeral or memorial service of your loved one. We did, but we thought it was for the purpose of family members who weren’t able to attend my father’s service in February. In March, when a friend was visiting and she also hadn’t been able to attend, Mom and I watched the service with her. Later we commented how helpful it was to watch again when we weren’t in the midst of it. So, yes, record for those who can’t be there; but even if everyone is able to attend, record it for yourself.

How about you? What’s something you learned in April?

Leave A Comment

  1. Amy L. April 30, 2014 at 8:33 am - Reply

    Wonderful lessons…I learned quite a bit! Yes, grieving is a process, so thanks for sharing that it is OK to let life go on. Our loved ones are still in our hearts as we go on living life as they would want us to. Praise God for the time we had with them!

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      Amy May 5, 2014 at 6:55 am - Reply

      Amy L, isn’t it good the learning continues! :) (are we teacher geeks, or what?!)

  2. Jessa April 30, 2014 at 11:22 am - Reply

    Hi, Amy. Sorry it’s been a while, and sorry for your loss. (I’ve been reading, but haven’t been up for commenting, even for something as simple as offering my condolences… sorry.) Thanks for sharing your lessons… I especially like the one from March–it’s something I wish I’d done for my babies’ memorial services.

    I learned in April that I could go back to work even though it felt impossibly difficult. And I learned that my students need to be taught compassion, because most of them don’t have any for anyone. And I learned sometimes you have to leave a place, even if on the surface it seems you should be able to stay, and the people want you to stay.

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      Amy May 5, 2014 at 6:52 am - Reply

      Oh Jessa, whenever you pop in here, I’m happy to hear from you! Looks like April was a significant month for you. Wow.

  3. Chunmei May 6, 2014 at 6:57 am - Reply

    I really like this one. It reminds me of “intentionality” and how we can be the observer of our own life. I am inspired by your “learning” idea and I am encouraged to do so. Thank you.

  4. Chunmei May 6, 2014 at 7:01 am - Reply

    Like it! Reminds me of “intentionality”. That’s quite a good idea of learning every month!

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