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  • Writer's pictureSarah Sisson Rollandini

5 Things I Learned This Spring

Following Anne Bogel's lead (who is following Emily Freeman's lead), I'm sharing a few things I learned in the month of May.

1. My yard is a goldmine

We've recently screened in a patio area underneath our great-room addition and, as a result, were in need of some new landscaping plants. After perusing our local greenhouse and pricing hostas ($10-$25), hydrangeas ($17-$35), and ferns ($10-$15), I realized our wisest move was to use plants we already had growing in our yard. Along with a few hanging baskets from a discount greenhouse, our previously crowded perennials have spruced up our backyard for a fraction of the price of shopping retail.

2. I (still) love my job

The last day for high school seniors brought tears in my classroom this year. One student who'd spend 3 years in my sign language class posted a thank-you note of sorts on Facebook and a string of current and former students responded in kind. With all of the bad publicity about public schools and people's general hostility toward teachers, my students' kind words were a reminder of why I do what I do. I teach. I inspire. I impact the future and my students reward me by keeping me young and instilling hope for a better tomorrow. Teaching is more than a job; it's a noble calling that I wouldn't trade for all the green in Bill Gates' stockpile.

3. Not every bestseller is my cup of tea

I usually trust my favorite podcast for book recommendations. With the promise that every child of the 1980's would love it, I placed Ready Player One on hold at my local library and cracked the book open with plans to devour it in short order. For me, this book was like reading an instruction manual on how to assemble a Made-in-China bookshelf, only less exciting and with more (way more) words. Reading the book reminded me of when my son attempts to explain a favorite video game to me and I attempt to remain awake and act interested. Perhaps the movie is better? I guess I'll have to read the reviews because I have no plans to schlep to the theater to see it. I have to cut my losses somewhere!

4. Getting older has its challenges

I finally received a long awaited "go ahead" for an MRI from my insurance company. I've had nagging lower back pain since last fall, but had to endure 3 months of "conservative care" (read: time-devouring physical therapy) before said company would shell out the $2,000 to cover the scan. The result? I have a little arthritis and a semi-bulging disc, but nothing requiring surgery. So unless I'm ok with every sneeze being accompanied by a scream of agony, it's back to the office for more physical therapy. I have tons of time in which to make this happen, of course. Yes, getting older can be challenging, but it's better than the alternative, no?

Art by Elizabeth Elswick at The Hippie's Daughter on Etsy

5. Shopping on Etsy supports artists and craftsfolk

After spending 8 hours with my mom hunting for the perfect wall art for our newly enclosed patio (see #1, above), I hopped on Etsy to find exactly the piece I was looking for, with a slight size modification. Elizabeth and I traded messages back and forth until she had the dimensions just right and I received a beautifully bubble-wrapped and twined package about a week later with a hand-written thank-note. My one-of-a-kind purchase supports an artisan who is using her creative gifts to make the world more lovely. I can't wait to shop Etsy again!

What have you learned this spring?

Until next time,



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