Anne Bogel at Modern Mrs. Darcy writes:
This isn’t an easy month—or an easy season—for many of us. To beat back the gloom, today we’re sharing the things—big or small—that are saving us right now…
[“What is saving your life right now?”] is a good question. Most of us know what’s killing us, and can articulate it, if asked. But few of us pay attention to what’s giving us life. The question invites you to do just that.
I’m thankful that January hasn’t felt gloomy to me this year (Our warm temperatures might have had something to do with it!). And while “saving my life” seems like pretty strong language, I did enjoy thinking about some of the things that are making this new year just a little sweeter. Here’s my list:
- Dr. Pepper. Obviously this isn’t a great healthy thing, but at the moment I can’t imagine my days without it. I’ll work on cutting back… later.
- Our new electric kettle. I can’t really explain why this is so much nicer than just heating a cup of water in a microwave, but IT IS. I’m drinking lots of tea these days, and it’s hitting the spot.
- Listening to the Audible app with Stephen. We’re listening to one of our favorite book series right now, and this is how we decompress in the evening, pass time in the car, and entertain ourselves while we fold laundry. It’s replaced Netflix for us at the moment, which is a nice change of pace.
- Sunshine. We’re getting lots of it, and I’m soaking up warm days in the back yard. (This picture is not our yard. We went on a church retreat a couple of weeks ago and were so glad to be able to enjoy some outside recreation!)
- Kids playing outside. Outside games entertain them for much longer than inside games, and the house stays clean!
- The Lazy Sisters podcast. More than once I found myself doubled over with laughter in the kitchen as I listened to these funny sisters chatting about Nicholas Sparks, pop culture, and childhood memories.
- The What Should I Read Next podcast. Lots of interesting book talk here! I’m getting lots of good ideas for future reads by listening to Anne Bogel (see above) and her “literary matchmaking.”
- Friend time. I began this year feeling kind of isolated. But I am so thankful for shared meals, after-school chats at the park, and after-bedtime coffee with friends.
- Less social media. I’ve deleted my apps and have scaled way back on my SM intake. Even with my really selective news feeds, I was still feeling the mental chaos of TOO MUCH INFORMATION. So I’m reading books instead, and it’s a better pace for me.
- More books. (See above)
- Packing lunches. This one practice has revolutionized my days. I pack lunches for the kids the night before, even if we’re all going to be home the next day. Not having to prepare or clean up lunch makes my day a hundred times easier and happier. (Obviously, I don’t do this consistently every single day. But the days that I do have to make lunch make me that much more thankful for the days I don’t.)
- Unpainted toenails. It sounds funny that this would be such a stress reliever, but I think it’s just one less thing to maintain.
- Not having pets. Our chickens and our dogs all went to the Happy Hunting Ground in December, and it has been a huge relief to have only human needs to consider for a while.
- Jane Austen. Stephen and I watched the BBC Pride and Prejudice and the BBC Emma at the beginning of January. I listened to P&P on Audible, and I’m now listening to Emma through the Loyal Books app (not as good as Audible, but free!). And, um, now I’m watching Emma again on nights when Stephen is away.