I’ve been feeling pretty grouchy lately, so Anne Bogel’s annual midwinter linkup has been especially timely. “Most of us know what’s killing us,” she writes, “but few of us pay attention to what’s giving us life.”
This was an exercise I needed today, when my grievances were ready on my tongue, but thoughts of my (many!) blessings were on the back burner. So, without further ado:
Stephen. I’m so thankful for his flexible schedule and his willingness to pick up my slack around the house. He plays with the kids, gives me chances to put my feet up, makes my ice cream and coffee, and generally tolerates my late-pregnancy complaints without comment.
Parents. I know that I COULD get by without having my parents and in-laws close by, but it’s so nice having them in and out of our regular routines. My mom and dad pop in and out, giving me company and diverting the banshees, and Stephen’s parents have been especially helpful to help watch the kids while I go to my frequent doctor visits.
The kids. So this one is tricky, because they’re also the ones driving me to the brink of insanity most days, but it would be completely dishonest not to put them on this list as well. Just when I’m starting to unravel completely, I’ll catch Abby and Jem deep in some imagined game together, I’ll overhear Leah singing to her baby doll, or I’ll spend time with some other kids that make me realize how much I DO adore my three the best of all!
Now, much less significant, but noteworthy just the same:
Bitmoji. Leslie introduced me to this personalized emoji keyboard– since I am no longer capable of expressing myself with actual words when I’m engaged in text conversations, I appreciate the breadth of emotions that are now at my fingertips. My favorites are the ones that are grumpy and snarky (as you can tell), and somehow using these to vent my frustrations DOES make me feel better.
Bedtime. You know what’s amazing about bedtime? It comes around, even on the hardest days. Just knowing that 7:00 WILL arrive helps me to persevere through midday slumps. (7:00 is when the kids go to bed, which is the start of my relaxing hours, and then 10:00 is my OWN bedtime, which is also a moment when I hear the angels sing.)
Instagram. I have had conversations about this, so I know I’m not the only one who does this. When I’m grouchy I like to scroll through my own pictures, to help me remember how sweet my life really is.
The Boppy wedge. I could never deal with those giant wraparound pillows that some people swear by, but this tiny wonder makes all the difference between an amazing and backbreaking night’s sleep. It’s small enough to carry with me at all times, whether I’m just going from right side to left side, or all the way to Wisconsin.
Leah’s new obsession with “doing the dishes.” Not only is this one of those moments that reminds me how cute she is, it’s a way for her to be happy in the kitchen while NOT being in my arms. And she only dumps giant cupfuls of water all over the floor *some* of the time.
Weekly non-stress tests and doctor visits. Once a week, I’m instructed by a medical professional to sit alone in a room with a book and swooshing ambient noise for thirty minutes. Yes, please! I just wish I could figure out a way to maintain my luxurious prenatal care regimen even after Caboose is born so I could keep up with the relaxing and also not be pregnant any more.
Getting dressed. I went into detail about this in a previous post, so I won’t belabor the point again, except to say this: the pleasure of facing the day in a thoughtfully chosen outfit is matched only by the pleasure of changing into (my husband’s) soft pajamas in the evening.
(Like time hops? Check out my January lifesavers from last year!)