“Saving my life” might seem dramatic, but in the dead of winter in Indianapolis – I would argue not!
I am taking part in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s annual “What’s Saving My Life Right Now” series, scheduled every year for February 2nd (today), which is…wait for it… the HALFWAY point of winter.
(Did you cry a little right there? I know I did.)
So why this series? I’ll let her explain (emphasis mine):
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.
The idea comes from Barbara Brown Taylor’s wonderful memoir Leaving Church. Even though most of us can easily articulate what’s killing us, few of us pay attention to what’s giving us life.
Once when Taylor was invited to speak at a gathering, her host told her simply, “Tell us what is saving your life right now.” She says it’s too good a question not to revisit from time to time.
I love the inherent posture of gratitude in a list like this, which is something I try to practice as often as I can – especially when I’m in a winter (or any season) slump. So, without further ado, here is what’s saving my life right now:
- Sirius XM radio
- I don’t mind my commute nearly as much when there is music I enjoy – and no commercials! – to listen to. Certain lyrics will hit me in a particular way that makes me think, or a beat will get stuck in my head, and it just propels me through my day. I haven’t been good about seeking out new music since high school, but Sirius is doing it for me now and helping me discover new favorites already!
- Heated rice bag for my shoulders after work
- This is a super busy time at work for me, PLUS it’s cold outside, so using a heated rice bag has been soothing for me in the evenings. I sleep way more soundly after I use it, my muscles seem less tense, and now I’ve been conditioned to relax simply with the smell of rice 😉 (#pavlov #notreally)
- Morning stretches
- To go with the above, I have a 10-minute morning stretch routine I’ve been doing that sets my whole day off on the right foot. It’s easy for me to get stiff and achey while at my desk all day, so starting my day with some light stretching really centers me for the day and helps me focus on working out any kinks in my muscles before heading out. Not to mention it has cured my sciatic pain! Plus, doing it first thing means I actually do it. I’ve tried to make a habit of stretching in the evenings before but…I am way more likely to fall into bed vs. stay up and stretch for a few minutes at the end of the day. #knowyourself
- Jeopardy competitions with Nathan
- Somehow we got into the habit of watching Jeopardy every night after dinner, and not long after, it became a competition (because duh, do you even know us?). So now every night we face off and see who can get the most questions right. It’s just a half hour each evening, but I find myself looking forward to it as an anchor at the end of my day! (Probably because I win all the time cough- nerd bragging – cough.)
- Serial podcast
- I finished Season One in less than two weeks, and it. was. awesome! Having a story I was invested and interested in made me want to get out of bed in the morning. I listened while walking, while driving, while folding laundry… I was into it, and it made my day-to-day tasks fly by.
- Hot tea
- This is true year round, but especially when it’s cold. Tea becomes not just enjoyable but also functional when I drink it to warm up from the inside out! Ending my day with a mug of chamomile is one of the bedtime routines I enjoy most.
- Matching PJs
- A luxury that makes going to bed feel extra cozy and relaxing! This time of year, I love pulling out the 2 pairs of flannel matching PJ sets that make me feel all hunkered down at the end of a long day. I even have a matching eye mask for one of them, too. #fashionista
- Vanilla candle
- Lighting our vanilla candle while we’re hanging out at home makes me feel peaceful. Oftentimes in the past, I’ve neglected to notice the “margin” we have when our lives are busier. By lighting a candle when we do have downtime, I am more aware of it – that we are going to be at home long enough to enjoy a lit candle somehow gives it more impact in my head and overall. I feel way more recharged when I’ve recognized the margin in our lives and am better able to tackle the busy stuff because of it. Lighting a candle is helping me with both that way 🙂
These are my lifesavers right now, and I’d love to hear yours. As Modern Mrs. Darcy says, “Winter is hard, but by pausing at its halfway point to share the things that are helping us through it, we’ll lighten the load.” ❤