What’s saving my life right now

What’s saving my life right now

It’s February 2, Groundhog Day, the halfway point of winter.

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.

This is an excerpt of my list. It’s a long list (yay!), and I’ve chosen to share the simple—though not always small—things.

1. Walking the dog. Fresh air + mental downtime is a winning combination, even when it’s seventeen degrees out.

2. Herbal tea. Specifically, the Throat Coat Tea by Traditional Medicinals. The name is not appealing to me—I never would have pulled this off the shelf unless I was seriously ill. But since a friend recommended it, I’ve found that keeping a cup handy during a podcast recording or Book Club chat helps me not lose my voice after I’ve been talking for an hour, which is what usually happens.

3. Goodwill. Is now a good time to tell you we’re moving? It’s an in-town move, but still. I’ve been on wonderful terms with my local Goodwill people, who take my stuff with a smile and find someone else who can put it to good use.

4. The occasional sunny day. Emphasis on occasional!  We’ve had more warmer days than usual lately, which is nice, but they have been overwhelmingly grey. The occasional bit of sunshine has me literally running around the house telling everyone to Look at the sun! Look at the sun! 

5. My diffuser. I’m not a huge essential oils person, but I do like diffusing them in the winter. For one, they make my house not smell like onions or chili or whatever the comfort food du jour on the dinner menu. Also, when I keep hearing that half the kids at school have the stomach bug, dropping some oils that might just maybe help fight germs makes me feel a tiny bit better.

I blindly chose an inexpensive and highly rated diffuser a few years back. It’s not the prettiest, but it’s still going strong, and it’s constantly pumping out something these days.

6. Fresh flowers. Whether it’s a $3.99 bouquet from Trader Joe’s or the fancier variety, a little bit of borrowed (or bought?) spring makes me happy every time I come into the room.

7. Serendipity. This week our pediatrician diagnosed one of my kids over the phone and sent us to urgent care for an x-ray. We debated about the best time and day to go; it wasn’t urgent, so we had options.

Through some sort of miracle, the doctor on rotation was the exact kind of specialized specialist we didn’t know we needed, who just happened to be filling in because everyone had the flu, explained why the obvious diagnosis was way off base, and got to the heart of the problem in two minutes.

8. A good handyman. Our favorite guys keep retiring on us, and while I wish them a happy future on the Florida beach, I’ve been at a loss for who to call when the exhaust fan makes a funny noise, or a door no longer closes smoothly, or it’s time to do some serious powerwashing. My friend gave me the number of her favorite, and whoa. He knocked off my growing list in no time flat, and it’s so nice to know who I can call when there’s a next time.

9. Aquaphor. A $4 tube in my purse is a serious lifesaver from raw, painful, red dry skin. (Ouch!)

10. The Reading Challenge. This is our third year of doing a Reading Challenge here on MMD, but somehow this year’s has captured my I-dwell-in-possibility imagination more than ever. Browsing bookstores, the internet, and my own shelves for possibilities has been so much fun. I also love how the prospect of checking the boxes helps me remember to get off Twitter (which belongs on the killing-me-right-now list) and read a book instead.

What’s saving your life right now? Link up a post below, and/or tell us in comments.

P.S. This is still my favorite post about what’s saving my life right now.

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134 comments

  1. Kate says:

    Saving me right now is not having my own FB account or knowing my husband’s FB account password – both decisions of my own choosing. If I feel compelled to check in I just ask him to log in in the evening. I’m finding only looking once or twice a week has made me much less overwhelmed right now.

    • Traci says:

      I “banned” myself from FB about mid-October. Mainly because of all the political stuff but also I was checking it several times a day, on the off-chance there might be a comment or update. I realized I needed to refocus on more positive, less stressful pursuits. I really missed it for a while but now don’t even think about it. What I do miss is the fun, lighthearted posts & pictures. I wish FB had a filter so that was all that showed up!

  2. Bethany says:

    Saving my life right now: a pretty coffee mug (needs no explanation), signing up for a race I have to train for (I’m a rule-follower, so it makes me go for a run), and YA books (they are a quick read, so I can feel like I accomplished something quickly, plus I can talk about favorites with my kids). 🙂

  3. GingerG says:

    We’re in the process of moving too! Phew, it’s exhausting! Glad you were able to get the medical advice you needed and -yes- a good handyman is so important. We haven’t found ours yet but I know he’s out there! 🙂

  4. Felicity says:

    I like this post. Winter can be a hard time for me, too. Here are some things that are saving my life right now:
    – my job in the kids department of an independent bookstore. It’s great to work around books and people who enjoy books.
    -my training program for a couple races this spring. We run with a group twice a week outdoors. I have never been an outdoor runner but have found it is so varied and energizing to run in the cold. I have seen beautiful sunrises and sunsets. And I’m making new friends.
    – singing in the choir at church
    -MMD BOOK Club, the WSIRN podcast, this blog
    – bullet journaling
    -This mild winter we’re having. I live in Cincinnati and we have gotten very little snow. The temperature fluctuates back and forth so you don’t have that constant chill you get some cold winters.
    – my healthy husband and daughter. We have only had mild colds this winter which haven’t really slowed us down.
    – good books. I read 14 books in January and I loved almost all of them (even the ones I didn’t love, I liked.)

    Thanks for encouraging us to take a moment to count our blessings.

  5. Hi Anne, I’m really enjoying the content you share here. And the reading challenge as well! This is my first link up in ages and I’m having so much fun visiting people. It’s a nice way to break up finishing edits on my second book. Thanks for the prompt! It made getting back to blogging a little less hard. And just to say, I miss walking a dog every day but London weather makes it easier not to have one. Lovely photo of your pup!

  6. Winter has been very mild here in eastern Kentucky. The temperature has been ranging from 40-60 degrees, but there have been very few days of sun. 🙁 First up on the things that are saving me right now, Gretchen Rubin’s #Happier2017 Instagram challenge. she and her sister Elizabeth Craft are encouraging posting pictures of things that make us happy and using the hashtag #Happier2017. It is helping me focus on the things that make me happy/that I am grateful for. 2. All my to-do lists on Wunderlist – As soon as I think of something I need to do, even like wash the dishes or take food out of the freezer to thaw, I add it to Wunderlist and set the due date. I can then relax that I won’t forget something. 3. Everything you are doing, Anne – blog, podcast, her printable reading journal. 4. Reading books that I am excited to read – My TBR list is a couple miles long, but there are always a couple of books that I am really excited to read. I spent some of my Christmas money buying a few of those books, and it has helped continue to be excited to read every night.

  7. Karyn says:

    What’s saving me right now?
    Podcasts
    Getting outside and exercising daily (or as much as I can)
    Getting back into journaling
    Reading, reading, reading. I started reading during my lunch hour instead of going on the computer. Lovely.

  8. Deb says:

    Love this topic!
    Saving me right now, walking. Flowers in vases. Candlelight as I do my morning pages. Guerrilla gardening plans. Making phone calls to senators.
    Books on tape and real ones before I sleep. Loved The Art Forger.

  9. Sara says:

    What’s funny is winter is saving my life right now! We live in CA so have very mild winters, some rain and a little snow, plenty of sun. Summer is what gets me down. I hate the heat. I love cool and dreary weather actually.

  10. Tessa says:

    What’s saving my life right now:

    1. A Drivetime Playlist that allows me to sing on the way to work.

    2. Soaking in the tub with Dr. Teal’s Milk and Honey bath salts (inexpensive!) or a Lush bath bomb (expensive).

    3. Semi-adopting a community cat. The program is for cats that have been living outdoors and Animal Control spayed little Maisie, microchipped her, gave her a rabies shot and docked the corner of her ear to mark her community status. I have committed to feeding her and taking care of vet stuff if she needs it and providing outdoor shelter and occasional indoor shelter when it is horribly cold. I am too allergic to have a house cat, but I pet her every evening, then wash my hands and arms to stave off hives. It is my therapy.

  11. Makala says:

    Saving me right now would be watching Downton Abbey (again !) , a nice cup of tea , and doing my bullet journal . Oh and reading Pride and Prejudice for the first time .

  12. Samantha says:

    Thank you for reminding me to think about the things that are Saving my life right now:
    1. Routine
    2. Productive app
    3. listening to classical music (KCME 88.7 FM Colorado Springs)
    4. Sam Harris meditation, podcasts (the neuroscientist not the singer lol)
    5. comedy videos (Ricky Gervais, Louis CK, Trevor Noah, Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee/Jerry Seinfeld)
    6. The Daily Challenge from MeYouHealth
    7. Peter Walsh’s #31Days2GetOrganized January challenge
    8. Turning off my laptop when I go to bed so I’m not tempted to get online when I wake up in the middle of the night
    9. using my light box for SAD
    10. journaling in PatientsLikeMe
    11. a good, relaxing walk with my dog (not the ones where she sees other dogs, squirrels, or pulls the whole time)
    12. using my CPAP every night
    13. staying on top of the budget
    14. decluttering, organizing, minimalism

    • Tessa says:

      I am so glad you mentioned routine! The holidays threw my routines to the wind and I have been struggling to get back to them. I am working on making my life-savers routines.

      • Samantha says:

        I use the Productive app on my iPhone to keep my routine going each day. I put in every little thing like taking care of my CPAP stuff, taking my daily meds, eating some fruit or veggies, listen to music, read, etc. I love being reminded of what I’d like to do each day and then getting to check off the things that I do accomplish. Routine is key to me having a good day.

    • Samantha says:

      I forgot to add that reminding myself that the days are getting just a little bit longer and that the amount of daylight though it is increasing only by minutes is enough for me to be hopeful. I also tell myself every day that I am one day closer to Spring. Those realities are saving my life right now.

  13. Katie Toffey says:

    Saving my life right now:
    – Audio books – listening to H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald – incredible memoir and wonderful narration (read by the author)
    – My early morning exercise routine… I am not a morning person but getting up and getting in my 30 minutes of exercise at the start of the day gives me added strength to get through the days.
    – My very sweet and loving dog, Irene. She is a beautiful anatolian shepherd that loves her family, loves to cuddle and loves to howl at passing sirens and other strange noises.
    – Quiet nights at home with my family – this is my greatest source of joy!

  14. Louise says:

    This is SUCH a good idea. Some things that are saving me right now:
    Black tea with a swirl of cream
    Ice skating with my kids once a week
    Writing with a fountain pen
    Knitting (and teaching my kids to knit)
    Learning French
    Nonfiction by my favorite fiction authors (Agatha Christie, CS Lewis, Madeleine L’Engle, Dorothy L Sayers)–I love getting glimpses of them as real people, not just faceless creators!

  15. Jen M says:

    I fell last week and broke some bones in my foot so saving me right now are:
    – my wonderful, patient and caring husband
    – my three rescue cats
    – books, books, books
    – the stack of magazines I was too busy to read over the holidays
    – podcasts
    – the sun shining through my bedroom windows
    – my iPad mini to stay in touch with work and friends
    – old Law & Order reruns on cable

  16. Lauren P. says:

    Here’s what’s saving my life right now. In no particular order.
    -books! (always and in every form)
    -monthly massage
    -reading picture books at bedtime with my toddler
    -that glass of red wine after bedtime (or sometimes bourbon)
    -morning snuggles
    -the 10 minutes of silence in the car after school drop-off
    -fountain pens with purple ink
    -a big bowl of pho with a friend
    -steaming mugs of coffee or mint tea
    -bullet journal
    -my Instant Pot

  17. Breanne says:

    This is one of my favourite winter exercises. I love to think about what is saving my life not just focus on the dreary or drawbacks of winter.
    My list
    -going to bed early and reading for an hour
    – getting up an hour before my kiddos
    – husband made coffee every morning with frothed milk
    – library hold shelf
    – no instagram for a month
    – and ironically, coming to a decision about my blog’s direction after debating for way too long.

  18. Keri says:

    1. T25 workouts first thing in the morning
    2. Green Smoothie after T25
    3. Bullet Journal
    4. Audiobooks while cleaning
    5. Reading 6 books in January
    6. Anomia board game with the family

  19. Sue says:

    Great way to focus on the positive. I must get some fresh flowers- thanks for the reminder. For me it’s daily yoga, exercise and as always, books.

  20. Allyson says:

    I’m with Sara. I seem to come alive in the winter down here in Texas. I need saving in the hot, humid summer. There are some things though, that are bringing me joy:
    Bullet journaling – I’ve been doing this for a couple of months. It is life changing.
    Essential oils – I love the smell and I love cleaning with them as I try to rid my home of toxins.
    Amazon Prime – I’m late to the game!
    Spending time with my husband who recently retired.
    Helping to plan my niece’s wedding.

  21. When you invited comments on this great topic a few days ago, I responded and I was also inspired to use the “What’s Saving Your Life Right Now?” question as the basis for a post in my blog, http://www.clearingthespace.blogspot.com I love this question and think it would be a wonderful daily journal writing prompt, a way to look back at the previous day and move into the current day.

  22. Marsi says:

    Anne, this fall, don’t forget to plant tulips and other bulbs so you have so much color to look forward to the following spring. 😊 Good luck with your move.

  23. Jill Valenti says:

    Pretty plates and colorful cloth napkins! When my kids are making me crazy it helps me savor a meal (hangry anyone?) And use something exclusively adult 😉

  24. Jill says:

    Comedy is saving my life right now. Bingeing on Maria Bamford, Dana Carvey, and the delightful “Series of Unfortunate Events” on Netflix. Laughter is good!

  25. DanielleD says:

    Minimalism is saving my life. I freaked out well and good on Christmas day when I saw my already messy living room strewn with paper and plastic and more toys and my kids were ignoring 90% of it all. I gathered up a pile to return (no one noticed) and in the next few weeks filled 20 boxes to give away. Now my counters are clear and my bookcases are not heaving. My bedside table isn’t dumping magazines and it’s actually not difficult to keep my house clean. I feel like I can breathe again.

  26. Debbie says:

    Reading has always been my life saver. Living by the water has been calming as well, although that was a recent move.
    For my husband it is two months in Florida during the winter, but is unsettling for me. Going to the beach helps.

  27. LiviaRose says:

    The word stomach bug makes me feel crazy, and my family thinks I literally go crazy when I hear that anyone we has it. Actually, when people say their stomach hurts, I can freak. So, I’ve done intensive research about it, and only bleach and cleaning level hydrogen peroxide actually kill it, so I have my special Clorox hydrogen peroxide spray, that saves my life. That 0.01 is very important for all those cans that state they kill 99.9 percent of germs because stomach stuff is in the 0.01.

  28. Lisa Gelber says:

    I don’t have a blog to share my list, so I’m including it here in the comments:
    1. Excellent shows – The Crown and This is Us
    2. HuffPost – so many timely articles on motherhood, work, politics, etc.
    3. Saturday Night Live – in particular, Alec Baldwin
    4. Audiobooks – I only listen when I’m walking so I get the benefit of “reading” and exercising together.
    5. L’Occitane Almond Oil – so soothing for dry skin
    6. MMD Reading Challenge – I am on a mission to complete both challenges (6 books done so far!) and love the diversity these challenges are bringing to my reading life!

  29. Janice Rine says:

    For me it’s getting out of the house to visit & knit together with friends. Reading on a snowy day with a cup of tea & honey is soothing too. I love your suggestions of flowers & celebrating our few sunny days.

  30. Vicki says:

    When I saw last week that you were going to post this today, the timing was perfect! Today is my 40th birthday, and between that and the never ending Minnesota winter, my mental health has been suffering. I sat down and made a list last weekend, and that moment of reflection really helped my state of mind. It reminded me to focus on the good stuff rather than the bad stuff and made me think about the other things I could do to help my frame of mind. Here is my list, in a nutshell:
    1. My daily (or twice daily) LaCroix sparkling water. There is nothing like those cold fizzy bubbles in the middle of a busy work day.
    2. Time alone with my husband. As our kids are getting older, we are able to have more frequent “date nights” and we are reminded why we got married in the first place–because we really like each other!
    3. Reading–both regular books and audiobooks. I have already read 12 books this year! My reading time helps me calm down and reset my mind for the next day. You are my book whisperer and I enjoy most of your recommendations:)
    4. Coffee and wine. I so look forward to my morning cup of coffee and my occasional glass of good red wine. I usually enjoy these with a book or a visit with my husband, which is double duty:)
    5. My clean house. We recently installed new carpet in the entire house and in the process, donated a ton of stuff and repainted the walls. My house looks new and clean and I want to keep it that way. I am trying to form new clean house habits and convince my husband and daughters to buy into it.
    6. Meal planning. Making a menu, shopping on the weekend and doing some prep ahead of time really saves my life during the busy work week. It’s so easy knowing that supper is half done and I don’t have to stress out about it!
    7. This one is a bonus, because making the list reminded me that exercise also saves my life. I have been getting up early and using my treadmill before work. I am so much happier on days I work out, my coworkers have even noticed.

  31. kayla says:

    orange juice, my golden retriever, cozy fleece blankets, schitt’s creek on netflix, podcasts during my commute and the list goes on! 🙂

  32. Annette Silveira says:

    We take care of our infant granddaughter while our daughter and son-in-law work and my best friend’s twelve-year-old son after school (sixth grade math?!). Things that have been saving me are:
    My bible study first thing in the morning. Now more than ever, I need that quiet time and direction for my day.
    Coffee. All the coffee.
    Yoga
    Rocking a baby to sleep

  33. Becky Maxwell says:

    Here is my list of things saving me right now.
    1. My dogs even when they drive me nuts.
    2. Pandora Radio
    3. Midsomer Murders on Netflix
    4. Rain! Here in CA we have not had enough of it for quite a few years
    5. Reading
    6. Tea hot or iced
    7. My Journal I can rant and rave without offending anyone, plus it keeps me grounded.

  34. Sarah R says:

    I can’t believe you’re moving! Are you moving back to the old house? I would seriously never leave if I lived next door to the library! 🙂

    I really detest winters in Wisconsin, but what’s keeping me sane is the focus on reading. Our summers are so gorgeous that I almost feel guilty tucking in with a good book, so winter is my time to do that.

    I’ve also been diligent about taking my Vitamin C and drinking lemon water.

    I have been treating myself to gel manicures every 3 weeks. I know it’s not the best for my nails, but I love how they look.

  35. I shared my list in a blog post (linked to above) but wanted to thank you Anne, because seeing your post the other day about ‘what’s saving your life right now’ got me thinking & writing – because I’ve actually been noting in my journal what’s helping me through a prolonged bout of mono (4+ months & counting now, since right after getting home from READ Savannah) – and this is the first time in a Long time I’ve had fun getting a blog post together! Hopefully I can keep this up, because I’ve been blogging now for nearly 11 years, and I’ve always loved it. (Getting bogged down with all the social media + trying to figure out if I should stay or should I go re my host platform has taken some of the fun out of it for me). Have loved reading through everyone’s lists so far too!

  36. AngD says:

    Loved this post. I would say my husband right now. Going through some health problems and he is being wonderful. My best friend, who is also being wonderful. Long baths, which I need. And the list could go on. But those came to mind immediately :-).

  37. Susan says:

    Gotta say, those teal boots of yours are pretty great in the snow! I may need a pair for Colorado winters. 🙂 Saving me this winter: being purposeful about planning activities with girlfriends – it helps to have something to look forward to; reading challenge (read 4 books in January);
    camping (in Texas) with friends;
    colorful sweaters – winter lasts so long that a pop of color always helps;
    planning dates with my husband.

  38. Katie says:

    This is a great list and nice reminder to focus on the simple things that are keeping us happy right now. I needed this today. Thank you. (I found your blog through Emily Clark.)

  39. Angie Burke says:

    I responded on my blog but I should have added your daily emails with Amazon Kindle specials! I’ve gotten some great deals recently on books you’ve recommended. Thank you for bringing some love to my inbox and my reading list!

  40. Brenda K. says:

    Really looked at this for the past week…My Life is saved by:
    Morning Devotions, New Flavors of tea, Hugs from the Teen-age sons, Cozy Pajamas, Short chats with good friends, Bullet journaling, and Writing on my BLOG!

  41. Anna says:

    I’m so fortunate to live in Houston, Texas where the weather has been so incredibly sunny and warm lately, I’m just loving it! I’ve decided, at 37 years of age, that I DO NOT need snow. In fact, I am happy with it being 80 degrees on Christmas (which it was this year). I don’t really like the heat in the summer but that is what the AC is for!

    I think I’m being saved right now by my bullet journal and my Quilter’s Planner and my intense desire to plan and be on top of things. Also, a daily devotional book my mom is letting me borrow called Savor. I read it every day and write down one or two sentences that jump out at me. That quiet time to read and reflect is really saving me. Here’s to more sunny days!

  42. Kimberly says:

    Thank you for this list!!
    It’s so good to focus on the positives, especially this time of year.

    I redid the mantel after the holidays and strung twinkle lights through ivy garland for year-round happiness. There are always candles, everywhere. And I’m never too far from a good book and a cuppa tea.

  43. Tonight’s homemade chicken soup. The kind words from blog readers on a recent personal post. Planning a trip to the UK in May. Winter walks in the sunshine. Decluttering like you (no plans for a move in the near future, but gracious we have accumulated so much junk).

  44. Theresa says:

    Fingerless gloves – I can wear them and type and do all sorts of things around the house. Tea and more tea. Victoria on PBS. Sunny days. Spending time with my family. And snuggling with a blanket in the evening.

  45. Liz says:

    I’ve been off my feet totally for 6 weeks due to surgery. What’s saved my life is my wonderful hubby who has been doing absolutely everything! Also good books, good food and my precious shih tzu.

  46. Sara says:

    Love this idea! What’s saving my life:
    1. Copious amounts of coffee
    2. Podcasts (like yours…seriously!)
    3. Candles
    4. Rhythms of the day
    5. Dear friends who bring posts like these to my attention and are always just a panicked text away (hi, Kathleen!)
    6. Getting lost in some good fiction
    7. Our library! Our saving grace in the winter especially.
    8. Honest talks over a beer with my husband
    9. Stephen Colbert and Dan Rather
    10. My stir-crazy, busy, amazing kids…who both still nap (most days). Glory, hallelujah!

  47. Krista says:

    Newborn snuggles.
    Netflix.
    Fluffy books to read.
    A Nalgene water bottle
    Friends bringing meals.

    {It is so hard to deal with winter effectively during the fourth trimester!}

  48. Bridget says:

    Here is my list-
    TED Talks
    Audible
    Wine
    Good Coffee
    Myer Lemons
    Books
    YouTube
    Julia Child
    Music
    Journaling
    All things Harry Potter
    Fuzzy Slippers
    Fuzzy Blankets
    Essential Oils
    Color (ALL things color)
    Sleep
    My Dogs
    My Husband
    My Grandkids
    My Bullet Journal

  49. Carrie says:

    Wow. I love how a focus on the positive can reshape how you are experiencing a season (of the calendar, of life, etc.). I enjoyed reading everyone’s! Here’s mine (disclaimer: I’m in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy and I have a really tough time, physically, in a lot of different ways when I’m pregnant. So some of what’s saving me right now is about reducing the energy I have to expend on daily mundane matters):

    1) WalMart grocery pickup. It’s not my Favorite Company Ever, and they don’t carry every single item that my family typically eats, but it’s enough that it’s keeping me from having to spend a long time on my feet in the grocery store, thus minimizing pain & fatigue.

    2) We moved from Houston to Nashville and I actually am enjoying the dark, cold days (more or less)–I really missed variety in the seasons when we lived in Houston. So I am enjoying embracing it through lots of fires, ginormous flannel maternity pajamas, and warm drinks.

    3) Nonetheless… I’m also enjoying thinking about the summer, when I can start to wear non-maternity clothes again (hopefully, haha)… I even ordered a few summer things on ThredUp this past week!

    4) Accepting (unlike with my first pregnancy) that if I’m tired and am able to nap, I need to nap. I’ve gotten okay with putting on cartoons on the iPad for my 4YO daughter and letting her watch on my bed while I sleep.

    5) Accepting that more nights than usual right now, we will need to get takeout… and that’s okay. Also accepting that more nights than usual, I will be in bed by 9.

    6) The Crown (although it’s occasionally too depressing for me) and Royal Pains on Netflix, a dumb/funny medical comedy.

    7) On the nights we don’t eat takeout: gluten free frozen pizzas, a book of 400-plus soups that my aunt got me for Christmas–the Better Homes and Gardens Ultimate Soups & Stews, and one-dish stovetop meals!

    8) On weekends, when I have some more energy because my husband can help out more with our daughter, we tend to take long walks at local botanical gardens, parks, and nature trails. This has been great for my health.

    So maybe this really reads more like my Survival Guide to the Third Trimester in the Cold Winter!

  50. Janet Cole says:

    What’s saving me is a husband who takes up the slack – doing laundry, cooking dinner (even if it is mac & cheese) and doing the best he can – while I work on a project that is 12+ hour days and most weekends…I do know how lucky I am. (P.S. your dog’s sweet face would save me everyday!)

  51. Tim says:

    Those occasional sunny days this time of year truly do hold out a life-line. My 93 year old dad and I were running around town form one appointment to another and every time the rain stopped and a hint of blue showed we were pointing it out to each other.

    P.S BBT’s Leaving Church is a wonderfully written book, but her doctrine in it is a bit off from what I saw when reading it: My Unpopular Opinion About A Very Popular Writer – reflections on Barbara Brown Taylor’s “Leaving Church”.

  52. Jessica says:

    Love this post. My list: daily Bible reading app, kid snuggles, our local library, YouTube exercise videos (my daughter loves Cosmic Kids), walks outside when possible, and decaf coffee.

  53. Pam says:

    1) Homemade soup! It’s so good in the winter. Warm. Tasty. Leftovers.
    2) A space heater to counter the chill.
    3) Big fuzzy socks. See #2!
    4) Streaming video. I particularly like mysteries and science fiction, but will watch just about any genre except horror. Total immersion. Escape from winter. Wonderful! Recent faves: River (Netflix); Colony (iTunes); Man in the High Castle (Amazon Prime); Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon Prime).
    5) eBooks and more eBooks. Buy for my Kindle or borrow from the public library in the Overdrive and Hoopla apps. Best. Thing. Ever. For. Winter. I don’t have to leave the house.
    6) Hot drinks. Espresso in the morning, herbal tea later in the day. Ginger tea from Traditional Medicinals is good!
    7) Fitbit Charge 2. Inspires me to exercise and stay active throughout the day. It’s way too easy to become a couch potato when you are a snowy weather avoider like me.
    8) Lotions for dry skin. Winter = dry skin. I like unscented Oil of Olay for my face, unscented Keri Lotion for the rest of me!

  54. Vanessa says:

    I love this! I’ve been looking forward to your list. Here is mine in no particular order.

    1. Coffee/tea – I love warm beverages and in the cold winter of western NY that is my home right now, it’s really a survival technique.

    2. Reading books and the MMD book club – I’ve been reading so much more these past couple of years and I’m slightly appalled it took me so long to start reading again. As a kid I read like crazy and it really is a joy for me. And then I adore having so many bookish people to discuss with whenever I get the chance to read the forums.

    3. Podcasts – I’m at an intense parenting part of life with two little ones and “Inspired to Action” by Kat Lee and “At Home with Sally” by Sally Clarkson have been so encouraging and inspirational here lately.

    4. Candles – I love cozy candles in the winter. It’s amazing how much they change the mood of the room for me!

    5. Fountain pens – my husband and I just started using fountain pens, I got a Pilot Metroplolitian with a fine nib for Christmas, and I love them! I never thought I was much of a writer or didn’t think about enjoying writing by hand, but that has changed with a new tool. I’ve since added four more pens to my collection and I am amazed at how different tools really affect enjoyment of activities!

    6. Chores schedule – I’ve been finishing productive days feeling like I haven’t done enough around the house and realized that I’m always trying to do every chore. I divided my chores throughout the week, wrote them down, and suddenly I realize it doesn’t matter if I didn’t clean the bathroom one day, it’s on the list for the next.

    7. Daily schedule – similar to the chores schedule. Instead of going with the day and my children’s needs, I’ve have a couple rough goals through the day. So just knowing that we go outside at some point between 10-11 each morning brings the day into focus and has been very helpful.

    8. Pandora – I love streaming music and having it play throughout the day. It’s also so fun to discover new artists and Pandora does that really well for me.

    9. Going outside (nearly) everyday – especially in the winter when it’s hard to get the kids all bundled, I don’t go outside much. But we finally have warm enough clothes for everyone and going outside even for 10 minutes makes the day better.

    10. Eye make-up – Putting on a little make-up, and for me a little eye shadow and mascara, really helps brighten the day even if I’m tired and it’s a grey and snowy day.

  55. Audrey says:

    Say WHAT?!? You’re MOVING again?!? I hope you’ll be sharing a blog post about that surprise that you just slipped into this post, Anne!

  56. Kristian says:

    So we just had our first kid, so life looks so different right now!
    1) Instagram- I love being able to post photos of our new son. It is also something fun to look at while in a chair breastfeeding at two in the morning, lol.
    2) My husband- he is the best! He really is a great partner as we figure out parenting together and he also remembers I am healing too. So he does thoughtful things like makes sure I have time to take a bath or he arranged for a massage for me. But more than that, I apperciate that he cooks and makes sure we eat dinner together to reconnect and keep our own relationship strong and not subsumed by our little addition.
    3) and, of course, our newborn son. For all the reasons, for the amazing love we instantly felt for this tiny human!

    4) My parents frequent visits. It is waaay too cold to get out much and visits feel like I’m seeing other people and connected to the world.

  57. Karen says:

    I typed my answer to my Book Club … but thought I’d share it here too, since it’s where the inspiration came from.
    1. Books. Especially books on wholistic health and healing. (I’m tired of pain every day).

    2. Stretching/Yoga … my little routine I do take me about 25 minutes and does wonders for helping my body feel it’s best.

    3. Lucy Rue. I/we (whole family) take delight in our little puppy every day.

    4. Soup. I love making soup and eating it – especially with La Brea whole grain bread. Toasted. Yum. I’m also learning about how to make soup more nourishing, and that’s definitely part of the love. I just made a Asain Shrimp Soup that was almost AMAZING – just needs a few more tweeks.

    5. Coffee. Love. Love. Love. So hard to limit myself to one a day.

  58. Mary Wilmot says:

    I might end up blogging this…eventually…but here are a few things that are working for me!
    1. My new slow cooker I got for Christmas. My old one didn’t get very hot so everything took forever to cook. I love it! Great for a few freezer meals I made for post partum.
    2. My double stroller and Moby wrap. I couldn’t do life without them.
    3. Trying to: make my bed and get dressed on days I don’t work. It’s slowly becoming a habit and I love it!
    4. Park days with friends…can be great if I time it right before naptime.
    5. Coffee…so warm so delicious. Even better when my husband makes it before he leaves for work.
    6. My library card….books, audiobooks galore. I love having a bunch of requests out at a time so I always have something new.

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