The things that are saving my life right now.

The things that are saving my life right now.

It’s February 1, the first day of what to many is the cruelest month, regardless of what T. S. Eliot wrote.

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. In it, Taylor tells the story of when she was invited to speak at a gathering, and her host assigned the topic: “Tell us what is saving your life right now.”

It’s 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.

Taylor says it’s too good a question not to revisit from time to time, and I agree. I borrowed Taylor’s idea last year, and began keeping a running list—a literal, physical list—of the things that are saving my life right now.

This is an excerpt of my list. I’ve again chosen to share the small, everyday sorts of things bringing me life on a regular basis.

daffodils and jane austen horizontal

1. Trader Joe’s bouquets. I can buy a bundle of spring for $4 or less, and if I choose the variety right they last for weeks.

morning writing

2. Early mornings. I depend on getting my daily dose of candles, coffee, and quiet.

3. My space heater. I only just tucked one of these under my desk a couple of weeks ago. Now I can stay warm and toasty without feeling guilty for heating up the whole house.

tea by the fireside

4. Duraflames. It’s the cheater option, for sure, but it makes it so darn easy to have a cozy evening (or grey winter afternoon) by the fire. And we love cozying up by the fire.

5. Bedtime rituals. For months now, I’ve been dabbing lavender essential oil on the kids’ feet when it’s time to go to bed. This little cue tells their brains and their bodies it’s time to go to sleep already. Anything that makes bedtime a little smoother is a lifesaver.

books under the window

6. A good series. I’m talking books, not Netflix! I’ve been blazing through Deborah Crombie’s Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series, and it’s been such a delight knowing I have many good books ahead of me. (Although I’m almost caught up—and then I’ll have to find a different great series!)

7. Kickball. My kids invented a game they call “kickball” that doesn’t look a bit like the kind in school. I don’t understand the rules but I don’t care—all that matters is that they entertain each other and get some sunshine (or at least daylight time, if the sun is hiding, again) because they love to play this game together whenever the weather cooperates.


8. Citrus fruit. Oranges and grapefruit are in season now, and we love both—especially when they’re 20 cents each at Lucky’s. I keep reminding myself that would never happen in May or September!

9. Pizza night. Fridays are for pizza, which means we have one night a week where everyone always knows exactly what we’re having for dinner, and nobody complains about it.

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

what's saving my life

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  2. Camilla says:

    Thank you so much for mentioning the space heater – I’ve had one under my desk since I read this post and it’s making such a difference to my work day. Genious! Thank you x


  3. Natasha says:

    I love Lucky’s! They just opened a store here and their produce prices are great! Also Friday is always homemade pizza night at our house. My children love it!

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