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, but 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 agree. I borrowed Taylor’s idea back in the fall. Since October I’ve been keeping a running list—a literal, physical list—of the things that are saving my life right now.

What's saving my life right now

This is an excerpt of my list. It’s a long list (yay!), and I’ve chosen to share the small things. These are things that are giving life its flavor during these cold, grey days.

1. 4 minutes in the nude.

2. The park. Haven’t missed a day yet.

coffee, introverts, and extroverts

3. A strong Americano. That I didn’t have to make.

4. My FitBit. Or rather, Will’s FitBit. I’ve had a fitness tracker for almost two years, but he just got his a month ago. Now he wants to meet his daily step goal, too—and that’s getting both of us outside more.

5. Fresh green salads. We eat locally as much as possible, but I am so thankful I can get fresh spinach imported from somewhere warm because I need a break from winter comfort foods.

what's saving my life right now

6. The trampoline. When my kids start bouncing off the walls, they can head outside to bounce off some energy. Hallelujah.

7. Lauren Winner. I just finished reading Still, and was struck by her equation of busyness = laziness. I needed to hear that, even if it hurt.

8. Tarragon. Just when I though I couldn’t eat eggs for breakfast one more day, my friend suggested I try tarragon on them.

beverly clearly box set

9. Beverly Cleary. Lucy (age 7) got this box set for Christmas. (I bought it at Costco in December.) Now she’s striving to read them to herself—it’s the motivation she needed to tackle chapter books. Jack (newly 12) and Sarah (age 9) are rediscovering old favorites. Silas (newly 5) doesn’t want to get left out, so my kids are reading them to him, and to each other. This is in the running for “best money I ever spent.”

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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105 comments

  1. Alyssa says:

    Pre-chopping bags of veggies for the whole week. Planning a menu. Drinking a lot of lemon water. A make-over and new make-up form Sephora with my Christmas gift card. Delegating. Trading kid days with my sister so we each get a break. Playing music a lot more since we got a Sonos speaker that runs from an app on any device. Body Shop grapefruit shower gel. Avocados. Just started a gratitude journal.

  2. Lindsay says:

    I love all the different things that are breathing a little life into everyone’s winter. This was my very first link up I ever participated in :). With over a foot of snow this past weekend and temps in single digits today, there is no escaping winter. But the cold temps and snow make for the most beautiful sunsets and sunrises. Thanks, Anne, for starting a great conversation!

  3. Mandy says:

    coffee. Hot lemon water. Fixer-upper on hgtv. Bing watching Parenthood on Netflix. Quiet time in afternoon. Lazy Saturdays. Eating lots of fruits and veggies 🙂

  4. Patty R. says:

    What’s saving my life right now?

    1. Starting the day on a positive note: I used to read the news in the mornings, and found that on a lot of days, it really put me into a negative mood. Now I try to read just a couple of encouraging or challenging blogs (like this one!) plus Bible study as I start my day. There’s time for the news later (don’t want to live with my head in the sand), but I can approach the day in a better spirit when I start it this way.

    2. Your post on “4 minutes in the nude” reminded me how thankful I am at this time of year for baby oil gel. The skin on my hands chaps, cracks and bleeds really easily in the winter. If I put on baby oil gel every morning after my shower, I mostly avoid this.

    3. A cup of tea every afternoon!

  5. Every spring I use my fresh tarragon, small dice of shallots simmered, add farm fresh eggs to scramble, sprinkle tarragon throughout and my black truffle salt. It awakens all of me from winter

  6. Jennifer H says:

    Don’t have a blog to link, but this sounded like a good exercise so here goes…
    1. Reading (mostly fiction, except I have requested a memoir for #3 on your challenge
    2. Nightly devotions with my child, typically followed by reading a chapter or two in our current bedtime book
    3. The hour and a half time to myself between bedtime and husband getting home from work (reading, watching TV, or “playing” on the computer)
    4. Redecorating our house and de-cluttering – our walls are now freshly painted a spring-y green and summer-y yellow that really lightens my mood
    5. Did I mention reading?

  7. Kari says:

    This was a good exercise for me to think about, especially because I’m pregnant and due in just a few weeks, so everything seems annoying lately! 🙂
    1. My kids have been two peas in a pod and have been playing so well together lately.
    2. My comfy Adidas shoes that I’ve been wearing constantly.
    3. My commute is so much shorter than last winter because we moved closer to the city where we work and our families live.
    4. Since the Christmas season ended, I’ve been knocking things off my pre-baby To Do list like it’s nobody’s business. Ahhh … it feels great!

  8. Dianna says:

    Reading The Wizard of Oz to my daughter. Snuggles with my baby. White unscented candles. Reorganizing my books. Two loads of laundry per day. Eating lots of stir-fry with brown rice.

  9. Ashley says:

    How are you liking your Fitbit? I’ve been wanting an activity tracker but I don’t want something that tracks sleep. Do you find it’s hard to keep track of/wear vs your old Jawbone? How do you wear it?

    • Anne says:

      I have the zip now and I really like it. I had a Jawbone Up for a year and a half before that. I liked it a lot but I didn’t love having it on my wrist all the time, and I really didn’t care about the sleep feature. I wear the zip on my waistband usually, and it unobtrusively tracks what I want it to (steps).

  10. Kendra says:

    My mind was coming up blank when I first read this post but after a recent string of days below zero and a “windchill day” home from school, it came to me: long underwear! (Pure Michigan!)
    I have been trying to get out daily for walks to get steps in and breathe fresh air so snow boots and audiobooks from Overdrive are helping immensely in that regard also. For the record, I haven’t gone out when it’s below zero yet.
    I’m reading Learning to Walk in the Dark right now and I appreciate her perspective of dark. Hoping to get through Leaving Church and An Altar in the World during Lent. Thank you for introducing them.
    One more thing that’s saving my life and serves as a pick me up since I’ve decided to give up the sugary coffee and tea latte drinks is Tazo Wild Sweet Orange Tea. I’m trying to expand my tea collection a bit and that’s my favorite right now.

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