What’s 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.

My short answer to today’s question? Some Rick Steves travel advice from the 1990s, yanked from context, is saving me.

*****     *****     *****

My story starts last fall, when Will and I bought our plane tickets for Scotland—and quickly realized that being gone in December would be a big deal. We’d be leaving our home and our kids and our work, in the middle of an already-busy season, and we needed to plan carefully to be gone.

I also knew that if I was racing around finishing my to-do list at the very last minute, I’d be miserable—and there was so much to get done that if I waited, it wouldn’t get done at all.

When I was a teenager my parents took my brother and me to Germany. We did it Rick Steves-style, “through the back door,” staying in small pensions, eating at under-the-radar neighborhood spots. As an avid reader, my favorite way to prepare for anything is by reading, and I devoured countless Rick Steves travel guides from my well-stocked local library.

By the time we left the U.S., I’d internalized his travel philosophy: Don’t be afraid to speak the language (badly). Be “fanatically positive and militantly optimistic.” Expect and plan for things to go wrong.

He urged his readers to put point #3 into action by giving themselves a fake departure deadline: when preparing to leave to country, prepare as if your departure day is 24 hours earlier than your actual departure. Do your packing, run your errands, make all your preparations as if you’re leaving a full day early—even if you’re scrambling before your fake deadline. This way you’ll be ready and rested when it’s time to go, and—worst-case scenario—prepared to deal with a true emergency.

I thought about Rick a lot before our trip.

*****     *****     *****

To stave off last-minute panic before our departure, I set myself a series of artificial, almost arbitrary deadlines. I wanted my Christmas shopping done three weeks before departure, the blog content for before and after our trip written two weeks before departure, the podcasts scheduled one week before departure. I had no idea how to pack for winter in Scotland, and wanted my bags packed 48 hours early. And of course, because of Rick Steves, I wanted everything ready 24 hours early.

These self-imposed deadlines were ambitious, and required me to put my head down and work hard (and yes, in this context, scrolling target.com and researching winter boots counts as “work”).

I missed every single one of them.

But thanks to my ambitious fake deadlines, it worked out: the blog and podcast were finished before we left, not two weeks early, but in enough time. I wrote a twenty-page document with instructions for everything happening while we were gone. I finished maybe 85% of the Christmas shopping, but that was fine. I’d never gotten so much done so early, and besides, what if we found good gifts in Scotland?

The day before we left the country, things were downright leisurely around here. We had things to do, sure, but we weren’t panicked; we weren’t scrambling.

It was a great start to a great trip.

*****     *****     *****

We’ve been home now—for 6 1/2 weeks, I just counted it up on the calendar—and Rick Steves continues to save me.

We came home from Scotland a little early: we quickly rescheduled our flights due to a loved one’s sudden illness, and walked straight into the all-consuming whirlwind of medical crisis.

With our trip, with this season, we had planned for something to go wrong. We weren’t expecting it to look like this. Because of Scotland, we’d planned ahead for our kids, our work, our Christmas—and now I was grateful every minute those things (well, two out of three) were taken care of, but for a very different reason.

To be clear, it was kind of awful—but it could have been so much worse, and I was unspeakably thankful it wasn’t.

 *****     *****     *****

We’re still trudging through in a lower-key kind of survival mode around here. January has been one thing after another, what with snow and sickness and unexpected crises.

But Will and I have been talking, about how it’s been hard, but—unlike in some memorable previous years where I kind of lost it for a bit—I haven’t come unglued. It’s not been fun, but we’re getting through it, and in reasonably good spirits.

I’m sure part of this is due to low winter expectations (it’s not like this is the first time the flu has decimated local schools, or we’ve seen ice and cold here), but it’s also because I keep giving myself those fake deadlines—and even when I don’t quite hit them, or unexpected junk comes up, I don’t fly into a panic. I’ve been stretching myself on the good days, asking for lots of help on the not-so-good, and building in margin.

I’ve been expecting and planning for things to go wrong, not with a head of full of cynicism, but of grace—for myself, and for the people around me, for circumstances I don’t welcome but are going to come anyway.

It sounds like a downer, I’m sure. But it feels like peace, and it’s saving me.

 *****     *****     *****

What’s saving your life right now? Share your own blog or Instagram post below in the comments section.


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    • Jennifer N Buczynski says:

      wow! 12 books in a single month! Amazing! I found that you get a lot of time for reading while nursing. I read all of the Narnia books in a couple of weeks after my third was born, mostly in the middle of the night! haha.

  1. Janene says:

    Wow! What an eye-opening moment for me. I always have lots of projects going on and I get them done but sometimes at great expense of sanity for me and those who live with me! Fake deadlines – what an awesome idea and so simple that I’m sure lots of people do it automatically but not me! Time to give it a try!

  2. Rhona says:

    I’m taking care of my 94-year-old Mom. I feel that two little dogs, books, and the public library are seriously saving my life right now.

    • Pam says:

      I can relate! Two elderly parents who need a significant amount of support right now. Not outright care yet, but we are getting there fast. Books are my escape and comfort when I start to feel overwhelmed. Blessings, Rhonna.

      • Rhona says:

        Thanks for your kind words, Pam. My thoughts are with you and your parents. One of my favorite quotes is from Mason Cooley – “Reading gives us somewhere to go when we have to stay where we are.” Keep reading!

    • Anne says:

      Rhona, I’m thinking of you now. What you are doing is important and no one can do it like you. I’m glad to hear you have your dogs, books, and library to save you.

      • Rhona says:

        Thanks for your kind words, Anne. I am now reading “I’d Rather Be Reading” for the second time. I love this book! You have expressed what so many of us readers know to be true about our own relationships with books and reading. On almost every page I have found myself thinking, “Yes! That is exactly right!” Thanks, and I will be visiting your blog often.

  3. Susan Craig says:

    This is tax season for me. I am up to my eyeballs in work. And it is saving me. I love the hustle & bustle of this time of year. It is the slow summers that make it hard to come in to work everyday. You can only rearrange the office supply cabinet so often, you know.

    • Anne says:

      I’m glad you enjoy the hustle and bustle in this season. A good accountant is a lifesaver! I’m so grateful for mine, we’re all so glad you do what you do so we don’t have to. 🙂

  4. Janet says:

    I think I may need to adopt fake deadlines, they very well could save me. Though I do not mind winter what is saving me right now is snuggling up on the couch with the cat and a cup of tea, either with a book or knitting. Making a list of people in my life, besides my nieces and nephews, who I can send Valentines to. It makes me happy thinking that receiving one may bring a smile to a loved ones face.

  5. Nancy says:

    A new blog post from you is always a bright spot in my day.
    Books of course; really enjoying M. Obama’s book. I would love to be her friend.
    Pics and videos family sends me of our grandchildren
    Coffee in the morning and prosecco in the evening

  6. Angela Bell says:

    This post really touched me even though I am far past the days of sick kids and associated woes. We had a tough January as well, and when the course gets rocky, it’s comforting to have any bit of control you can. Here’s to a better February!

  7. Sue says:

    What’s saving my life right now (I care for my aging, mentally ill mother, too) is friends, hope for the future, books, Instagram, and binge-watching the royal family in England!
    Seriously, February is a cruel month? Here in Maine, I breathed a sigh of relief after I turned the calendar over today—we’re turning the hump of winter. We’ve gotten through 3 serious months (November was record breaking cold) and are now just over halfway–we’re on the home stretch, “spring will be here before you know it!” my friend always says (even in October). In February in Maine, it tends to be sunny, the days are noticeably longer and the sun is warmer. It’s a beautiful blue and white month!

  8. Kacie says:

    Having a February trip booked months in advance is what saves my winter. We’re going to Arizona in a few weeks and I’m looking forward to the weather! I like the arbitrary guidelines.

    We had a last minute trip to NYC to join my husband on a work trip (just got back last night) and I was surprisingly calm and ready for the crisis that did happen (a kid got sick in the night!ahhh!).

    Travel and looking forward to trips = saving and making my life.

    • Anne says:

      I love these. Hope you had a fun time in NYC (and that you caught up on sleep from your middle of the night crisis, ugh!), and just hearing about a trip to Arizona makes ME feel a little lighter right now! Have fun. 🙂

  9. Marsha T Vermillion says:

    After a season with cancer, a near fatal car accident, and the death of both my beloved parents, I have been reminded often that “This is the day that the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” We only have today; looking back is counterproductive; looking ahead and planning is fine but not promised; living today is our purpose. A modified list:
    1. Faith that God has created all things (even the seasons) and is in total control. What we do for Him and the attitude in which we do it are all that matter.
    2. Exercising to stay as healthy as possible at “close to 70.”
    3. Spending Quality time with family and friends.
    4. Learning something new every day
    5. Trying new craft ideas although my talent lies in music, NOT Art, I have discovered!
    6. Being grateful in all things, especially the love of reading that has been passed down from previous generations.

    • Anne says:

      Marsha, I’m so sorry for your losses. Thanks for sharing your lovely list; your attitude is inspiring. Wishing all the good things for you this winter and beyond.

  10. Cynthia Garner says:

    I’m taking a leave of absence from Facebook (I don’t do any other social media). I don’t even have to explain to anyone the “why”. I cannot believe the time I now have–to read! Going somewhere else in a book is delightful when the weather is frightful! (Just finished the latest Flavia de Luce… who would think that a murder mystery could make you rejoice in human kindness?) And Rick Steves has spoiled me for any other travel book! [I, too, had to leave London suddenly under sad circumstances, but my bags and information were ready.]

    • Anne says:

      A wise woman once told me that everyone wants to quit in November and February. It doesn’t really matter what. I’d forgotten about that—thank you for the reminder!

  11. I love this perspective. I’ve consistently not been hitting my self-imposed deadlines, and I’m trying not to let it discourage me. Cast in this light, it shouldn’t! I’m sitting down to my work and plugging away. Things are moving forward.

    Thanks, Anne. I always love reading here.

  12. Joyce A says:

    What saves me in winter is reading and planning my garden. Love ordering my seeds and dreaming of that “perfect” flower and vegetable garden this year. Always makes me hopeful.

  13. Katie Newc says:

    Bullet journaling – getting “all the things” out of my head helps me relax, knowing it’s written down and that they will get accomplished. Also, reading what I want, because I feel most like myself when I read things I like consistently.

  14. Erika says:

    A few things that are saving my life right now:
    1- The ability to order groceries online and then just pick them up. Such a time saver.
    2- Bluetooth headphones my husband got me for Christmas that I constantly have on to listen to podcasts/audiobooks while doing other things
    3- My library holds list. I ready 14!! books in January, the most I have ever read in a month by far. But every single book came from the library! Huge money saver.

  15. Danielle Edwards says:

    Usually, my saving grace this time of year is down-hill skiing. But due to a mastectomy, there is no skiing in my future! Instead of wallowing with this disappointment, I’ve taken the lead from two colleagues. One always looks outside in the morning and comments on the beauty of the sky! I live on a lake, beautiful sky is constant and I’ve been missing it. Another colleague has been posting on Facebook all the things she loves about winter, including many pictures of the nature she sees everyday. Stopping to look around has been eye-opening…… It’s saving me from the doldrums and making me appreciate the beauty of the Earth.

    • Anne says:

      Danielle, I’m sorry to hear you’ve been thrown off your usual routine, but I love the practices you’re embracing instead. Thank you for sharing them here.

  16. Hope W. says:

    Anne, I have LOVED discovering this blog and your podcast! This week on the blog is a perfect reason why. I’m loving the comments on your previous post, about people’s niche interests in books. I marvel at the breadth of interests, and at how many people have commented with suggestions for each other. I think today’s post will lead to the same level of comments. For me, what’s saving me this month is:
    *Buying a bouquet of flowers each week, usually at Trader Joe’s. It’s a beautiful treat for myself, and a reminder that spring will eventually return to Massachusetts.
    *I joined a gym (for the first time at age 52!) in December, and am trying for 150 minutes of exercise per week. I was treated for breast cancer over the summer and early fall, and this level of exercise is proven to reduce the risk of recurrence by 40%. Much to my surprise, I actually enjoy it, feel better, sleep better and have more energy.
    *I’ve been taking a crochet class. I had forgotten how much I enjoy it.

    • Anne says:

      Thank you for the kind words. I love your list! I completely relate to the magic of TJ’s flowers. (Especially now that the $1.49 daffodils are in season. 🙂 )

  17. Janean says:

    Great tips! I think Rick Steve’s plan makes sense for ANY deadline. Roll out some early fake deadlines for yourself and enjoy the fruits of your labor during crunch time.

    One caution about a Christmas shopping, or shopping early in general. This year, I decided to shop early, buying a few things in October. One relative is a frequent return/exchanger and I was disappointed to learn that a few of the gifts she wanted to return were past the return period and we were just stuck with them. One company had a 30 day policy, which I found very annoying pre-Christmas. Some retailers smartly extend their return window during the holidays to encourage early shoppers. So, My takeaway from this experience – only buy early for things you know won’t need to go back or check those return windows prior to purchasing. I also learned not to buy online for my pickier recipients. It’s just a hassle when they want to return the gift.

    I also populate my planner at the beginning of the year with reminders to shop after holiday sales for decor, gift wrap and holiday supplies. Then, once I purchase it, I make a note ahead about a month before the next holiday (in November for Christmas) regarding what we don’t need to buy and where the stash is located. I buy all gift wrap, tags, bags, lights, etc right after Christmas and store them in our Christmas boxes before we pack up the holiday. The same works for many of the other holidays – Valentines, Halloween, Thanksgiving, 4th of July. Grab it when it’s cheap!

  18. Ashley says:

    My siblings and I put together a reading challenge for us this year, marking the first time we’ve agreed on something this ambitious (possibly ever, but certainly as adults) and giving us SO MUCH MORE to talk about. Our text string is now all sorts of positive bookish stuff instead of family infighting and it’s WONDERFUL.

    I’m also loving the challenge fallback when everything else gets nuts. January was rough.

  19. Ann Adams says:

    It is such a wonderful thing for me to reflect periodically on what is saving my life, and I appreciate your bringing it to my attention repeatedly. It is a strong shot of ‘positive’ always!

  20. Janet says:

    Happy February!
    Things saving my life right now: birthday wishes from friends (it’s today, no I won’t say a number!), my cats, the time for things like yoga and tea and reading.
    Small but mighty things. They all add up.

  21. Sarah says:

    Cold, dark evenings make it hard for me to feel motivated. I’ve found that taking the time to do prayers in the evening (lighting candles and inscence to go with it!) and then doing a very short (5-10 min) workout on YouTube gets my brain and body moving in positive directions and I have more energy and a hopeful outlook for the rest of the evening.

  22. Barbara Volz says:

    I had a beloved pet, named Wylie die of cancer August 17th. My daughter moved out on her own August 24th. I found I had a lot of time, (which I know could be used to clean, etc..)so I got a second job. It’s in the evenings and on weekends. And even though I whine and complain about going into the second job, (I am an introvert and a homebody) I enjoy it when I am there. The people I work with are very nice. And the extra money doesn’t hurt. My reading life saves me also. I think I am on my third year of discovery MMD and it has exploded my reading life, which is fabulous! I really missed reading and am glad I made it an important part of my life. I have become a crazy plant lady. Probably to make up for missing my sweet Wylie and daughter. I love my ‘green babies’ and fuss and fret over them. Winter is hard on them too! Winter is very hard on me and I have to find ways to cope until Spring. These things help me and counting down to opening day, which is March 28th. And I have my tickets! Play ball!!

  23. julie says:

    I do things in the winter that I do not enjoy in the summer when it’s hot like making soups and stews for dinner, baking, making quilts and riding my mt bike in the woods. And reading a book by the fire with a cup of tea is also a lovely way to spend a cold winter day.

  24. Lois Ann says:

    What’s saving my life this cold winter is old black and white Perry Mason reruns, jigsaw puzzles, sewing a fleece cape, and audible books.

  25. If I live in Southern California where winter is not an issue, do I still get to write a list of things that save my life? 1. Kind words from my readers 2. Our dog sitter that takes perfect care of our dog when we travel 3. WSIRN – I have read the two best books of my life because of it (Harry’s Trees and One in a Million Boy) 4. Reading your sweet comments to each other and reminded how hard winter can be for most of the country. 5. If I could house you all I would welcome you to my extra bedroom! 6. Chocolate Chip cookies always save my life! https://www.adventuresofemptynesters.com/happy-five-year-anniversary-to-adventures-of-empty-nesters/

  26. Michelle says:

    Let me just start by saying that reading this list last year and employing some of the ideas really saved me last winter and for the first time I enjoyed winter in New Hampshire (at the time, we’d been here 17 years). This year, work is saving my life. My oldest child left for Army basic training on Dec. 26. To keep myself together, I made a list of every little thing that needed to be done around the house, whole projects and the last 2% of previously “completed” projects. In just over a month, I’ve finished most of that list (including a small bathroom remodel). Every morning, I light candles, grab a big cup of tea and plan the day. Also, in preparation for his departure, I made a list of all unread books on my shelves and I’m committed to working my way through them… no time to be sad that my baby had the audacity to grow up and follow his own path:)

    • Mimi Renaud says:

      Thank him for our service! And you too! I am a military wife and a mom of two daughters both in the military. I know the toll it can take on the family! Know there are great resources out there for you and connect with Blue Star Mothers in your community.

      • Michelle says:

        Thank you. My husband is military as were our fathers and grandfathers. My husband transitioned from the Air Force to the Air National Guard 18 years ago so we haven’t lived the traditional military life. I hoped that our sons would choose other career paths considering the ongoing war, so I’m having an especially difficult time accepting his decision. I don’t mind admitting that I’m just scared for him.

        • Mimi Renaud says:

          Me too me too! I was talking to a neighbor later in the day about something unrelated and burst into tears. Been having a hard time controlling the tears! Maybe finding strength in others is saving our lives right now! Michelle you are in my thoughts and prayers!

          • Michelle says:

            Thank you Mimi. All this and he’s only in basic training with more training to follow. Heaven help me when he heads overseas.

  27. Jenni Wojtowicz says:

    Winter is so hard for me with a chronic illness…exhaustion and pain levels are high. But what’s saving my life is my little blue teapot, fuzzy blanket, books, hibernating. And this is going to seem strange, but my husband and I chose to keep our Christmas tree up throughout the whole month of January. I hate taking it down…it just adds to the dreary and after-holiday doldrums. My husband suggested leaving it up through my hardest month, and what a life-saver — just to see that little glow of happy lights each evening in the corner!

  28. I’m new to this scene…not just MMD, but to Blogland. And I’m so happy to be here! AND, it means that I didn’t quite get that, when I heard this topic was coming, I should have been writing, too. So I’m hoping I can link here, even though it’s not quite official, and share what has been saving me. My One Word has been saving me. And do I ever mean it. Here’s how in January:

    And here’s how in February. I hope you’ll stop by!
    Thank you!

  29. Jolene says:

    My youngest child had special needs and a February birthday. When she passed 3 years ago right after her birthday, it was so hard. My life is saved by family, books and my faith. We still have a big family birthday party every year for her. It makes me happy.

  30. Kara Hansen says:

    What’s saving my life right now, in no particular order:
    -Red Velvet Rooibos tea (I was skeptical but it is SO good).
    -Hot yoga. Feels amazing stepping out of the cold into a warm studio.
    -Getting our house cleaned this month; it was such a treat to come home to a sparkling clean space.
    -The Hamilton soundtrack. I’ll always remember certain parts of my life for the music obsession I had at each phase of time – it sort of becomes my own personal soundtrack. Right now it’s heavy on the upbeat singing from Lin Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom Jr.
    -Nail polish: a little extra pop of color in the midst of these gray days.
    -Good friends who love on me.

  31. Jen says:

    I live in North Dakota, so January is basically all about hibernating and/or hygge 😉 What’s saving my life right now: reading books, watching movies, warm beverages, candles and fleece lined jeans! P.S. I love Rick Steves. I have had such great travel experiences thanks to his guidance.

  32. Alison says:

    I think you might have just saved MY life. We have baby #3 due soon and I’m feeling really unprepared, but I’m going to go ahead and move all my deadlines up to give myself some space at the end and some room for the unexpected. Thanks for the exact kick in the pants I needed today!!!

  33. Amy says:

    Standing in the rain. The smell of it’s impending arrival. My Anniversary- February 2nd. My Husband who sees when I need help when I completely break down and neglect to ask for it. My children- even if they are out growing me. Darn teenagers. My goals- slow and steady. And kindness ❤️

  34. Laura says:

    Um, I think Outlander might be saving my life right now. I finally picked it up after hearing you (and then a bunch of neighbors) recommend it four years ago. I’m so glad that I did- I’m on Voyager now and an epic love story is apparently perfect for battling winter blues and reading slumps. It’s made me grateful for my family and things that I usually take for granted. Didn’t expect this going into it!

  35. Jennice says:

    This is a really great question. For me,what’s saving my life is focusing on my blogging goals, my reading goals, and watching my kids grow up. Focusing on progress keeps me from dwelling on the not so great things about my life.

  36. Nicholette says:

    Oh Anne. This post is so wonderful and sad. Like The Hiding Place. Sending lots of love and grace your way. Thank you for your words here.

  37. Karen says:

    Oh, February is much better than January! The days have gotten noticably longer – light till 5:00! At least on sunny days. In New Hampshire we still have a couple months of winter left (sometimes three – we had a school cancellation in mid-April due to a snow storm last year!), but at least it’s getting lighter and the days are lengthening. What’s saving my life right now, in no particular order, Harney & Sons Paris tea, reading, my cats, diffusing my Young Living essential oils (Lavender and Citrus Fresh are my new daytime combination), a fire in the woodstove the day we ran out of oil, Land o’ Lakes raspberry hot chocolate made in my Coco-motion, writing in my journal again after almost a month away, and the afore-mentioned longer day. And candles. Today especially since it’s Candlemas.

  38. Heather B says:

    This is always a favourite post for me. Earlier deadlines make so much sense, and I am going to start implementing the idea today. We have taken on a lot this year, including downsizing in order to sell our house and build a new one. Getting rid of clutter and excess stuff will save my life, in the long run, but the process is gruelling. Here’s to forgiving deadlines, longer days (it’s 9 AM and the sun just came up – that’s life in the north), and more good books (yes, we are downsizing so I am donating books I have already read even as I am shopping for more!! My Kindle is saving my reading life.)

  39. Halie says:

    I can’t really complain too much about the winter weather, as I live in North Florida, and we have very temperament winters. However, with the polar vortex last week, we DID get down into the 30’s here every single day, so that was kind of a big deal for us. It’s still gray & dreary here though, so what saves me is fresh flower’s from Trader Joe’s for a colorful treat; my beloved Burt’s Bee’s lip balm (I’m a snob and this is the ONLY stuff I’ll use); my adorable 18-month-old daughter who constantly makes me laugh; and hosting our 3rd annual Galentine’s Tea Party last weekend for the ladies in my family. So much fun!

  40. Jenn says:

    I love that you referenced Rick Steves here–such good advice (for life and not just trips!). When we were on our honeymoon in Italy, “Rick” traveled with us–everywhere. One afternoon, when I was insisting on a particular detail because Rick Steves SAID SO in his book, my husband said, “Are we going to have to do EVERYTHING that Rick Steves says???!!” And I paused only for a second before saying, “Ummm…yes.” Several years later, and my children and husband still refer to Rick Steves as “my travel boyfriend”, because I still listen to everything he says.

  41. Rachel Hafler says:

    I love this practice! Here’s my own list. theinbetweenadventures.com/2019/02/05/perfume-liturgy-and-friends-whats-saving-my-life-right-now/

  42. This post ought to go in a list of what’s saving my life. What great advice for life in general. I think this probably could also fall under the header of the book Margin. Anyone read it? I still haven’t but have been to a lot of seminars where the main points were pulled out. But I hadn’t thought of it in quite this way, and I love the idea of both giving yourself fake deadlines and then giving yourself grace if you don’t meet them.

    Here’s my life-giving, life-saving list, my first time to participate in the link-up! http://www.bethanyrossbrown.com/2019/02/life-giving-stuff-february-ed/

  43. Erin says:

    I meant to respond to this on Friday, but life and work and a browser crash all conspired to make it an impossibility. Anyway, it’s so cold and the winter days are so short in my new home state, and it’s all the little things that are saving me: warm slippers and good books, new favorite TV series, snowboarding every weekend, and waking up each morning next to the one I love the very most, which after two years of cross country dating is absolutely awesome. 🙂

  44. Peggy says:

    What a timely article! We are going to DC on the 23rd and I’ve been thinking in the last couple of days what I need to get done to be ready to leave. Also I love Rick Steves!

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