Last year, Anne Bogel posed the question, What is saving your life right now? Taken from Barbara Brown Taylor’s Leaving Church, the question is used to reframe our winter doldrums mentality to one of something more positive – more life-giving.
Last year’s reflection stayed with me. As the seasons changed, I wondered what new things were saving my life in that moment? I started practicing the idea of marking a moment, an event, even a possession that helped me through a season.
Anne is asking the question again, a year later. It’s a good time of year to reflect and take inventory. The holidays are over; the lights are finally off the house; it’s a season of slowing down, snuggling in, and reflection.
So, here are five (new) things that are saving my life. (I think the old ones are still applicable, but I liked the idea of adding to the list.)
1) Learning Something New
I usually depend on nonfiction books to fill my need for learning. But, the 6 month-18 month stage of life is pretty nonstop. From sitting up to standing to walking to discovering, we are entering a very active year that needs a lot of supervision. (Because of that, I’ve set no reading goals for myself.)
While books may be a bit tough at the moment, I can do self-paced lessons and videos while Elle is playing next to me. Earlier this year, I signed up for Micah Murray’s Clumsy Bloggers’ Workshop. Each week, a new lesson is delivered to my inbox and I can complete it at my own pace. It’s been great for tweaking the look of my blog to learning about social media to becoming part of an encouraging Facebook group. While I’m happy with the low-key-ness of this space, I always like learning new things and this has helped.
A friend and I also signed up for Skillshare, a website that has thousands of 1-2 hour long lessons on a variety of topics. I watched one on how to market yourself as a freelancer (not very applicable but so interesting) and just started one on calligraphy. I’ve saved lessons on how to code and build my own website to a knife skills class. I love the idea of learning something completely different and out of my natural focus, and Skillshare has opened up that opportunity. (If you use the links to sign up, I think we both get a free month.)
2) Our Neighborhood
Right after I posted my blog about planning for tax season, our neighbor texted, We’re all in to help during tax time! That night, we had dinner over at their place while the girls played. I could not have imagined more amazing neighbors if I had tried. Moving to this area may not be the trendiest place in town, but I don’t think we could beat it for the community we’re forming. Even in the middle of January, our kids bundled up and rode bikes around the cul-de-sac before dinner. It makes me look forward to summer months and these guys growing up together.
3) Mamaroo Bouncer
This has been saving our lives for the past six months. Friends lent it to us and Elle spends quite a bit of time snoozing in this space-age “swing.” If I had one, I’d probably sleep as much as she does… (Future parents: Definitely register for this or check it out used. It’s amazing!)
4) Saying “no”
This has been the toughest one but the most important and, perhaps the one that is most life-saving. After years of being in multiple book clubs, I’ve pared down to one in town and one online. (If you’re looking for great books and discussion from the comfort of your home, checkout the Red Couch, hosted by SheLoves.) I’ve had to say “no” to other things, but these book clubs were part of my identity and it feels a bit weird to step back.
5) Weekly Walks
I’ve written about my walking buddy, Robyn before. We have been meeting weekly for years and I can’t imagine getting through life without these moments. Now that it’s tax season, my parents take the girls and we do a three-mile loop from their house. That hour of adult time, without a baby strapped to me or a preschooler interrupting, is what I need to make it through the week.
What about you? What is saving your life right now?
Linked up with Modern Mrs. Darcy.