Kathleen of Kapacino recently shared a post of what she's loving lately, which turned me onto a new book-themed podcast (bringing the total number of book podcasts I listen to to 6!) called What Should I Read Next. I love the host's voice and the thoughtfulness of her recommendations so much that I decided to poke around her blog for a bit. I stumbled across this post where she talks about a practice of keeping a list of things that are saving her life right now. Here is an except from her post in case you don't want to read the whole post:
"Most of us know what’s killing us, and can articulate it, if asked. Some of us are overwhelmed with hurry and worry; some of us face crushing poverty; some feel paralyzed, unable to move.
But few of us stop to note what’s giving us life. (Yet) it’s too good a question to not revisit every once in a while: what are the things—big or small—that are saving us?"
Admittedly, January was a challenging month for me. Between a cold turning into a sinus infection and my RA flare - which impacted me both mentally and physically - I faltered a bit in the first month of the year. I was so excited for the start of a new year as it brings so much promise for new experiences and the pursuit of new goals, but January felt like it lacked forward progress and instead the RA flare was a crushing reality check that I have a crappy disease.
I want to leave behind those icky feelings that emerged in January and start fresh this month, so when I saw that Anne encouraged her readers to share "what's saving their life right now" on February 1st, I decided it was the perfect time for me to play along! Before I share my list, I want to emphasize that my life is great. Yes, January was tough for me, but I realize that my blessings FAR outweigh the challenges in my life. I'm still the happy person I normally am - January just put a bit of a ding in my armor.
Here's a list of some of the things saving my life right now.
Phil and Miss Oscar. Of course my list has to start with Phil and Oscar. Spending time with them is the best part of every week. I feel a sense of peace and calmness when I am at Phil's house, and Oscar provides lots of laughs and entertainment. We fawn over her the way new parents fawn over a new child, I think. She definitely prefers Phil to me - big time - since he is the giver of treats, feeds her, and cleans the litter box, but that makes me appreciate the times she snuggles up to me even more.
Supportive family and friends. What would I do without my family and friends? While I don't see them as often as I would like, I completely feel their love and support. My mom and little sister have done an especially good job of checking in on me as they are both nurses (my mom doesn't work as a nurse but she'll forever be my personal nurse!) so they have a good understanding of the challenges and symptoms of RA.
Reading. Where would I be without my love of books? As George R.R. Martin so aptly said, "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only once." I'm so thankful for the escape that reading provides. There's nothing quite like cozying up on the couch with a good book.
Yoga. I never really thought I'd become a lover of yoga as I thought I might be too impatient of a person to enjoy it. But I've been practicing regularly since November and it has been so great for me. It's still a challenging workout (because, for instance, ALL the planks!) but it's also very calming and soothing for me. Best of all, though, is getting to practice yoga in a heated room - which I especially appreciate during this time of year.
Knitting. Every winter, I rediscover my love for knitting. I have a problem with feeling guilty when I watch TV, and I also have trouble staying awake when watching movies or other shows with Phil during the weekend, but knitting solves both problems as it allows me to feel like I am being productive while watching TV and it keeps me from falling asleep! Plus the rhythm of my clicking needles is very soothing.
Coffee. I heart coffee. So much. I love it even more when I sharing it with a friend. One of my closest friends lives close to Phil so I've been trying to stop by with coffee or meet her at a coffee shop on my way to/from Phil's lately and those catch up sessions are the best.
Going to Mexico. We leave for Mexico on Friday and knowing that I have this vacation to look forward to has been a life saver lately! I can't wait to spend 5 days relaxing on the beach with my favorite person.
Gluten free cheerios. Random, I know, but sometimes little things in life can really be life savers. While I love cooking, sometime I just want to eat a bowl of cereal for dinner. I'm so glad General Mills figured out how to make GF cheerios as that is one of my favorite kinds of cereal!
Mild winter weather and longer hours of daylight. The temperatures have been around 30F lately which feels glorious after the cold spell we had in January. I've been able to wear my light fall jacket to work instead of my heavy down one. The days are also getting longer which means it's not dark when I walk to and from work anymore.
Repetitive prayer. While my sleep has greatly improved, I still struggle to fall asleep at times and repeating prayers over and over (Our Fathers and Hail Marys) seems to help as I often times fall asleep in the middle of saying prayers.
All of you. Yes, you, the people reading my blog. I love reading your comments and I'm so grateful that my blog has allowed me to connect with so many like-minded and wonderful people across the globe!
What's saving your life these days?