Monday, February 1, 2016

What's Saving My Life Right Now

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?


Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Wow, what an inspirational post! I think that I often just gloss over the great things in life sometimes and it is good to stop and smell the lovely roses from time to time, isn't it!? I am so glad that you have people like Phil and Oscar ("people") and your friends and family and US in your life. I think that even though I am an introvert, without people, life would be mighty bleak. Even those coworkers who are like brothers are helping make it a pleasure and not a chore to go to work every day!

So...I guess that my list would be my "brother" coworkers, my actual family members, my running friends (I would slack off a LOT more without them, plus they are also like my therapists), my grandma's homemade blanket, the running jacket my good running friend got for me, days spent with my fingers in the dirt, living in the Bay Area where fresh veggies and mild winters are taken for granted, the Library and my WiFi connection. (Haha) This list could really go on and on!!

Marlys said...

I, too, loved this post! We really do have to sit back and count our many blessings, even in the midst of difficult situations be\cause when we look around, we can always see others who are suffering so much more! Yes, our sufferings and set backs do affect us, but we have to move on from them or they bog us down too much. That podcast is a great help to many, I am sure!
I love that you find prayers to be sleep inducing as that is what I do, too. Instead of worrying about something beyond my control, I turn it over to my Lord, and in praying it soothes me to sleep.
Reading it such a great escape and wonderful way to experience new surroundings and people we will never meet! I feel for people who have never escaped into a good book!
Have a restful trip to Mexico and I wish you warm sun and gentle breezes!

Nora said...

Such a great idea; I may have to borrow it for this week!
I, too, have also turned to prayer when I'm struggling with sleep. Like you, I often fall asleep mid-prayer. What better way to be able to get a good night's sleep?

Things saving me lately...
* Sunny weather. Such a nice change of pace from the norm for this time of year
* Cuddles with the hubs. We run in different directions during the week between our jobs so when we have time in the evening to just be, I really relish in it
*Jack. he makes me so happy when I come home, tail wagging and lots of kisses and sniffs.
* Supportive friends
* Laughing with my good friends two year old. She's adorable and loves me (and Knight); last night we read books, played blocks and shared a cookie. Can't go wrong with that!

missris said...

Aww my little sister is a nurse too! How funny. And yes, reading is now and always has been saving my life. Here's hoping February is easier on you!

Raquelita said...

Oh, this is wonderful. I feel like I'm doing something similar (often in very small and mundane doses) through my gratitude app that I've been using every day. I'm glad that you have so many things to buoy you and that you appreciate in your life even during hard times (which January definitely was a tough month). Things that are saving me lately: my relationship with my spouse, starting to find a running community, coffee, a Monday lunch with a friend and colleague to start the work week off with something to look forward to, small luxuries like a new lipstick in a fab color.

Erin said...

As always, LOVE when you post :) This is awesome and I want to make a conscious effort to recognize what is saving me. Off the top of my head right now I can think of:

Time with Jason and Welles
Supportive friends
Supportive family
Good music
Gilmore Girls on Netflix

Stephany said...

I need to come up with a prayer when I'm having trouble falling asleep. Last night, I fell into this downward spiral of realizing one day I am going to die. Like, all of us are. Life is short and fleeting! It was... quite a scary way to fall asleep, haha.

Things that are saving my life: a really wonderful and supportive roommate (I can't say enough how great it is!), calling my mom when I'm feeling low, Gilmore Girls marathons, Dutch snuggles, listening to podcasts (especially upbeat ones where I feel like I'm "with" my "friends," haha), a really great romance novel, and chocolate.

Amber said...

Oh I love this post format! I definitely need to do this. I have not been my normal positive and optimistic self lately and I am trying to find my way back to her. I think practicing gratitude is SO important and I know I have SO much good in my day-to-day life that I need to focus on that more than all the other stuff. I am really enjoying the podcast what should I read next as well so thanks for recommending it!

Right now, saving my life is coffee, re-watching Gilmore Girls, reading, working in a really safe, supportive place with amazing people and friends who know what is going on with me and check in on me and let me go on and on and on about boring medical stuff.

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

I love this post and all of the things saving your life :) Many of mine are similar. I have joked multiple times about reading saving my life especially in the last two years but I think it's been really important to have something that is totally just for me but is also relaxing ha ha.
Saving my life right now: definitely family and friends, children's motrin (max is sick yet again, ha ha), my new planner that I am in love with, BEAUTIFUL weather, and probably beer... to be honest ha ha.

Becky said...

LOVE this post! Mexico! SO sooooon!!! And yay to practicing yoga!

Saving my life right now: the women in the mother's room at work - I swear sometimes it's like free therapy - fun romance novels, supportive family, and a husband who makes me crazy but also makes me so happy! Oh, and baby belly laughs!

Charbelle said...

I loved this post by the way. I didn't get to comment yesterday.

I'm glad that yoga is going so well!

I'm SUPER excited for your Mexico trip!!!

Jeanie said...

A grand idea and a great list -- much of ours would be the same, though I'd be leaving off the yoga, Cheerios, coffee and unfortunately a trip to Mexico! And I'd swap out Rick and Lizzie for Phil and Miss Oscar, but apart from that, our lists are pretty similar, especially when it comes to supportive friends and bloggies!

I would also add the unusually warm January and lack of the "white stuff," making art, baking, and knowing that spring is only less than two months away, at least on the calendar! I can work with that!

As to Phil and Oscar, I think it's a girl-boy thing. Lizzie is the same with Rick -- he walks in and she's all over him. He's not her caretaker, chef, server or litterbox cleaner. He's just her guy. She'll snug with me but I think for the most part she views me as "the help." Have you seen the "Dear Kitten" videos? You must. Kitten looks just like Oscar!

Anonymous said...

I love this. I'm having a pretty tough time right now so I thank God for my incredible husband who is definitely saving my life right now. The other things saving my life are also our relatively mild winter and getting in the kitchen to cook which is always my greatest stress reliever.

Jenny said...

This is a wonderful post and I love your list, it feels warm and cozy :) I hope you have a great time in Mexico!

Inspired by all the knitting talk I hosted a craft group last Friday and it was really nice to get the needles out and enjoy some girl talk.

We have 2 holiday Mondays in a row so two long weekends woohoo!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

What a great post!

Have a wonderful trip to Mexico!!!!!

The things that are making me love life right now are:

- The amazingly beautiful weather (we basically didn't get winter this year)
- Christopher, the best thing that ever happened to me
- Enjoying and celebrating little things each day

Linda said...

Well we love reading your blog. It's a 2 way street!


I have such a bad case of wanderlust.

- couch time with Sugarface and pups
- cranking out more blogs on the food blog
- podcast recordings with girlfriends. it's an excuse to hang out on google hangouts!

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

beer, social media, slippers and cozy blankets. ha

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