Just Life

Saving My Life Right Now | Winter 2021.

me this morning. dark early. a brand new photo of my favorite family. coffee. journaling. quiet. coffee.

When Anne (Modern Mrs. Darcy) alerted us last week that today was the annual day to share about what’s saving us right now, I started drafting my list. I shared my first “saving my life” list here way back in April 2019 (with a shoutout to Barbara Brown Taylor, Jen Hatmaker, and Sarah & Beth from Pantsuit Politics – whew!). The thing I love most about this kind of list is that it captures right now. I’m good about Looking Back. and Looking Forward by saying Hello. and sometimes, simply pausing to name the things that matter today, or in this season, well, that matters most of all. ♥

Here’s the list I noted in my journal:

  1. our bubble. we have been able to see our grandchildren (and their parents) in real life since May. and thankfully, the rest of my family (my mom, my sister and her kids, my brother and his family) live close enough that – here in Georgia anyway – we can gather at a distance outside to at least see each other.
  2. a routine with Marc that allows me an hour+ of quiet time in the morning and another hour+ in the afternoon. these routines took months of quarantine to establish. and they are finally yielding fruit!
  3. tennis. I just started back to playing in September so it’s only been five months but wow. outside activity (again, here in Georgia) that works my body and my brain and allows for some social interaction.
  4. reading for 30 minutes early every morning. late adopter to this tried-and-true approach to getting more pages in and wow. it works! This is the time I read the “harder books” – the ones I need to pay close attention to, take notes about, and generally think more about. In January, I finished Hamnet, Such a Full Sea, Apeirogon, and Sula with help from these 30 minute blocks. Those are all 4 and 5-star reads and I can’t help but think the early morning time contributed at least a little to how much I enjoyed these books.
  5. knitting socks. at heart, I’m a sweater knitter, but lately I’ve been struggling to find the focus to actually knit a sweater. not to mention I added 17 sweaters (all needed 🙂 ) to my wardrobe last year and I really don’t need another 17. so. knitting socks – especially fingering weight socks – works. They keep my hands busy. they take a while. and they’re useful (socks wear out and they make great gifts).
  6. the Patreon communities for some of my favorite podcast/Instagram folks. Pantsuit Politics, What Should I Read Next, and Fiction Matters. I love how these women have created real communities on-line. I feel connected and invested. (and I haven’t had to join Facebook)

If you shared a Saving Your Life list today, I’d love for you to share a link in the comments. and if you didn’t, maybe you could share one thing that’s saving your life right now?

As always, thank you for reading and for being part of my story.

14 Comments

  • April

    A great list Mary! I am late to the set-a-timer-to-read party, but I am enjoying it. I am a slow reader, usually opting for audiobooks, and using this technique I’ve one book finished and another started. Feels like a win. I am trying to be more intentional with reading, journaling, and knitting. This will also be the first year I have my own one little word. It feels like a year of growth and energy. Thank you for sharing!

  • Sarah

    These are all very good things! I think my daily walk is saving me right now. I spend so much time sitting in front of a screen for work, but knowing that I’ll be getting my heart pumping for an hour every day keeps me from going crazy and cross-eyed.

  • kym

    Several years ago – as part of my one little word “work” – I came up with a list of 5 elements I need in my life every day. These 5 things hold true still, after all these years, and they are always what is “saving me”: meditation, movement/fitness, reflection/journaling, some creative activity, and spending time outside. XO

  • Bonny

    It sounds a little simplistic, but tea might be saving my life right now. These past few days have been full of exhausting shoveling, but I feel much better when I can enjoy a warm cup of tea after several hours out there in the cold and blowing snow. I’m sitting here with my tea right now, trying to work up enough gumption to go back out because we got another 6″ last night and it’s still snowing!

  • Carole

    I love this list and the idea is great. Saving my life right now is my therapist. She is wonderful and I’m so grateful for tele-health and the ability to continue seeing her weekly.

  • Patty

    I’d say my piano lessons (started in October) are saving my life right now. I enjoy the practice, and the excitement when it finally sounds like real music. I didn’t realize how ready I was to learn something new. And truly – getting some kind of workout in several times a week. And I love that you’ve worked out the quiet time…it’s so important in my world too.

  • Carolyn

    What I glean from this list is very intentional decisions and meaningful use of time–in mind, spirit, body. (And it does always seem to take some time to fine tune it, doesn’t it?!)

  • Margene

    Yes! to reading and sock knitting, along on-line comminities (Patreon and Zoom), plus my long walks with Mylo. I haven’t looked at them as “life-saving” but, they surely are!

  • Alexa

    That’s a lovely list of practical and soul-feeding activities … and I was wondering how many sweaters you had! One thing saving my life right now? Facetime contact with my children/grandchildren. The Littlest One and I have baked biscuits together with her Mum in our respective kitchens and once a week, I read aloud to my grandsons before they go to bed.

  • Jane

    That Modern Mrs. Darcy has some wonderful ideas. You have a very thoughtful list. A few things save my life right now: outdoor walking, FaceTime, and knitting. It’s interesting that the things that save my life haven’t changed due to the pandemic although I think I appreciate them even more.

  • lydia

    Sitting in the sunroom after work and it’s still daylight and warm enough for a bit of reading and a glass of wine.