At the beginning of 2020, instead of setting a bunch of goals, I decided instead to focus on three main priorities and one single word to guide my year.
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Nothing yet this year has been easy. In fact, some stuff has been really effing hard. And it’s only February 3. Of course, with an almost-three-month-old baby and a toddler going through sleep regression, there’s not actually much sleeping going on around here.
No sleep makes everything hard.
These short days magnify exhaustion, too, so some tough stuff piled on top of being super tired has been, well, less-than-easy.
So, when you find something that helps, that alleviates some of the exhaustion or the burden–whether it’s a physical or mental alleviation–celebrate it! For the past couple years, I posted here in response to a prompt from my favorite book blogger, Modern Mrs. Darcy. Her post this year went up today, so, without additional preamble, here’s what’s saving my life right now!
OK, I’m about to get super real here: If I could never step foot inside a store for the rest of my life, I’d be thrilled. (Please, please tell me there are other shopping-haters out there?!? Let me know in the comments because I sometimes feel like I’m alone in this… I mean, have you seen the “haul” videos on YouTube?!?)
While it’s not possible to not shop, I’ve relied heavily on deliveries lately. With a newborn who was born prematurely during flu and RSV season, I minimize trips out. Plus, it’s important to me to spend my money in a way that reflects our values, so for instance, I’ve been getting tree-free toilet paper, paper towels, and tissues delivered from Who Gives a Crap? <— that link should get you $10 off to try. I also get our plastic-free laundry detergent delivered from Dropps. When Coop’s on The Farmer’s Dog (we rotate and he’s been off it for a while) it comes automatically. <— that link should get you 50% off a trial box. We also get our grass seed cat litter delivered from Only Natural Pet, but here’s the one tribulation with deliveries: It’s been sold out on and off over the last year, so we’ve missed the shipment a couple times. Ugh. Otherwise, getting these regular, fast-consuming items delivered saves me from having to think of them and from having to take a newborn and a toddler out to the grocery, especially in bad weather.
My Public Library
On most Saturdays, you’ll find me tucked into a carrel typing away. John never works Saturdays, so it’s my one chance to sneak off and get in a full day’s worth of work. I value that time immensely. It’s quiet. It’s productive. I can get a large coffee and drink the whole thing hot. Also, I eat lunch in the little library cafe and use that time to read my book in peace. Frankly, though, I’ve been working through Ducks, Newburyport since the start of the year. It’s good. Really good. I don’t normally love experiment fiction, but this works for me. BUT at over 1,000 pages, order the Kindle version or check out the digital version from your library because my arms ache from hefting that thing around! (IF you decide to tackle this novel, give the narrator a good 50-75 pages. It takes that long for her voice to sink in, but once it does you won’t be able to get it out of your head.)
I don’t mean this one, not really, because this crazy “winter” weather doesn’t bode well for us or for our planet’s future… It’s not supposed to be in the 60s in Indiana in January. However, it’s saving me right now.
Violet attends preschool two days a week, and dragging her and her coat and hat and mittens and boots, plus Astrid in her bucket seat, well, it’s a lot. I’m thankful that the winter has been mild (so far), though I sure wish I could take better advantage to hit the trails with Coop! John, though, has been running Cooper almost every morning before he leaves for work, which is saving me, too, because Coop is nice and exercise and calmer!
Yoga With Adriene
If you’re not among the six million or so people subscribed to this YouTube channel, you gotta! In all seriousness, if you need an at-home workout that’s usually under 30 minutes, she’s the best. I did her 30-day challenge in January and looked forward to the video every day. She’s relateable, hilarious, helpful, and she has the cutest dog, Benji, who’s in almost every video. In fact, there was a video recently that didn’t have him lounging by her mat, and Violet looked up at the TV and said, “Hey! Where’s her doggie?” (I’m thinking about getting V this dinosaur mat because she LOVES doing yoga with me, and it’s just so cute!!)
Last year, I took a giant step back from Facebook. I just couldn’t take it. I’m going to be using it more in the coming year for a couple groups I joined, but my favorite place to hang out online is Instagram. I follow some really enjoyable accounts, and I like the time I spend on there. Instagram doesn’t have the same icky factor that Facebook has to me. Do you feel similarly?Let’s connect! You can find me here.
Wool socks, good books, family movie night, friends who understand–but those five came to mind immediately as helping me through this season.
How about you? What’s saving YOUR life right now?