Thursday, February 28, 2019

What Saved My Life in February

For me, February has some high highs and low lows.

It's my birthday month for starters and I enjoy Valentine's day because we keep it pretty simple and find ways to show our love for each other.  Presents, chocolates, love...all good. 


At the beginning of February, we get a snow day or two that has the buzz of excitement.  Schedules get simplified, the air is different: crisp and cool with little flakes of hope falling from the sky.  The first snow days of the year are for reading and hot cocoa.  We all go out to play.  It's a fun change of pace. 
walking Ruby in the snow

But by the end of February, I am done with the snow.  And the missing of school.  And the havoc it wreaks on routine and schedule.

Ennui sets in over gray days spent inside trying to keep warm.  This is a time to look on the bright side.


So, I've been staying current with my list of what saved my life this month and here are the highlights:

Journaling

I haven't kept up this as much as I would have liked but every time I've sat down and written three pages, longhand, in my journal I've felt like a weight has lifted off my shoulders.  I read the first part of The Artist's Way workbook back in August and it always surprises me how spot on the author's recommendations are for fueling creativity.  I used to start and stop journals all the time but the way I journal now is less a memorialization of days and more a purging of my brain.  And it always feels so good.

A Shower Cap

Weird, I know.  But my hair looks so much better when I can style it and then not wash it for four days.  It's healthier, too.  I needed a solution to keep my hair dry and still get in a shower each day and my white shower cap with hot pink polka dots solved that problem.



Hand Wash

Our family has had a winter marked by colds and stomach viruses.  This month I got really tough on my kids about washing their hands.  We have soaps that smell good and I demonstrated just how lovely it could be to wash your hands for two minutes.  Suds, warm water, and the promise of less illness.  Ahhhh.

Random Sunny Days

The gray of February gets me down but every now and then we get a random sunny day that makes my heart sing.  Maybe it's the contrast that causes me to appreciate it so much.  The kids put on short sleeves and I take the dog for a nice walk to get some sun on my face.  We can feel spring around the corner and that makes us so happy.

just call me Olaf

Soft Sweaters and Warm Blankets

When your house is cold you figure out quickly which sweaters in your closet are the softest and which blankets are our favorite for cuddling under at night.  I have this big blue J. Crew sweater that I could wear every day of this month and be happy.

Book School with Anne Bogel

If you're part of the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club you get six video chats with Anne Bogel about writing and talking about books.  There have been many evenings when the pressures of life and the dark evenings have weighed on my mind and book school has been the perfect distraction that has kept me learning.  Plus, there's homework.  It's so fun doing homework about something you love.


Buying Fewer Books

In January I thought I'd keep a little list in my bullet journal with all the books I bought in the year.  I figured it might help me be more intentional about the books I was choosing and maybe spur me on to self-control.  Well, that's exactly what happened.  After January I was SHOCKED by how many books I had already purchased just one month into the year.  I included gifts and books for my kids so they weren't all for me, but still...

This month I've tried to read what I own a little more and kept in mind that I have lots of books at home whenever I'm out and about.  Just because I'm in a bookstore does not mean I need to leave with a bag full of books.

Doing this has calmed the stress I feel from the stacks and stacks and stacks of books around me.  I've saved a little money and going to a bookstore and coming out with nothing has empowered me to know I actually do have an ounce or two of self-control.  

me and books...also, me and pizza

Music

This could probably come up every month.  

I've been listening to classical music while I write.  I have resorted to pumping white noise in my headphones so I can read while my kids are being loud.  In the car, before dinner, or weekends during breakfast we are listening to The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, U2, Rend Collective, and an apple music playlist called Ina's Favorite Love Songs.  Quiet is a challenge for me right now and varying music genres is keeping me very happy.

What's making you happy or giving you hope?  What saved your life in February?

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