What's Saving Your Life?

A couple months ago, a blogger I follow poised the question, "What's saving your life right now?" She posts this question at the midpoint of winter as a prompt to look towards the light. She, like many others, struggle with the long, cold days, fighting the animal-like urge to curl up in a soft corner with a blanket and hibernate the season away. In the darkness, life is hard but we need to keep going. For some, that need need to keep going, the need to keep living, is a real struggle.

When spring dawns, many people's spirits are buoyed by new growth and vitamin D streaming from the warm sun. Yet, for others, the darkness lingers. The hard season of life is not marked by days on the calendar. It is just part of living and breathing right now. Though the call of the birds and the brightness of the sky might ease some of the pain, life is still tough. Happiness hard to come by.

It is from this vantage that I make my own list of "what's saving my life." It is a list of things that brings light in through the darkness and joy into my life, even if for just a moment. They are listed in no particular order. 

1. Tea
This is my little bit of decadence in the middle of diaper duty and scrubbing cottage cheese off the dinning room floor. A cup of warm black or herbal elixir calms my soul for a moment. It prompts me to slow down and savor where I am right now.

2. My Bullet Journal
I am a mess when I try to keep "all the things" in my head. When I sit down and brain dump my to-do list, appointments and those pesky song lyrics stuck in my head, I feel a lot better. Now my brain has space to make decisions without overloading.

3. Reading
It might sound strange, but I wouldn't have called myself a reader until I had my second child. At that point books became air. They give me a place to escape. They nourish my underfed brain cells. I can physically feel the tension building up in my body when I haven't had a chance to read in awhile.

4. Therapy
This has been saving my life, my marriage and possible the lives/mental health of the little ones I take care of a while now. I'm really proud the of the hard work I've done and the progress I've made that has allowed me to cut back on sessions. But even now, years in, I occasionally find myself checking the calendar for my next appointment. Therapy is a safe place for me to talk and get perspective. I've learned many valuable tools to help myself through the harder days.

5. Friends
As an introvert, people haven't always ranked high on the list of things I need. Often, all my heart desired is to be alone. But in right now, my friends are really saving my life. Friends that treat me like family. Friends who show up and give me a break or food. Friends who pray and trust me enough to pray for them.

6. Gratitude
I tend to be a "glass half empty" kind-of girl. Some might say "a glass half empty and if you aren't careful it is going to break and you'll loose all the water" kind of girl. Gratitude, looking on the bright side does not come natural. Yet, when I make a point of looking for the silver lining, the table turn. Instead of seeing what I don't have or what I'm missing, I see that I am blessed and really have all I need.

7. Quiet Time
Earlier this year my youngest quit napping. Insisting that both my kids maintain quiet, alone time for an hour in the afternoon is what keeps what keeps us all sane. It isn't easy (sometimes it is more of an exercise in self control for all involved than an actual break). Yet, it is an anchor in our routine and I see the negative effects if we miss it.

What is saving your life right now?

Kristen is a wife and mother who likes to pretend that she can cook, write and create. She is a little compulsive when it comes to cleaning and organizing and has an ever growing love of dark chocolate, tea and Jane Austen. But mostly, she is a woman trying to figure out how to live a life she can be proud of.