This topic is mostly inspired by one of my favorite public speakers/authors/all-around role models, Jen Hatmaker. I subscribe to her Book Club and her Podcast. At the end of each podcast episode she asks whomever she is interviewing the same question, “What is saving your life right now?” The answers can range from the trivial (Schitt’s Creek) to the profound (my best girlfriends). It’s a question I think about often in my day to day life as well, especially during the pandemic when it’s important to focus on those good things.
The Jen Hatmaker Book Club is a subscription box that includes the book we’re reading for the next month and a small gift. The January gift was a calendar/planner designed specifically for the book club. At the start of each month are three boxes: Words to Live By, Target Goals, and Top 3 Things. I decided the Words to Live By space would be a favorite quote from the month – usually something I read and the Top 3 Things box was going to be my list of what was saving my life this month. Then I decided, why not post a blog about it each month? So here we are!
“There’s music everywhere … You just have to learn to listen for it.”The House on the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
Top 3 Things:
Ok, maybe this first one isn’t technically “saving my life” in the spirit of the question, but it was a highlight of the month and has helped lessen some of the stress my husband and I have been feeling lately. Both of our cars are on their last legs. We knew his wouldn’t pass inspection this month without investing more than it’s worth. My car is sitting at the garage awaiting it’s appointment whenever it can be squeezed in, because we recently had it jumped by AAA and weren’t sure we’d be able to get it running again so we just dropped it off. It too needs an inspection and the jury is out on whether or not it will be worthwhile to pay to keep it on the road one more year. So, we needed at least one new car and unfortunately may need another soon. While I hate having to have car payments again (both of ours were long paid off) it’s nice knowing we have a car we can rely on to get us where we need to go safely. And she’s a cute car, that I promptly named Wanda. My husband is humoring me – he’s not a car-naming person.
I know you’ve all heard it before, but doing things for yourself is soo important. I recently posted about my FabFitFun subscription. That was something I did for myself just so I would have something fun to look forward to every few months. I also signed up for an Ipsy subscription and look forward to those monthly bags. And just last week I received a box from Stitch Fix. It had been years since I had received one, though my husband has gotten a few lately. I just always felt guilty about spending that much on clothing for myself. I felt even more guilty when we ended up buying a car 3 days after I scheduled it – but he told me I deserved it too. And it was fun to look for the clothes and try them on. I didn’t keep everything, but there was a sweater I fell in love with that my husband bought for me. These are the things I did for myself this month. But self care doesn’t have to be spending money on subscriptions – it can be just taking 20 minutes out of your day to read a book, meditate, so something just for you, whatever that is. Try a face mask, spend $7 on coffee, binge Bridgerton – do something that makes you happy and allows you to relax.
I promise I’ll try not to put this on my list each month! But you all know by now how much I love books. (Unless you’re new, in which case HI!) Books have always been my refuge; I love engrossing myself in the lives of the characters and ignoring everything else for a time. This year I’ve signed up for two reading groups in addition to my regular book clubs: a group reading all Dickens’ novels throughout the year, and a group reading Shakespeare’s history plays. I’m such a nerd and love studying literature so much that I’m particularly excited about the Shakespeare plan; we’re reading one play per month and I have an abundant list of resources to read and learn more about the play itself and British History. I also started this year off with a reread of one of my favorite series (in anticipation of a new novel coming out soon) and several other very good books, one of which inspired my “Words to Live By” Quote of the Month.
Runner Up: Bernie Mittens Memes. It was just so nice to have an entire week in which the biggest trending topic on social media was not the president or politics, but Bernie and his mittens. Even better, instead of being offended, Bernie took the meme and turned it into a sweatshirt to sell for charity – with 100% of profits going to Meals on Wheels Vermont.
Those are my Top 3 Things for January. What things have kept you going this month?