What’s Saving My Life Right Now

In Leaving Church Barbara Brown Taylor writes about a time she was asked to speak on the topic, “What’s saving your life right now.” Taylor says she realized this was a good question to ask herself from time to time.

My blogging friend, Cara Meredith at Be, Mama. Be, recently wrote a post answering this question (which was inspired by another blogger, Modern Mrs. Darcy) and I decided to join in.

I struggle with seasonal depression and February is often the hardest month of the year for me. The holidays have passed and we’ve returned from vacation, but it’s still cold and gray with nothing to look forward to in the near future and spring still too far off to see over the horizon. February is a month where I fight hard for the good things in my life. Writing this list of what’s saving me is a way of recognizing to the ordinary graces that get me through these days.

  1. My Yoga Pants. Yes, I know, I’m stepping into something of a hot-button area here. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, don’t worry about it, it’s not worth it). Here’s the thing – There was Thanksgiving, then my birthday, then Christmas, then vacation and now my regular pants are like a fabric prison for my thighs and belly. But my yoga pants always love me. They stretch over my new jiggles without judgment. They whisper, “Go ahead and eat that King Cake. We’ve got you covered.” And I love them for that. (Can I just say, for 99% of women yoga pants are not about showing off our legs and butts. Yoga pants are about finding something that stretches over our legs and butts without cutting off our circulation. Amen.)
  2. Common Prayer. I started using Shane Claiborne’s collaborative book Common Prayer in my devotional time back in the fall, but I find myself clinging to it even more lately. Though they are designed to be used in a faith community (it’s called “common” prayer after all) I read the morning prayers myself each day and I find that this has helped to ground me. The book is inclusive and attempts to piece together parts of many liturgical traditions rather than just one and I really enjoy that. It has given me words to pray when I’m too tired or the days feel too heavy to find the words on my own.broadchurch_thumbnail_02_web
  3. Broadchurch. This is a BBC show that just slays me with how good it is. It’s a melancholy murder mystery kind of show that just haunts you in the best way. The second season is currently airing in the UK right now (don’t know that it’s available in the US) and thanks to using a VPN for our internet anyway, we can access it! It’s a bit torturous but so incredibly well done.
  4. blenderMy Beauty Blender. I’ve heard rave reviews about this product for a long time, but I was always kind of like, “Eh…it’s a sponge. How special can it be.” But since I’ve always wanted to be able to do my makeup to where it just looks like I have flawless skin I finally asked for it as a present for my birthday. My mother-in-law sent it to me, but the box got lost in the mail (first time this has ever happened). Finally, two months later, it showed up! I started using it. I cannot explain why this is the best thing ever, but it is. It feels like memory foam for one thing. You use it damp and just sort of pat in your foundation or concealer or whatever and it makes your face look absolutely flawless and not cakey at all. It’s seriously miraculous. I did try some similar products that weren’t the brand name beauty blenders (like the Real Techniques one) and to me there was a huge difference in the results. The real deal is worth it. I’m just bummed I didn’t find it before now.
  5. Edible cookie dough (doesn’t have raw egg – does have raw flour but I’ve eaten lots of dodgier things so that doesn’t bother me). Don’t tell my husband, but I secretly make just a teensy tiny amount of this sometimes and eat it really quickly while he’s at the gym. (shhhhh!) I admit, this is probably contributing to my needing #1 so much in my life right now.
    Cookie dough
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52 comments

  1. So amped to watch Broadchurch largely cos it’s my favourite Doctor Who guy and must find a way to get hold of it over here [hurry up and arrive already Netflix!] and LOVE eating cookie dough rather than cooking with it… and really used to dig Common Prayer as well so good choices all round…

    Hope it’s a great month for you
    love brett fish

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  2. Yoga Pants (or at least sweat pants) are saving me right now too! Your right, with all those holidays (and 1 more coming up!) healthy eating and working out just doesn’t seem worth it right now! So looking forward to spring and being able to workout out side again as well as being just more motivated in general (I swear the weather has everything to do with my intrinsic motivation to be healthy! Cookies sound WAY better than salads at this point!). 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes I can wear my yoga pants to school if I don’t have classes and I wear a big cardigan over the top. It’s the best. 🙂 And I agree about the working out and getting healthier. It’s so hard for me to be motivated in the winter, but I usually do well for the fall and spring. I’m starting to get to the point where I just accept that I live my life in seasons like that and that maybe that’s ok. As long as there are still the seasons of healthiness and motivation, it’s ok if it isn’t all year round. 🙂

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  3. Now that’s something to be thankful for. For some clinical depression it’s like a never-ending plunge into the abyss. It takes a lot of effort to even write out a gratitude list like this when “clinically depressed”.

    I have bipolar disorder so I’m one of the lucky ones that depression keeps on its To Do List. Luckily it’s been 3 years since my last major depression and I struggled to write 1 thing down that made me happy or that I was good at. I was totally numbed.

    Thankfully I have my humour back and I smile and laugh every chance I get.

    Great post. Saludos

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    1. You are right, clinical depression is intense. It’s more than just a mental thing where you can “think” your way out of it. Mine tends to be milder and I have a bit more hope now that it’s been identified as a seasonal thing. I’ve only had one bout of depression that was not seasonal and was more serious and that was so difficult because people kept telling me I could just choose to be joyful and I was like, “Um…no, I cannot.” Thankfully, I haven’t had a situation like that in quite a while.

      Thanks for sharing about your struggle. I’m happy to hear that you haven’t had anything major in a while and I hope you will continue to be healthy. And I agree – humor and laughter can be lifesavers. 🙂

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  4. I knew I could count on you to love Broadchurch as much as I do! I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed watching something so sad. It’s not that I enjoy being sad, it’s just that it’s so well done that I am in full appreciation of the actors/directors/cameramen. I just started watching the second season online and am excited to see the backstories begin to unfold. I was really starting to wonder how in the world they were going to do a second season with it since it was “solved” and all, but I like where it’s going. I’m so excited to have someone to discuss this with. PS- I’m attempting to get Asharae and Tim into it 😉

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    1. It’s basically destroying me. I love it so much I think about it all the time. But, you know, it can also be so upsetting. I agree that they are doing the second season perfectly even though the whole thing is agony!

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    2. Oh, PS- If you love Broadchurch, have you ever seen Top of the Lake? It’s set in New Zealand so it’s totally gorgeous, very slow and melancholy, but same kind of haunting story/filming style. It’s about the police looking for a 12 year old girl who tries to drown herself in the lake and then goes missing. (If that’s not a depressing enough start I don’t know what is, haha).

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  5. Oooh I love yoga pants! Right now it’s pretty cold here, but still, I love being able to walk to my yoga class in those. I feel so light and free, and I can take the big steps I can’t take in my jeans… I should definitely get more long and large sweaters to wear with those! 😀

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  6. YAY! This IS a good question to ask ourselves every once in a while, and (I’m realizing) to fight for the answers. The last couple of days have been full of sickness in our house, and I’m realizing that those little breaks – at the gym, with the sitter, etc – matter so much to my own sanity. It’s hard not to have those life-saving morsels.

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  7. I’m a college student and I love putting on yoga pants when I’m studying at home: they’re so comfy!

    The Beauty Blender sounds amazing! 🙂

    “Ordinary graces” — that’s a good way of articulating it. When I feel a bit blue sometimes, it is the little things that make a difference. I love getting up early and giving myself half an hour of quiet time, with a cup of green tea and my favourite blogs.

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    1. Seriously. Yoga pants for the win!

      The Beauty Blender is amazing. It’s a little expensive, but it’s really worth it.

      I also like getting up early and having some quiet time to myself in the mornings. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

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  8. Oh I completely know what you mean about seasonal depression! February is the worst. The holidays are over; no more pretty lights or festive music. But it’s still so dark and cold and rainy (or at least in the Seattle area) so it’s hard to even get outside. I love this idea of a “What’s Saving My Life” post. I feel like focusing on some of the positives during the beak, cold time of the year might be a really good thing.

    Yoga pants are so comfortable! They’re fantastic. And the BBC is also fantastic but I haven’t seen Broadchurch so I might need to check that out.

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    1. I don’t think I could handle Seattle’s weather. I am really, really affected by the weather. When we were thinking about where we’d move back to after Korea we basically made a list of places that are relatively warm and sunny. I don’t mind a short period of cold winter and I love a little snow, but I can’t hand the months and months of gray-ness. You have to do Broadchurch. It’s so well-done. Bit on the melancholy side, but so compelling! I also love basically everything the BBC does. Maybe I was born in the wrong country, haha.

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      1. Yeah, you wouldn’t want to move to Seattle. It’s beautiful and green and I’m madly in love with this area of the world. But it’s so rainy and gray. I kid you not, when my younger sister was very little it had been typical Seattle weather for a very long time and then one day the sun came out and it was beautiful and my sister looked up at the sun and asked my mom, “What’s that mommy?” Moral of the story: if you want sunshine, Seattle is not the place. 😉

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  9. You hit the nail on the head with yoga pants, but even better is cookie dough. Winter can be a tough time for sure. I bought a pot of hyacinth and another one of mini daffodils to remind me that spring is coming!!

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    1. Oh, I would love to have some flowers in the house! I’m not even sure where I could find them right now though. One thing I’ve done is I got some fresh-scented candles that remind me of spring and I’ve been burning them a lot. And hurray for cookie dough! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Do. Not. Get. Me. into Broadchurch lady! I do not have the time! 🙂 I keep hearing good things about this and I am trying to resist getting hooked on a long series. And edible dough!? There is such a thing? Why is it not in my cupboards (or belly) right now!

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    1. Hahaha. Sorry! (But not sorry). It really is amazing. It’s not a long series though! There are only like 8 episodes in the first season and the second season is currently airing. So you could easily catch up! 🙂 And yes, the cookie dough is amazing. But dangerous because it’s so quick and easy to whip up.

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      1. Lol! Both of these sound dangerous Miss lily ellyn and should be banned by the government just for my sake! Although if it’s easy to watch Broadchurch online in the corner of my screen while I work …then…I’ve no doubt sooner or later I will watch one…then of course the next 7 in quick frenzied succession!

        Heeeelp! That’s what happened with ‘The Walking Dead!’ There must be some Anonymous group for this?!

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      2. Hahaha. I’m the same way. I get hooked on something and I have to binge watch it until I’m done. I’ve done that with so many shows that I started watching late in the game. Hurray for the Internet! 🙂

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  11. my life will never be the same now that I have tried the edible cookie dough. oh my oh my oh my. such goodness. I reposted the comment because my blog link was wonkey. 🙂

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      1. Haha. It’s from a poem called, “somewhere i’ve never traveled, gladly beyond” and it’s beautiful. The small hands thing is a reminder of all the things that I’m not meant to carry because my hands are just too small. And actually, in my case, it’s literally true. I have this thing where my hands haven’t grown since early elementary school – so it’s also literally true. 😉

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      2. I would consider it, but from what I can see your blog only has re-posts at this point. I would need to see some original content that I felt good about promoting if that makes sense. 🙂

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  12. Have just found your blog-enjoying it-and am coming out of a nasty depression at the moment.Have decided to try common prayer(as have just finished an excellent devotion called Life in Christ by Mary Fleeson and am lacking purpose)and also the beauty blender!So though I wasn’t coming on here for retail therapy feel I know have the deep and shallow sides of my personality well catered for-thank you! Will let you know if I achieve both beauty and spiritual fulfilment after one Amazon trip! What has helped me as well is writing.My blog is thewrongkindofsnow.wordpress.com and it’s opened my eyes to a whole load of excellent blogs just waiting for me to discover.Result!

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    1. Thank you! I’m really glad you’ve enjoyed my blog. Blogging has also been a great way for me to connect with other writers and make new friends. I hope you enjoy both Common Prayer and the Beauty Blender. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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