Do you ever hear a phrase or learn new information and it seems to follow you everywhere? My husband says it is called the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon or the frequency illusion. We are biased to hearing it because we now know what it is, but that takes the magic out of it for me. The world is chaotic enough, I would like to think the information I need or ideas seek me out like Elizabeth Gilbert talks about in her book Big Magic.
This month I have heard several times in articles or podcasts about what is saving my life right now and I love thinking about that. What is it I turn to for comfort, for joy, for warmth and community?
Listed below, with links when available, are what is saving my life.
In November my husband and I went to a local paint and sip that we had been meaning to do for months after I won a free session in March. MARCH! To be fair, my life imploded after a medicine problem and it took me almost 6 months to recover, but it still was a long time. Luckily they honored my free class and we painted. I loved it! For Christmas my in-laws bought me an easel, brushes, canvases and paint. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love.
Painting opened up my creativity in ways that I didn’t know it could. It didn’t just help me relax, but it improved my writing and sometimes even my mood 🙂
All of the paintings below were from her youtube tutorials or inspired by the techniques of the videos.
2. Crocheting with Blanket Yarn
I used to knit but could never figure out how to crochet. Over Christmas I had time to sit and I got onto youtube and learned to chain, single crochet, loop daisy, half double tall and double tall crochet. I started an afghan last Friday and am almost done. I already went back and bought more skeins so I can start on another as soon as I finish with this one. I love the repetition of the stitch. I can sit and listen to podcasts, music, t.v. or sit in silence. Added bonus, it keeps me warm while I work.
You can find the Youtube tutorials here
3. What Should I Read Next (podast)
I love podcasts when I am walking or driving or generally putzing around the house pretending to be productive. This podcast has quickly become my favorite. My favorite part of being a librarian was connecting readers to new books. Ann Bogel’s podcast is a librarian’s dream. She interviews people in a conversational way. Asks them their three favorite books and why. The book the hated and why and what they are currently reading. She comes up with three books for them to try. I have found so many new authors to try! Classics I hadn’t heard of and she really pushes me outside my reading comfort zone. If you are wanting to enrich your reading life, I suggest this podcast and the reading challenge on her website The Modern Mrs Darcy.
She also has a great book that came out this fall called Reading People: how seeing the world through the lens of personality changes everything. She goes through the different personality quizzes and how knowing how people respond and feel about situations helps us communicate better. It is a great book to read sections of or straight through.
(I am an Amazon Affiliate. If you make a purchase you not only support the author, but I receive a percentage of the sale)
4. WOW (Work our Works in Progress) through Women’s Fiction Writer’s Association
WOW is a little like NANOWRIMO. Unlike Nanowrimo each writer sets a personal goal, whether it is a word count, making writing a daily habit, editing/revising or querying. We post challenges and encouragements throughout the month of February. I have had the pleasure of co-coordinating this even the past two winters. I love finding inspiration to cheer each other on, but in the helping of others reach their goals, I find myself making tons of forward progress in my own writing.
5. Hot Chocolate. It pretty much doesn’t matter the brand, but a warm cup of hot chocolate makes the days seem not so dreary. I have something to look forward to in the afternoon. I grab a book and sit in my favorite places (my newly created window seat in the kitchen or next to the fire in the living room) My favorite, however is Trader Joe’s Peppermint Hot Chocolate.
It’s not in our store currently, but you can find it on Amazon. If you want some delicious hot chocolate click on the link below. (Remember I am an Amazon Affiliate and if you purchase, I receive a portion of the sale. I did not receive any money to promote this product. I just love it.)
I could probably go on and on, but what will I talk about next month 🙂 I love the idea of sitting down and writing a list of what you appreciate in life. It brightens up dark days and in discouraging moments it reminds me that life can still be savored.
What is saving your life right now?