Inspired by Modern Mrs. Darcy (who is also my Reading Challenge inspiration this year), I have been thinking about what’s been getting me through these long winter months.
Thanks to my health problems, I am supposed to avoid people as much as possible. If I can’t avoid them and have the possibility of having contact with sick or non-flu vaccinated persons, I get to wear a medical mask. My favorite thing ever is drawing attention to myself (all introverts simply relish this) so I have a hard time making myself wear the mask in public. However, I did find cute fabric ones that actually fit my tiny face and make me feel less awkward about wearing them. I usually only wear it during ballet classes because little girls = germs and the possibility of physical contact is like 95%.
Along with having to avoid people, the weather this winter has been crazy. It gets so cold, to the point of wearing multiple pairs of pants and layering sweatshirts and coats, then two days later, I can walk around outside with just my cardigan on. By the time I get over the cold the latest temperature change brings, it changes again, producing a new illness to get over. My energy level this season has been next to nothing, and when I have good days I am afraid to do too much and make myself sick again. My house is a bit of a hot mess right now, but it’s okay.
It’s okay because I have still managed to get some less strenuous tasks completed and do everything that I HAVE to do. During the winter, that is enough for me.
So, without further ado, here is a list of some of the things that are saving my life this winter.
- Knitting. I think I’ve completed more knitting projects this year than I have possibly ever done before. They’re even larger projects than normal, since I used to just make a lot of washcloths. I finished a shawl recently, made three Harry Potter themed scarves, along with some dishcloths and most of a kitchen hand towel. I’m currently about 85% done with another slightly larger shawl. I’ve found I can knit during certain road trips (one where the brakes aren’t hit very often and the roads aren’t too curvy) and I also hate sitting there doing nothing while watching TV, so if Andrew and I spend the evening together relaxing and watching TV, I can get a lot of knitting done in a short amount of time. (Knitting is also great for anxiety, and less anxiety means I can handle more life with less steroids, which is important when you’re steroid dependent!)
- Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2020 Reading Challenge. I have already read six books this year, five fiction and one non-fiction. Four of the five fiction books were able to be placed on my reading challenge list. I have a friend who is helping encourage me/keep me accountable and I am doing the same for her, so it’s a solitary yet communal effort to complete. I think this has really helped me focus on reading a little each day, so far there have only been three days in 2020 that I haven’t read at least a page of a book.
- Crock-Pot meals. Even though I only work part time, I still find myself being really busy and needing to rely on the crock-pot to make meal time less stress. Whoever invented crock-pots deserves a prize. (Of course, this made me curious and y’all, the backstory to crock-pots is short and sweet.)
- My mini Norwex envirocloth. My friend had a Norwex party recently and I attended because…Norwex (I may or may not have gotten the mop system because I’ve gone a year and a half of marriage without having a decent mop). At this party, the consultant told us how she keeps a damp mini envirocloth in a plastic baggie in her purse to wipe down cart handles, open doors with, or wipe any other potentially germ coated surface and I thought that was GOLD. Norwex actually deals with germs on the spot as opposed to sanitizing wipes that only work if you keep the surface wet for four minutes. (FOUR MINUTES. Yes, because every time I go to the store I want to waste four minutes sanitizing my cart.) Not even a concern now, I can just swipe and go, then use the cloth later to wipe my hands after getting back in my car, and away we go into a healthier blue yonder. (Note: this also helps when your nieces love to drink out of/chew on your water bottle. I can just wipe that down and go on with life without worrying…except about backwash. I guess that part can’t be helped.)
- Reading a chapter of a non-fiction book a day. I have all these wonderful Jesus books to read but I have a hard time making myself sit down and simply read through. I love taking notes and underlining and writing about what I am reading, so it is tiring to try to do too much of that at a time. Enter One Chapter A Day, the practice that has been getting my to-be-read list down! Although, to be honest, the more I read, the more I want to read more books by the authors I am reading and then I follow them online and they recommend other books…it’s the most wonderful sort of problem to have. God is so good to us in this digital age, we have access to so many great resources at our fingertips. It is wonderful, but it is also easy to get bogged down by the weight of everything we can do because of the internet. But, reading keeps me away from technology! (I have the Kindle app on my phone, I read on there when I have to, but I will always be an old fashioned book lover.)
Thanks for reading though my list! What are some things that have been getting you through this season?