I've been listening to Jen Hatmaker's For the Love podcast quite a bit recently. (In particular, I enjoyed the "For the Love of the Enneagram" series and adored the special episode she recorded with her daughter, Sydney.) At the end of every episode, Hatmaker asks every guest the same question: what's saving your life right now?
Hatmaker credits the question to Barbara Brown Taylor, and always explains to guests that their answers can and should be literally anything they want as long as they're honest. Simple or complex. Superficial or deep. Funny or serious. I've heard responses spanning an incredibly broad spectrum and ranging from dogs and gardening to family and God.
As I understand it, Hatmaker has been asking this question for ages. But it feels particularly poignant right now, when we're nearly three-fourths of the way through this hot mess (I can think of a few better adjectives to use, but I'm going with something clean, clear, and appropriate) of a year. I thought answering the question myself would provide an opportunity to reflect on where we all "are" right now. I also thought it would be interesting to share my answers...perhaps you might see something on this list that could lift your spirits, or at least make you chuckle.
What's saving my life right now:
- Exercise. I have exercised in some way, shape, or form every single day since the pandemic began. It's relevant to note that I exercise almost every day regardless, and have done so for many years (I grant myself exemptions only on long travel days and for severe illness), but during a pandemic it would be easy to give myself a pass...and then another pass...and then another pass, until not exercising became the norm. When I exercise I feel physically, mentally, and emotionally strong, healthy, and confident; when I don't, I don't.
- On a related note, Mossa Fitness. I love workout classes to supplement my walking, biking, elliptical-ing, rowing, and occasional jogging, but without my gym (to which I still haven't returned) and its group fitness classes, I needed a way to stay on top of my strength and flexibility. Enter Mossa Fitness. Their online membership is only $7.99/month and the class options - Power, Centergy, Groove, and Fight are my favorites - are plentiful and able to be completed at home with minimal equipment.
|"Helping" me with my bench press.|
- On another related note, my mom. My mom and I walk "together" five or so times a week. She's an early riser by nature so she likes to walk early in the morning, and I have to walk early in the morning before virtual school starts, so the timing works out well for us to call each other when we head out to pound the pavement at 6:30am.
- My friends. I talked about two of them here, but also the friends I've spent in-person time with at socially distanced birthday celebrations; those I've kept in touch with via email, text, and social media; those I've chatted with through car windows or standing six feet apart in the middle of street; and my dance mom friends, who for a while I saw only at drive-by birthday celebrations but now get to chat with every Wednesday evening at our parking lot tailgates.
|Sitting around our "campfire" (electric candles).|
- Online ordering and curbside pick-up, from Amazon, Kroger, and Target of course, but also from small, local businesses - like my favorite dance store (Attitude) and creative studio (Board and Brush) - that are making every effort to cater to customers' needs during this crazy time.
- Coffee delivery. If you haven't heard me rave about Dos Road Dogs Coffee, you haven't been paying attention. The business, the people, and the coffee are amazing.
|My sweet, sweet cold brew.|
- Macaroni and cheese. On Wednesday nights we all go in different directions at different times so we don't eat dinner together. So when I'm finally finished with my responsibilities for the evening, I make myself macaroni and cheese and eat it all by myself while watching Friends.
- Friends. The kind on television. At the beginning of the pandemic I read that in times like these, we gravitate toward what feels comfortable and familiar, which means for many of us that we watch reruns of our favorite old television shows. This definitely rings true for me - Friends is my absolute favorite and I'd choose it over a new show 95% of the time, especially now that both Will and Hallie enjoy watching it as well. (Don't worry - I do A LOT of fast forwarding when Hallie joins me.)
- Yamuna balls. Did anyone else develop all the aches and pains and injuries once they turned 40? No? So it's just me then... I've had hip and hamstring issues for years, and they reared their ugly heads in 2020. My Yamuna balls, while not necessarily solving all of my problems, have helped ease some of the pain and discomfort. (And since they have solved some of my problems in the past, I'm a firm believer in their function.) Click here to learn more about Yamuna if you aren't familiar with the practice, here to check out the balls to which I'm referring, and here to see the foot wakers that after nearly two years of suffering, saved my feet from plantar fasciitis.
- The promise of fall. It's coming, and even more so than in years past, I CAN. NOT. WAIT.
What's saving your life right now?