I recently saw that Modern Mrs. Darcy had posted her annual list of "What's saving my life right now" as an antidote to the midwinter gloom (more important now than ever, as we endure our second February -- my least favourite month -- of living with covid)(third, if you count 2020, when covid was looming ominously and drawing ever-more closely, even if it hadn't made much of an impact on our lives yet).
I tried not to look at my last year's list too closely before I started writing this. Inevitably, there is some overlap, but I came up with a few new items too...!
- Dh. I've become very conscious in recent years (through the work of Jody Day & Melanie Notkin, and through the Gateway Women community) that there's quite a large number of women who are childless because they never met the right partner in time to have a family with. Dh has his shortcomings, of course, and we've had our ups & downs over the years -- but I've been reminded several times in recent months, as we passed the 40-year mark in our relationship (!!), of just how lucky I am to have him in my life. :) He makes me laugh, he makes me dinner almost every night, he makes me tea every afternoon without me asking for it, he's been doing most of the grocery shopping for the past two years since covid (insisting on taking on that extra risk himself), he pitches in with the laundry & cleaning... I may not have children -- but I have him. I am lucky and I know it, and I am very, VERY thankful.
- Days that are clear & sunny (even if they're freezing cold!), versus grey & gloomy. I was born & raised on the Prairies, where it might be -35C outside -- but the sun will, more often than not, be shining! As I am sure I've confessed before on this blog, I find the damp, slushy, grey gloom of southern Ontario in mid-winter a little hard to cope with. So I appreciate those bright, sunny days when they happen! (I notice that MMD does too! -- see #2!)
- Visits with Little Great-Nephew. At this time last year, our first vaccinations were still two months away, in early April. Older Nephew, his wife and Little Great-Nephew were all still living with BIL & SIL, not far away, but because of covid, our visits were few, short and mostly masked. Once we all got those first shots, though, we shed the masks around each other and began visiting more often -- especially once LGN's mom returned to work in May after maternity leave, leaving him in the care of SIL. In the months since then, he's gone from hiding behind his grandmother's legs when we arrived to running to the door to greet us with a huge smile on his face. We never got to spend this kind of regular, quality time with our two nephews when they were little (we lived on opposite ends of the city, and we were working during the week), and we are loving this opportunity for a bit of a do-over. We've often said that LGN will probably never know or appreciate just how much joy he brought into all our lives at a very dark time in the world. (But we'll probably tell him so when he gets older -- if only to embarrass him, lol.)
- Listening to music. The news these past 5-6 years has been hard to watch -- first, what happened in the U.S., politically, then covid, and some of the more recent events here in Canada. We still watch the news channels (CNN & CBC News Network), especially first thing in the morning, as well as the local CBC supper hour newscast and "The National" (CBC's nightly national newscast). But we've learned to turn them off during the day (unless there's something really important going on) and turn on a music channel instead (usually our favourite classic rock).
- "Bob's Burgers" reruns. If there's nothing else on TV at night that we want to watch, we know we can depend on Bob & family -- they're on every night on the Adult Swim channel here at 8 p.m. for an hour (two episodes), as well as new episodes on Sunday nights on Fox, and they rarely fail to tickle my funnybone, even if it's an episode I've seen a dozen times before. I've written about my love of this show before, most notably here. :)
- The Winter Olympics. (The opening is tomorrow morning, but the team figure skating event starts tonight!) It sounds like a rather joyless Olympics, to be honest, with the strict covid protocols being enforced by the Chinese government -- restricted audiences, no families present, no cheering (!) -- and the threats of both illness and politics hanging over everything. But there are always some great performances to watch and celebrate. (Go Canada!!)
- Online shopping. Obviously, I can't do this too often, for the sake of my wallet! lol And there's nothing like in-person shopping, and being able to see & feel what you're buying. (I miss our weekly pre-covid walking and browsing trips to the mall. We haven't even been back to the local mega-bookstore since before Christmas.) But I've had fun ordering a few things online recently -- some I was running out of (essential oils), some because I had a birthday discount that I didn't want to waste (skin care from Sephora), some I just wanted (pretty jewelry, pretty sweaters) -- and opening a box that was delivered straight to my door is always a nice little pick-me-up on a dreary day. :)
- Books. The five I read in January to start the year off were all great. In particular, I can heartily recommend Richard Osman's two books in "The Thursday Murder Club" series, if you're looking for something fast and fun. :)
- Tea. A nice big cup of plain old Tetley's orange pekoe (although I do have other varieties) with sugar and milk, in the morning after breakfast and mid-afternoon with a cookie. (Sometimes after dinner too, but I've tried to cut back on caffeine in the evening in an attempt at better sleep.) Always soothing and relaxing!
- This blog. I've been here for 14+ years now, and still haven't run out of things to say. ;) Writing is so cathartic for me, such an outlet, and never more so than these past two years with covid, I think...!
- The knowledge that there are just 28 days of February to endure. ;)