Monday, February 19, 2024

#MicroblogMondays: What's saving my life right now?

Every year, Modern Mrs. Darcy asks her readers "What's saving your life right now?"  (Or at least keeping your head above water?)  

It was a very timely prompt -- if you've read some of my recent posts, you'll know the winter has been getting to me...!  Without looking at previous years' posts, here are a couple of things I could think of:   

  • Spending time with our great-nephew & great niece.  :)  Admittedly, it doesn't happen often these days, now that Little Great-Nephew is going to school -- but such a day-brightener when it does!   
  • ...and shopping for them. I had lots of fun assembling Valentine's Day goodie bags for them recently (still have to get Little Great-Nephew's to him...), and I've started collecting things for Easter too (bunny ear headbands, anyone??  lol), as well as for Little Great-Niece's upcoming FIRST birthday! (Yikes! -- already??)  (And the fact that I can do these things with only a few grief-y twinges shows how far I've come!)  
  • Getting out of the house once in a while. The pandemic really threw a monkey wrench into our usual routines outside of the house. We're still pretty cautious and try to avoid crowds (which we did even before the pandemic, lol) -- but we've realized there's no reason why we can't go out shopping or to the mall, etc., so long as we're masked -- and so we have been doing that a little more frequently lately.  I think we could even eat out once in a while too, although admittedly I'd feel more comfortable doing that on a patio in good weather, or during off-times when there will be fewer people.  We haven't really done much of that yet (aside from a few early lunches in the food court at the mall), but maybe when the nicer weather comes... 
  • Snow!  (Believe it or not! lol)  We've had very little snow this winter -- or other recent winters -- which is unsettling and upsetting in some ways. Who knew we'd be missing winter, right?  :(  There have been several articles recently about how the consistently warmer temperatures in recent years have been affecting traditional Canadian winter activities -- skating on backyard rinks and the Rideau Canal, skiing, tobogganing, etc. (not to mention moisture levels in the soil, which is critical for the success of crops during growing season) -- how winters are so different today than when we were children, and what's it going to be like for our own kids and grandkids (and nieces and nephews and greats)?  There's been a real sense of grief & loss. So seeing snowflakes in the air and snow covering the ground feels both special and right and NORMAL (even when it disappears a few days later).  (Admittedly, not everyone feels this way...  and it's easier to welcome some snow when you're retired and living in a condo -- i.e., you don't have to shovel it or commute through it to work!  lol) 
  • Blue skies & sunshine.  It's been mostly grey & gloomy outside, which has not been great for my mental health. The occasional days when the sun does shine (even if it means colder temperatures) make a world of difference! 
  • Our humidifier, moisturizer and lots of lip balm. It's very dry in our condo, even with the humidifier running constantly (albeit not at full blast, because it just gets too noisy then, despite Dyson's claims of "quiet" technology...!).  The humidity levels have only cracked 40% a couple of times since we got back from Christmas vacation, and more often hover in the low/mid-30s.  I've always had great skin;  people have always complimented me on it -- but apparently skin often gets drier with age, and it seems I'm not immune:  these days I've got some patches of dryness and rosacea on my cheeks/around my nose. It sucks. :(   My doctor prescribed me a topical gel, and I've been using it since last fall, but it hasn't really helped much.  
    • I recently bought a small jar of Clinique Redness Solutions cream to try, and I've actually seen some small improvements since I started using it last week, which makes me feel slightly better about looking in the mirror...!   
    • My favourite lip balm continues to be the (very pricey -- and the price has gone up by about $8 since I bought my last tube!! WTF??)  Sugar Advanced Therapy Treatment by Fresh.  
    • But I also really like this Smooch lip balm by K'Pure, which a friend introduced me to in recent years. :)   
  • Comfort food.  Lots of soups for lunch (our local supermarket has some good ones at their takeout counter takeout), roast or rotisserie takeout chicken, chicken & dumplings in the crockpot... I pulled out my mother's meatloaf recipe recently, which I hadn't made in years, and made mini-meatloaves in muffin tins, topped with a Dijon mustard/brown sugar glaze (I know most people use ketchup, but I can't have that because of my tomato allergy), served with garlic mashed potatoes. There were leftovers to put in the freezer too. Yum!  
  • Chocolate!  ;)  Dh & I traditionally exchange cards on Valentine's Day, but this year, there was also a small heart-shaped box of Lindor chocolates sitting on my night table when I woke up, along with the card. (He knows me well!)   
  • Books (of course!).  The latest S.J. Bennett novel (in the "Her Majesty the Queen Investigates" series) isn't available in North America yet, but I was able to snag a copy, and (as usual) it's such a pick-me-up.  :)  
  • Pretty new jewelry.  :)  Love me some new bling! (Even if I don't get the chance to show it off in public very often these days...!) 
  • Turning the channel on the TV -- away from the news networks, and onto some music. (Mostly classic rock and 70s channels!) 
  • Zoom chats with distant friends. :) 

Past posts on this subject here

You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts here


  1. I can’t seem to log in so am posting anonymously (it’s Turia).

    I am also struggling emotionally with the lack of winter and what it all means. We choose to live here - we want to experience all the seasons! And I would much rather have colder temperatures plus snow plus blue sky than the endless grey and cold rain.

    If it helps, the kids and I are coming up on four years Covid-free and we do pretty much everything except eating indoors in restaurants. We’ve seen lots of plays, movies, etc. all while masked, and we’ve spent a lot of time on public transit. I’m sure there’s been some luck involved with some situations (especially airplane travel) but the masks really do work!

    1. Sorry Blogger is acting up on you, Turia! -- it's always lovely to hear from you! :) You express my thoughts exactly! Glad to hear that you've continued to dodge the Covid bullet too (knocking wood...!). I so appreciate all the tips you've given me over the years!

  2. I love these posts too. I actually have one ready in my drafts folder, to write in July or August, in the depths of our winter, but I forgot last winter! lol
    Books, jewellery, chocolate and the LGNs sound like a good recipe for good cheer. And getting out of the house. Good for you. We have also missed covid so far (crossing fingers, touching wood!) and there aren't many activities we wouldn't do/haven't done - masking as necessary. A friend and I are trying to see as many of the Oscar-nominated movies as possible. Daytime movie-going is generally much easier - hardly anyone there on a Tuesday morning!
    I admit that even here in summer, I've had a little cabin fever lately - lots of wind that restricts outdoor activities, coupled with the school holidays (schools reopened for the new year mostly around the first week of Feb), kept us at home more often than not. Without wind (also fingers crossed!), I have lots of intentions for picnics, photography walks in natural bush, time by the sea, etc.

  3. Oh, the lack of snow makes me sad too! If it's going to be cold, snow makes it so much prettier (and brighter)! I can't stand the gloom. My love of snow increased when we moved to a house with a working garage, ahhhh. And my goodness, the need for lip balm and hand cream in the winter is real! I'm so sad because my chapped lips healed up entirely while in California... But back to the North I go. And awww, DH is so sweet! Magical overnight chocolates!