Welcome to February, friends! (HOW, I ask you, HOW are we already done with one whole month of 2021?)
And welcome to “what’s saving my life right now!” This post is inspired by my favorite book blog, Modern Mrs. Darcy.
I’ve done this post twice now, once in 2018 and once in 2020. (Wonder what happened in 2019?) It’s interesting to look back and see that, while the world is a wholly different place, some things have stayed the same. So, her question is simple but powerful in these depths of winter: What’s saving your life right now?
Here, in no particular order are 5 things saving MY life. And I’d love to know from you in the comments: What’s saving YOUR life right now?
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Dog boots (so I can keep running)
I’m so thankful Kurgo sent Cooper this set of Blaze boots. I do a little writing for their website, and I have an upcoming post about running with your dog in winter. Boots are SO important. I can’t overstate this: If you live in a wintry climate, you NEED dog boots so you can keep running. Salted roads and sidewalks, patches of ice, frozen snow banks, it all takes a terrible toll on the pads of your dog’s feet if he doesn’t wear boots.
I do not love running, generally, and I really do not love running in winter, specifically. However, during these pandemic times, getting out for runs two or three times a week is keeping my head clear(er). A total necessity. So, then, are Cooper’s boots! (You might be thinking: Well, couldn’t you just run without Cooper? Hard no. He’s the only reason I run! Read more here and again here.)
Curbside pickup at the library
Seriously, we could not live without the library in this house. During “normal” times, we checked out about 40 picture or board books each week, plus some movies, plus whatever book or two I had on my list. With the library closed, I am grateful to an extent I can’t even articulate that they’re offering curbside pickups of online holds. It’s usually about five to 10 books each week that they pull for us, and I am so thankful. January was cold and miserable and long and dark, and I ended up reading six books and the girls got dozens. (Quickie January reading roundup: If you’re looking for something light and fluffy and darling, I recommend this. If you’re looking for poetry, this is everything. If you want something more serious, you can’t go wrong with Olive.)
It’s funny. I listed this last year, too, and that was pre-pandemic! I’m grateful, then, that I had so many set up prior to the world shutting down. This is such a big topic that I’m writing an entire post on how I use subscriptions to manage pet supplies and save a TON of money (it’s seriously crazy how much you can save if you’re strategic about it). But, suffice it to say, without subscriptions, I don’t know what I’d do.
Which leads me to…
I had ordered Instacart a couple times last year because I had gotten a coupon for free delivery. I wasn’t impressed. In hindsight, I think it was either flukey (got a bad delivery driver maybe) or they hadn’t really honed their services yet because demand wasn’t high enough. Now, though? Oh, my goodness. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to regular grocery shopping.
Once a week, usually on Sunday morning, I sit down and plot dinners for the week, including a frozen pizza night every Friday, which we eat on the couch with a movie. I place the order through Instacart for our local Aldi. Then, two hours later, all the groceries are on my front step. Since I started this at the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve only had one totally screwed-up order (they delivered the wrong one entirely), but Instacart’s customer service went above and beyond to make it right.
It saves me time, obviously, but a ton of money, too, because it completely eliminates impulse purchases. And we eat healthier since everything’s planned out, and we avoid last-minute take-out orders. It’s seriously been a huge win for me. If you haven’t tried it, Intacart offers a “Give $10, get $10 program,” so if you want to give it a whirl, here’s my link to get you the $10 off or you can use code: MMARTON18A162.
I’m spending a lot of empty time in my car: waiting for the animals during the veterinary appointment, waiting in the parking lot until I’m called in for my dentist appointment, waiting for my Target click-and-collect order, waiting outside the school for Violet’s class to get dismissed, etc. No one gets to go in anywhere anymore it seems, and most of the waiting is done in my car! I’m devouring podcasts. I love Brene Brown’s, anything from NPR, The Well-Storied podcast and Manuscript Academy (writing tips), The Sensory Project (sensory development stuff), What Should I Read Next? (the podcast from Modern Mrs. Darcy, and a few more. I’m not into, like, murder mysteries or modern forensics. I’m more into learning what I can in a short, interesting burst.
In that vein: Anyone know of good dog podcasts?? Training, behavior, wellness, anything pup?
Also: there’s yoga, fires in the fireplace, Violet and Astrid, hikes, journaling, and so much more. It’s a tough time, that’s for sure, but there are so many wonderful things to see me through.