Every February, my friend Michele (read her brilliant thoughts on her blog) hosts around ten women at her family’s lake house for a weekend retreat. In the months leading up to the weekend, we all post on our private Facebook page about what time everyone is arriving, what dish everyone will bring, sleeping accommodation options, and confirmation that everyone else is in fact wearing yoga pants all weekend.
This past February, Michele posted on the page some logistics and all that, and then she posed the question, “What is saving you right now?” I don’t know if it was the audience or the fact that the question is so straightforward, but she didn’t really need to expand. She simply posted what was saving her and then opened it up for us to comment.
I love this question, and of course came home and asked Chris what was saving him (to which he replied getting to work early). So here is what is saving me right now . . .(if you’re a literal person and the question itself just isn’t enough — rephrase to “What is saving your sanity these days?” or “What is saving you from chaos and bringing you moments of joy?”)
Cashmere Socks – I bought clothes last year with a coupon and had one of those “if you spend $15 more you’ll actually save $20 more” type of situation. So I grabbed the cheapest thing in the store, which were cashmere socks, and then I put them in my drawer and forgot about them until winter. They are so comfortable and I love wearing them at night. They are the perfect thing to put on at the end of the day.
Cleaning/Donations – I don’t know if it’s because we watched The Minimalists documentary, or if it’s an easy thing for me to control when other things feel chaotic, but when the Vietnam Veterans of America started dropping off bags that you could fill and leave on your front porch for donations — I took them up on it. I have cleaned out every thing I can get my hands on and it feels so good! This includes a massive paper organization day that resulted in two black tubs with hanging file folders for all financial/important documents. It’s not the actual act of cleaning things out that I enjoy per se, and I do get the occasional attachment to a sweater that someone gave me 15 years ago that makes me feel like I’ll betray them if I donate it, but it’s the next day that I love. It’s the next time I open the closet and everything is in perfect order. It’s the next time that I open the kitchen drawer and everything is so organized it takes only 2 seconds to find what I need. It’s the next time that I’m not stressing about how I need to “clean up that one closet with all that stuff someday” feeling.
Mocha Swirl Coffee – We have a cookie shop at work (yeah, I know, it’s basically a blessing and the devil) with mocha swirl flavored coffee. It used to be chocolate velvet which I favored slightly more than the mocha swirl, but either way, that coffee brings a few moments of happiness even if I’m rushing to and from meetings.
That Car Cord Thingy Chris Bought Me – I drive a 2006 Honda. Translation, I still have to hold my phone up to my ear when I talk on it while I drive. Chris ordered me a little cord thingy, as I like to call it, that allows me to play my Pandora music from my phone through my car and I can now take calls on speaker. This means my hour drive in and hour drive out are filled with Podcasts or music of my choice, and it has actually changed my life as he thought it would.
Amazon Prime – You know how much time I don’t spend shopping for toothpaste, toilet paper, hair spray, the perfect shrug to go over a new dress, toothbrushes, lotion, and laundry detergent?! A few clicks and that box is on my doorstep in two days and I get so much of my time back. I’m also convinced it saves me money because I’m no longer picking up “extras” when I go to Target.
Getting to Work Earlier – I’ll steal Chris’ thing. He’s been more consistent than me in this regard, and it only takes him 15 minutes + the time it takes him to eat and get his food together to get ready to go (whyyyy is being a woman so hard/takes so long to dry your hair/requires more make up the older you get?!), but on the days that I am the first one in the office. . .that “saves me” on so many levels!
So . . . what is saving you right now?