What’s saving your life right now? Are you making it through winter? Winter is rough and long, but the halfway point is the perfect time to recognize the things giving you life. I have my short list of things saving me, and I’d love to know yours.
Growing up, I survived the Blizzard of ’96. 3′ of snow and a ton of ice within 2 days, schools closed for a week. It was quite possibly the greatest winter of my life. Sledding, hot cocoa, jammies, snowmen, snowball fights, slip sliding all over the place every day. We used pool floats for sledding, and set off across the main street for the local elementary school. Each one of us wiped out in the middle of the street on the ice, which sent the pool floats sliding down the road. My friends and I were laughing so hard at ourselves, laying in the middle of the street trying to get up, get our floats, and be on our way.
Our sledding spot was probably the most dangerous, but as a 15 year old with a pool float… ain’t nothin’ gonna hold me down. One path was a steep hill that dumped you out either into the thick woods with a creek bed, or into a brick wall where the school gym was. The other path was a steep hill onto a parking lot slash basketball court with a fence at the very end. The ultimate goal was to get to the fence. In order to do this, you had to hold onto your pool float (cardboard box, trash bag, sled, whatever) for dear life, as you careened down the hill, launched into the air on the steep ramps of snow left behind from the plows, crash land on the remaining layer of snow/ice left on the court, and pray you kept going.
I only made it twice.
Winter as a kid is so fun. My kids absolutely love the snow, playing in it, sliding in it, eating it, throwing it, not shoveling it. They know that each kid has a heater vent for their gloves and socks and hats, and they like to sit on them when they come in and get toasty. I used to do the same things.
As a grown up, though, winter and I have a civil relationship at best. It’s a different relationship where we tolerate each other, and just kind of are roommates who don’t see eye to eye. I love watching the snow fall, how quiet it is, how bright it makes everything. I tolerate shoveling, try to ignore the salty cars, and pretend the brown and dirty snow doesn’t exist. This vicious cycle looms on with short days and long evenings, cold air, brisk winds.
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The midpoint of winter is upon us.
That sounds so Lord of the Rings-ish.
As Sarah at 1915 House is sitting in the midwest under an unfathomable negative sixty-seven degree windchill, we decided to join Modern Mrs. Darcy and talk about the things saving our lives right now. There’s a big link up, where everyone is sharing the things giving them life right now. If you find yourself looking for some different things to keep you going until warmer days are upon us, this is a wonderful place to start.
What’s Saving My Life Right Now
Open the House
When everyone is awake, one of the first things I do is open all the curtains and shades, through the whole house. The sunshine beams in, and makes the whole house feel awake, warmer, brighter, and alive. If it’s snowing, it’s gorgeous view from each room, and adds so much brightness. Besides, in winter, there is nothing like walking through a warm patch of sunlight on the floor. I have also been known to open the front door (we’ve only got a screen door) if it’s not particularly breezy. The door lets in so much light, and fresh air without a cold wind from how the house is situated, I’m certain our neighbors think we’re crazy. They’re right.
I wake up crazy early. I talk about why I do that here, but one of the reasons is to have an uninterrupted coffee before all the things. It’s just required for life, and in the winter, it’s even more life-giving.
I love jeans (no I don’t) as much as the next person, but I cannot wear them around the house. I need either yoga pants or leggings. Or, on really cold days, Andrew’s sweat pants. That is neither here nor there, but let me tell you this. A good pair of leggings is a level of life saving in the comfort-yet-still-dressed department. Leggings are pants, and I care not if you disagree. These leggings from Old Navy (not an affiliate link), are: compression, not see through, not shiny, long, thick, plain black, and are under $30. There’s also a mid-rise, here. Plus size, riiiiight here. I have worn a pair of these leggings for the last 8 years, through losing a total of nearly 75lbs post babies (more than once), and they have never let me down. Each pair lasts me about 2 years, and I have never had a hole in an unfortunate area. You’re welcome.
A Winter Coat
I grew up hating coats because I always run hot, I hated carrying them, and shoving them in my locker. I still wear flip flops until December, but it’s because I hate having my feet confined. Weird, I know. Socks are also not a thing here unless I plan to be outside for a length of time. Some time last winter, I decided I needed a coat, because my North Face fleece wasn’t cutting it in my old age (kidding, I’m 38, but I was cold)e. I thought I’d be stuck with something that would keep me so hot I’d melt, or with a lightweight puffy type coat that looked like it’d add 45lbs. I found the middle ground with this midweight Columbia jacket, and have never looked back. This one is similar, without the fur. It’s the Goldilocks of coats, for me, and I love the furry hood. Not hot, not cold, just right. I can layer underneath, it’s not heavy, not too thick, and I think it’s pretty cute. Having a good winter coat makes winter tolerable. Sarah also got a coat a few years ago, which is what started me on the path to winter warmth.
As I write this, my kids all have a 2 hour late opening, and they will want to play in the snow. I’ll put my coat on, scrape the car off while they make snow angels. This winter, be sure to take note of what’s giving you life, rather than what’s stealing it. Take your kids sledding, in your toasty coat, avoiding the creek beds and reach that fence. It’s like the brass ring of child hood.
So, what’s saving your life right now?