February 2nd is apparently the halfway point in winter; that in itself is reason to celebrate. For many of us winter is a struggle. But it’s important to look for the good, even amongst the bad. And that’s why I am taking part in Modern Mrs Darcy’s annual ‘Things That Are Saving My Life Right Now’ roundup. It feels even more important to look for the positives this year. Since the world outside seems filled with reasons to make us run and hide under your covers!The idea for this roundup comes from Barbara Brown Taylor. She recognised that even though most of us can easily talk about what’s making us sad, it’s much harder to talk about what’s making us happy, or in her words ‘saving your life’. So, the aim of this post is to look for the silver linings in amongst the dark nights and winter winds.
1. This Quote
I have seen this quote shared around social media a lot recently and I think it resonates with me in the face of the current political climate of hate-mongering and suspicion. Why is it saving my life right now? Because I continually have my faith in humanity restored when I see the people who are fighting against the injustice and bigotry that some people seem to be trying to normalise.
I feel like every time I turn on the news and see the latest atrocity I am also reminded that ordinary people everywhere are galvanising the make sure that this hate rhetoric is countered by a louder message of acceptance. The world sometimes feels like it’s going mad, but out of that madness is a counter-opportunity to create a positive impact and it makes me proud to see so many people taking a stand.
2. My Friends and Family
On a personal rather than a world scale, I wanted to take the opportunity to thank my friends and family for their continued support, love and encouragement. For those who don’t know, I recently moved away from my home town and started a new job. I was, and am, excited about this new adventure, but I have also found the transition very tough for a number of reasons. Leaving home is always hard, but I am starting to adjust now that I have settled in a little.
But, I want to thank everyone who has sent me messages and phone calls, it means more than you know. Also thank you the people who have helped to make everyday life a little easier, for the cups of tea, encouragement and for welcoming me into the fold. You’re all amazing, and I am glad to have the opportunity to tell you how lucky I am to know you all!
3. Vegetable Soup
Whenever I am feeling a little low, I turn to my favourite comfort foods for a little pick me up. The foods that are like a warm, but edible, hug! I think they’re different for everyone but mine are definitely, vegetable soup, mince and dumplings, shepherd’s pie…in fact any pie…and other traditional British recipes that remind me of home.
However, since moving I have come to re-appreciate just how important these little comforts are. I made a huge batch of this vegetable soup (recipe kindly sent by my Dad!) and even though I ate it every day for a week, it never got boring! It’s a seriously good recipe for winter vegetable soup. But more than that, the process of making something healthy and delicious on a cold winter’s night was very ‘hygge’ and comforting.
I know, talk about late to the bandwagon. But Netflix is seriously saving my life this winter! I don’t have a T.V in my new house so I have been heavily relying on Netflix when I want to watch something. I am currently working my way through all the period dramas they have. First was North and South, then Pride & Prejudice (1995) and next I am thinking about Daniel Deronda! If I can’t bring my books with me, I might as well watch adaptions of them on Netflix right?!
I appreciate the irony of starting this post by telling you not to hide under your covers, only to finish it by telling you how much I have enjoyed doing just that. But what can you do?
5. New Favourite Places: The Thinking Cup
The best thing about moving to a new place is spend your time exploring. Luckily for me I didn’t have to go too far before I stumbled across the final thing that is saving my life right now; an amazing café called The Thinking Cup. It’s part café, part second-hand bookshop and it’s my new favourite place. All the food on the menu is named after literature, I sampled the 1984 bagel on my visit!
Plus, they have a busy calendar of bookish events which I am looking forward to going to. Best of all, The Thinking Cup is also a social enterprise, a second-hand book seller and a café, set up specifically to employ and train young at-risk parents.
What’s Saving Your Life This Winter?
for more inspiration visit the Modern Mrs Darcy page