A New Habit Saving My Life Right Now

Saving my life. That’s a pretty powerful and loaded phrase. I was inspired by Modern Mrs. Darcy last week to think about what adds value and is in some way, saving my life, during this season when it’s easy to settle into the blues and think about all the hindrances or disturbances to life! Here’s how she talked about it in her blog post:

Winter is a challenging season for me. To preserve my sanity during the cold and grey days, I adopted a habit a few years back. I started keeping a list—an actual, physical, pen-and-paper list—of the things that were actively giving me life in my least favorite season.

The idea comes from author Barbara Brown Taylor. In her memoir Leaving Church, Taylor tells about a time she was invited to speak, and her host assigned her this topic: “Tell us what is saving your life right now.”

Most of us know what’s killing us, and can articulate it, if asked. Some of us are overwhelmed with hurry and worry; some of us face crushing poverty; some feel utterly paralyzed.

But few of us stop to note what’s giving us life. Taylor says it’s too good a question to not revisit every once in a while: what are the things—big or small—that are saving us?

So, what is saving my life these days?

Preparing dinner in the morning!

About a month ago now, my friend, Carole, called me, because I was on her mind. We met in college, and she has mentored me in some sense ever since.

It was not coincidence that she called me that Monday morning after a pretty bad weekend. I felt overwhelmed with the task of managing our home. The overwhelm began with the insecurity I felt about not knowing how to do it all covered up by apathy. The laundry and cleaning, the meal prep and decorating.

Homemaking seemed like a huge burden, and I felt ill equipped for the task.

Carole’s words reassured me in my ability to overcome inadequacies. She challenged me on no-brainer ways I wasted my time. And she gave me a pearl of advice I now work to do each day:

Make dinner prep a first priority in the morning.

Dinner in the Morning

If you already know this secret, you know exactly what I mean when I say this one habit is saving my life. And if you never thought about this before, try it and be ready for salvation!

Since Jesse and I got married, I have meal planned and generally known what we would eat for dinner night as well as what we would have for breakfast and lunch, whether leftovers or otherwise. While working outside the home, I never thought about dinner until getting home from work; however, I could have helped make my life easier if I had prepared dinner in some way before 5:30 pm each day.

Now, I am at home with Benji all day, but the hours can easily get away from me. I had a plan for what dinner would be. In the late afternoon, I would get to work preparing dinner. But by that time of day, Benji often needs more attention, and the wind easily shifts and I find myself in a foul mood from the stress of a fussy baby and the need to get dinner made!

In the last month, almost every morning while Benji naps, I start dinner. I have never used my crockpot so frequently! Some days, dinner prep goes well and I have dinner done before lunch time, and I feel like a superhero. Other days, it is not as successful and I feel like I have been cooking all day. But, I am learning, and it is worth every moment because most days, as four o’clock rolls around rather than worry about what is for dinner and all I need to do to prepare it, I have time to be present with Benji while we wait for Jesse to come home.

My morning meal prep is saving my life.

Thursday, I’ll be sharing a list of other things that are saving my life right now.

I hope you’ll join me back here then!

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