A Few of My Favorite Things

Some days, I rise at the crack of dawn, knock back my multivitamin with a swig of lukewarm water, and in a blink — the day is over, I’ve survived without incident, Henry is well, there’s somehow dinner hot and awaiting the arrival of my husband, dishes are drying in a neat jumble to the right of the sink, laundry has been folded, and I’ve been wearing something other than pajamas since before noon.

Other days, Zack comes home and I’m like one of those kamikaze goats on the side of a mountain. You know, you’ve seen the memes — tiny hooves perched on tinier jutting cracks, body stretched impossibly wide with all the weight bunched up in his shoulders because his goat-butt is up three feet higher and his eyes are frozen in a combination of paralyzed fear and utter annoyance, as if he’s saying, Really, Frank? Again with the parkour? Fantastic idea.

On those days, I plop a can of Chef Boyardee ravioli or a crinkly packet of Ramen on the countertop, sniff my haven’t-bathed-in-two-days armpits before swiping on a double layer of deodorant, swap out t-shirts so it looks like I haven’t actually been wearing the same thing I wore to bed last night all day long, and shoot a few scathing looks at my screeching seven-month-old who is really friggin’ tired (as much as I am? naw…) but wouldn’t nap for longer than 30 minutes at a time — all just moments before Zack walks through the door smelling of wood shavings and Outside and the sweat of a man who’s just spent a luxurious hour lifting weights in the company of adults.

A Fergie song comes to mind here . . .

But I digress. I wanted to write about some things that help me through those jammies-till-I-die days, beyond the medication I take (which I talked about here because nobody’s got time for taboos anymore). I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite things that I like to have on hand (or available to stream) to pull me through meh-days. I’ve linked some of the items below, but I’m not benefitting from any clicks here (w/ the exception of #1).

  1. My Book of the Month Club subscription. Every month, I get to choose one newly-released hardcover title (out of 5 curated selections) to be shipped to my house for $15. You can sign up for 3, 6, or 12 months at a time (with discounts on the longer subscription services), or you can opt for their new monthly renewal. You can also add up to two other books per month for $9.99 a copy — and you can skip a month at any time with no extra fees or consequences. I typically love the titles each month and have only gotten one or two books in the past 18 months that just weren’t my cup of tea. Frivolous? Yes. Joy-inducing? You betcha. I could check these titles out from the library, but there’s just something purely magical about choosing a book at the first of each month and having something to look forward to in the mail. You can sign up using this link and get your first book for $9.99 (& a free tote bag). (Disclaimer — this is the one link that I will benefit from — if you sign up using this link, I get a book credit.)
  2. Happiness body care products from Bath & Body Works. I absolutely love the aromatherapy line at B&B Works, which is great because compared to other “luxury” skin care products, it’s an affordable option; but it’s also kind of a bummer, because the company rarely has sales on this line of products. My favorite is the Happiness line, which is this glorious fruity fragrance of bergamot and mandarin that inspires, well, happiness. I would probably fill a closet in my house with every product in the aromatherapy line, but since I don’t have an income and my husband would likely lose his bananas, I stick to the shower gel and body cream, occasionally splurging on the sugar scrub. Another favorite: the Stress Relief products, which are this divine combination of eucalyptus and spearmint that just melts my being into this chill, revived lump of existence.
  3. Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. Okay, here’s the deal — I think I might love Adriene a little bit. If I lived in a city, one of the first things I’d be interested in adding to my daily routine would be a yoga class. Alas, SWK doesn’t offer much in the way of yoga (or cities), so I scoured the internet a few months ago in search of an affordable option. Cue Adriene. I started with a 30-day challenge from a couple years ago and loved the diversity of daily practices. I also was amazed at how much my emotional well-being grew with each day I practiced. Sometimes she’s a bit more silly than I like, or a bit more chatty than I’m feeling on a particular day, but for the most part I love the variety of options Adriene’s channel offers and the practices that specifically target an audience (teachers, runners, nurses) or a problem area (back pain, for example).
  4. Essential oil blends, mostly for diffusing. A few of my favorites from DoTerra: Serenity (a great nighttime blend that I use in the diffuser in Henry’s room), Balance (an earthy, calming blend that I diffuse during yoga or extra-tense days), and Cheer (magic in a bottle — super citrusy and uplifting). I also particularly love Thieves, which is a YoungLiving blend that smells like Christmas and basically just makes my heart per happy.
  5. Walks with Henry! There’s very little that some sunshine and fresh air won’t cure; every chance we’ve had this winter, we’ve bundled up and hit the streets of our little town to air off the “house stink” (as my dad calls it). Even just an hour outside is so uplifting — I can’t wait for spring and summer, when walks will be a daily routine and days will last longer!

When I’m really lucky, I get to incorporate all of these things (reading = BOTM) in a day and I end up looking — and feeling — a little less like that mountain goat and a bit more like a Human Being. What are your joy-inducing go-tos?

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