Jen Hatmaker poses this question at the end of each of her podcasts: “What is Saving Your Life, Right Now?” She will tell you that she took this question from Barbara Brown Taylor who is American author whose work has meant the most to her in her life.
While I love the variety of answers that her guests give because they are serious and funny and real, it always gives me pause. I always stop and think, “what is saving MY life, right now?” The reality is that on any given day, the world, my mood, the weather, my family, my circumstances, could alter my answer.
In the last 7 months, I could honestly say these are some of the things that have saved my life THIS YEAR and they are in no particular order: my husband, family, friends, Netflix, prayer, gratitude, a long hot bath, alcohol, chocolate, chips, working out, eating well, this blog, journaling, sleep, being outside in nature, walking, talking with friends, reading, music, laughter, baking, Target runs, the fall colors, the warm breeze, the sunshine on my face, going out to dinner after months of not going anywhere and projects.
Lately, the things that feel like they are saving my life or at the very least, making it more entertaining, is planning for the holidays and my family.
My girls’ always seem to have a lot of moving parts. It’s their ages mostly, but they keep us hopping.
Our oldest just moved to another state and started her first job as a surgical physician assistant. She has privileges at two hospitals and also works in their clinic. She also moved into her first home, she got engaged and is planning a wedding. Every phone call from her is full of excitement and new adventures. Her joy and nervous energy is contagious and you can’t help but feel a lift after you talk to her.
Our middle daughter lost her job this year after having an amazing first year at her company. She has rallied and changed careers completely. She has become certified in nutrition and personal training and is currently building a business while also working at Cycle Bar. Sydney has always had a spirit that bubbles over into any room she enters. Phone calls are the same. She is almost always excited about something and can’t wait to share it with the world. She, too, can save you in way that you forget all things that were happening before she blew in like a hurricane to tell you about her life.
Our youngest started college in August. Everyday should be a new adventure for her, but it’s mostly been about muddling through and learning to live independently. Life isn’t quite the exciting freshman year that she was expecting or hoping for when she registered back in early February. All the same, she connects with us regularly over phone calls, texts and FaceTime. She is almost always happy and even happier if she is talking about coming home for a visit. She has hit that sweet phase after they move out and they appreciate you in ways they haven’t since they were a toddler and just wanted their mama.
These girls and their adventures are saving me. Thinking about spending any part of even one holiday with them is saving me. Planning our meals and gifts and turkey trots and thinking about having their crazy dogs running around my kitchen is saving me.
So, why do I need saving? I don’t literally need saving, but I think that there are things during each season of our lives that help us along in a more joyful way. They save us from the news, our jobs, our current circumstances or from the mundane. Life would be so boring if we didn’t have things to look forward to or to help us unwind after a long day. This year has caused our lives to be altered in ways most of us have never experienced before. We have not been able to do anything that we normally do in the same way we have always done them. Dining, travel, shopping, school, work and leisure of any kind has been drastically altered this year. Truth be told, a lot of the typical things that save us, have not been available to us this year.
I don’t know Jen Hatmaker’s motive for posing this question to each of her guests, but I can tell you mine. It’s times like we have been in this year that cause us to reevaluate what is truly important; what really matters to us and what truly saves us at the end of the day. Lip service doesn’t work in 2020. You have to walk the talk or it’s over. I mean, you can’t just say Tiger King is saving you and not know what happened in EVERY episode because all 7.8 billion other people in the world have already seen it.
As we begin our last week of October, I hope you will ask yourself what is saving you right now. The rest of 2020 could be bumpy so buckle up and be sure to have your list nearby. Something tells me we might need it.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G