The theme I chose for this week’s Mama Kat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writer’s Workshop is “List 7 things that bring you comfort.”
I know 2020 has been rough on all of us, but my own journey into the rabbit hole that is change and discomfort began a few years ago with my father being diagnosed with cancer. Then dying. Then over the next three years, two more deaths in the family, relationships ending, the discovery of some really unsettling information pertaining to another family member, job loss, two major auto accidents in which cars were totaled, and finally, Covid wreaking havoc on what little normal was left. I barely noticed Covid, personally, but it did change the world and the ways in which we were all used to doing things.
In these strange and stressful times, it’s more important than ever to find and take advantage of anything that brings comfort. Here are seven things that do that for me.
1. Money – A lot of people like to say that money is the root of all evil. A lot of people also blithely say things like “money can’t buy you happiness.” I understand what you’re trying to say. I do. BUT…hear me out. Money puts food on the table, pays bills, pays for repairs, pays for doctor visits (because even those of us lucky enough to have health insurance are still responsible for copays), and takes care of any number of other things that aren’t free. I’ve been blessed enough at times to have plenty, but I’ve also been so broke that I had to wash my hair with my dog’s flea shampoo. Believe me when I tell you that anyone saying money can’t buy happiness has clearly never had to live without it, or without enough. Because being able to eat and pay bills and take care of my responsibilities and help out where I can makes me VERY happy. At the very least, it makes me comfortable. The peace of mind I have when there’s enough is like nothing else in this world. Only my family and pets rank higher.
2.Food – We all have our favorite comfort foods. Some of my favorites year round are potatoes – just about any way they’re made, but I’m especially partial to mashed potatoes; pasta – fettuccine Alfredo and cheese ravioli are favorites; crab rangoon; and soup with crackers or chili with chips. Sweet tea to wash it all down. BUT, I have become very fond of plain, cold water over the past few years, and it’s giving tea a run for its money.
3.Driving – When I was younger, the main thing teenagers did in the small towns where I grew up was “ride around”. It’s where saw friends, where we were seen, where we had private conversations, listened to music, and honed our driving skills before being allowed to drive to and in bigger towns and eventually cities. I still love driving to this day. My work commutes are not too stressful, so they offer me valuable time to wake up before starting, and to decompress before getting back home. And my road trips to see family and friends allow me to take in the beauty all around me, which I try not to take for granted but also don’t get to see that often.
4. Entertainment – I love tv, movies, books, podcasts, and music! I won’t get into my favorite music because that’s pretty much all over the blog. As for the rest – my favorite tv series this year have been Grey’s Anatomy, Superstore, This Is Us, Emily in Paris, Cobra Kai, High Fidelity (SHAME ON YOU, HULU, for canceling it after only one season! Netflix, pick it up, PLEASE!), and more. My favorite podcast discovery this year (though it came out last year) is The Strange South Podcast. It is, hands down, the best thing I’ve listened to in a long time! My favorite book so far this year was The Last of the Moon Girls by Barbara Davis, but my favorite author, Karina Halle, just released a holiday anthology of most of her beloved couples which I haven’t finished yet. I am trying to get my act together so I can return to my book blogging category ASAP.
5. Loved ones – This goes without saying, but my family, pets, and friends are my life. And my pets? Are my natural depression and anxiety relief. Cuddles from my sweet pups soothe what no other can.
6. Self-care – I have self-care methods that are both extravagant and simple. Hot baths. Professional manicures. Home pedicures. At-home spa treatments. Creating – homemade skin care, homemade household cleaners, diy projects; working in my home, working in my yard. And starting with this year’s milestone trip around the sun? Cosmetic enhancements. But more on that in a later post, as I want to get a bit more in-depth with that one.
7. Routine – There’s a lot to be said for spontaneity, and I love having spur-of-the-moment fun in my life. At least in small doses. I pride myself on being adaptable and can absolutely go with the flow when I need or want to. But for my peace of mind, routine is king. For the most part, I thrive knowing what I have to do, and when and where it’s to be done. If life has taught me anything, it’s not to make rigid plans, and without backup plans. But everyday routine does wonders for my mental well-being.
How about YOU? What brings YOU comfort?