Sunday, February 7, 2021

What's Saving Me

Oh, I liked this post from Loribeth about what's saving her life right now. She credits other bloggers that have written on the same topic. Apparently, it was started years ago by a prominent blogger as a way of marking the mid-point of winter (which is often a difficult time for many). 

Here is what is saving my life/sanity right now:

  • Reading and Writing

    Things are hard right now, but I've been through hard times before so I know what I can do to help myself. Basically, I am a nerd. My go-to problem solving solution is to read. So I have been reading all sorts of articles about divorce (as I'm still processing mine), personality disorders (because I think this will help me manage some relationships with family members), and being an empath (to learn more coping strategies and how to deal with the intense feelings that I can have).

    Plus, I check in on the blogosphere, reading and commenting several times a week. In addition to reading and commenting, I am (obviously) also writing my own blog posts. This space has been so helpful in so many ways over the years and just saying that is a huge understatement.

    I also started writing in a journal most nights before I go to sleep. I'm documenting what I did for self-care that day. After doing it for over a week, I was starting to think it was a silly practice and then I had a day last week where I really crashed and burned, so maybe it's not a silly practice after all. I'm gonna keep doing it for now.

  • WOTY

    I wrote a post at the end of January about Word Of The Year. This year I formally chose a word (er, "words" plural) for my WOTY and I've used at least one of them every day this year. They remind me of my current intentions and they guide me through difficult moments. In. Inhale. Inspire.

  • Music

    I saw a counselor back in 2009 that helped me with a few small things. I was really struggling with my situation at the time. I had choice A or choice B, but I didn't like either one. She told me that we don't always like the choices we are given in life. It was a difficult lesson for me. (This was years before infertility.)

    She also asked me what I was listening to at the time, if I lit any scented candles or cooked, and if I went on walks or got out in nature. Basically, she was encouraging me to activate my senses. Honestly, I thought it sounded dumb at the time. I'm depressed? Well, hell, I'll just go get a candle!

    But, she was on to something... What WAS I doing to enjoy the little things? I took a brief inventory of my life at the time and noticed a glaring absence of little things that I enjoyed... I'm thankful she brought my awareness to the issue. :)

    All that to say, I've been listening to my entire music library on shuffle while quilting and I have been loving it. It cracks me up because I have a wide range of musical taste so I may listen to a punk song followed by a Broadway song followed by Tom Petty, but it's all my music so I love it.

  • Quilting

    There are so many metaphors in quilting. Sewing is literally putting things together. Piecing scraps is taking what you have and creating something you like. Sewing is truly mending my soul. It is also a good way for me to get in the flow, where I think about everything and think about nothing all at the same time. Problems just solve themselves (or don't! haha) while I am sewing. It's beautiful.

  • Wisdom I Learned from Infertility

    • I don't have to like what I am experiencing, but I will get through it. 
    • I am stronger than I ever wanted to know. 
    • I didn't ask for this life, but I am living it. 
    • I don't like the cards I was dealt, but I am playing the shit out of my hand. 
    • There is not much in my control, but there are some things that I can control for myself: where I live, what I do, how I treat myself, and how I let others treat me. 
    • I don't want to sound like a cliche, but I believe in the power of cultivating gratitude and enjoying the little things. 
    • But it all happens in time. First, we must grieve. Grieve the loss of our children, the loss of motherhood, the loss of life as we knew it before infertility and before the pandemic. 
    • Better times ARE ahead but we don't have to feel it right now. Whatever we're feeling, doing, and not doing right now is fine. 
    • Enduring trauma isn't easy, especially when society as a whole isn't recognizing it (the endurance OR the trauma).

And now, because I always love seeing everyone else's pictures (especially all of the gardens because I've never had a garden before), here are some pictures of what's currently saving my life and sanity... 

My sewing room! 

I spent the first half of January building shelves, organizing fabric, and realizing what all I had collected over the past year and a half. I definitely have the basics and now I finally have a stash!

This tall shelf holds, from top to bottom:
my scrap baskets, yardage of novelty prints (wrapped on comic book boards),
yardage of solids (folded and stacked), fat quarters (organized in baskets by color),
a basket of patterns, and folded yardage of minky and other extra-wide fabric for quilt backings.

These short shelves hold the following:
my blenders and tone-on-tone fabrics (organized by color) on the top rows
and, on the bottom rows,
nature-related fabric that I plan on collecting for a couple of years;
purple cubes to hold my precuts, rulers, and thread;
and a stack of fabric of which I have 3 or more yards. 

Every quilter has scraps.

I wanted to come up with a system for organizing my scraps that was easy to maintain and didn't drive me crazy. I kept it simple. I have one basket for strips (pictured above) and another basket for bigger scrap pieces. All of my scraps fit into one of those two categories so I can just throw them in the baskets for later use.

I don't throw anything away. As for all of the small pieces of scrap fabric and snips of thread, I'm collecting it in a bag that I will use for stuffing once I start making teddy bears out of my scraps. I love how quilting is all about using material and not wasting anything. :)

I saved my favorite picture for last! 

This is a close-up of one of the shelves on my tall bookshelf. It's all of my favorite fabric.
Looking left to right, there are snowflakes, skiers, skis, skulls and crossbones, stars, leopard prints, rock instruments, mix tapes, safety pins, a variety of playful fabrics, a beautiful purple solid, roller skates, library book due date stamps, and yardage of girls playing in swings and trees outside. Love!!!


Thank you for joining me as I shared what's currently saving me.

What's saving your life/sanity right now?


  1. Your fabric is beautiful! And beautifully organised! I need to do that with my wool, but so far it is just in big shopping bags. lol

    As you know, I loved your Wisdom from Infertility section of this too, linking it in my last post. I'm glad you have people and activities and thoughts that are saving you right now.

    1. Thank you!! I love fabric and I love to organize. :)

      I'm so extremely thankful for my boyfriend and for bloggers, for quilting, and for my hard-earned wisdom. Especially right now.

  2. I have serious craft organization envy! Your organization is GORGEOUS! So fun to see all the fabrics set up like that. And I love that quilting is literally stitching disparate things together. :)

    Such good stuff here. Good reminders. I love candles and the idea of engaging your senses to help a body be present. And the WOTY! Love it. Great wisdom from infertility, too. So much resilience, flexibility, and strength from this.

    1. Thank you Jess! Your comment made me feel good. :)

      I love to organize so my nerdy self was really pleased with my sewing room organization. Considering half of my stuff (most of it books) has been in storage since I started packing up my children's house in December 2015 and I have moved four times across two states since then, it is beyond awesome to finally have an organized room where I can work. <3

  3. Thanks for the shoutout! -- glad to have provided some inspiration. :) I love seeing what you've done with your sewing room, and how you've organized your fabric!

    1. Yes, thanks for the inspiration! :)

      I didn't realize what all I had until I put this sewing room together. I had just been buying yards of fabric here and there and throwing it all in plastic bins. It's nice to know what I have! And now I can just pull from my own collection to make things <3