The Daily Grace
The Daily Grace

Day 26: What’s Saving My Life Right Now

Jan 30, 2023 | 30 Days of Joy | 9 comments

YOU KNOW I LOVE me some winter, so I don’t actually need to be “saved” from the winter blues. Still I’ve enjoyed the theme as it has been passed blogger to blogger across the internet. And so I thought I’d take a minute to consider All The Things bringing me joy right now.

A Change in my Reading Habit I decided in December it would be a lovely thing to gift myself a few small indulgences that would simply make me happy. Chief among these is the permission (my own permission—the hardest to come by!) to wake up early, brush my teeth, get my coffee, and get back in bed to read. Y’all, this has been life-giving. For one, I’ve a stack of I CAN’T WAIT TO READ THIS books that I’m actually making my way through. For another, there’s some sort of force-field that forms around me just from claiming the time. It doesn’t take much—my self-to-self agreement is only 15 minutes. But beginning my day with me in charge of me offers some sort of emotional energy payoff I never expected. And staying engaged with a book and its characters means I read more through the day and night, as well. (It doesn’t hurt that I’m currently all caught up in Barbara Kingsolver’s DEMON COPPERHEAD which is brutal and important and might just be my favorite book of all times.) I enjoy this time so much I will actually get up early to accommodate it.

Place & Time 3-wick Candle, Cedar and Fig I could seriously burn a cedar-scented candle year-round. I don’t, but I could. And this one from Joann Fabric (who knew) is my fave. Not too heavy, not too light, just right. (And deeply discounted right now if you order or can find in stock.)

My Library Card Is it a bit shameful to admit I went several years without checking out a library book? By which I mean I didn’t go to the library to choose or pickup a book that I then brought home to read. I used the Libby app extensively for audiobooks and the occasional e-book (not my favorite way to read), but if I wanted the physical book? I bought it. Then we moved downtown and now we live less than a mile from a charmingly perfect branch of a big library system. WELCOME TO THE CENTURY, Cathy. The combination of a digital card catalog accessible from anywhere, with the ability to reserve online, makes picking up a hot new release a cinch. And 14-year-old Cathy, who worked a thousand years ago at the Lonesome Pine Regional Library (to this day my dream job), still can’t get over the fact the checkout period is THREE WEEKS and do you know how many books you can check out at once? SIXTY. Sixty books. (I can’t see ever doing that but still.) You can renew FIVE TIMES if the book’s not on hold. And if you are overdue? The fine is ZERO cents. It’s grace and glory, compliments of your public library. Grace and glory in equal measure.

This Salad Methodology Chopped brussels, chopped kale, roasted winter veggies (any combo sweet potatoes, butternut squash, turnips, rutabaga, beets, carrots OR just straight up roasted sweet potatoes, my faves). Top with easy-peasy Balsamic Dressing and a bright, happy sprinkle of pomegranate seeds. So good! Plus you can make the veggies ahead as part of a yummy winter dinner and you’ll have the leftovers right there ready to toss into your salad for lunch.

Making Every Day This is nothing new for me—I have a creative project going ATT. But during January I’ve added to my daily schedule a series of tiny acrylic abstracts. As an exercise it is low cost, low stakes, and therefore low expectation. But as a practice? It’s fun, energizing, and a great reminder a small act of creation is creation nonetheless. Plus who knows? These little guys could be just the push I need to finally get my Etsy (or whatever) act together. Best of all? You can do these, too! I learned via an online painting class Show Up + Shut Up: Strategies of an Insecure Artist with the lovely Carolina Della Valle via I highly recommend.

The Playa Linen Shirt from Athleta With my new-ish transition to my natural silver hair and a skin tone that’s changed from warm to cool, I’m rethinking my wardrobe to adapt to my new Soft Summer color palette, as recommended by the consultants at Created Colorful. A favorite item is this pretty shirt in Tawny Rose—a good, muted color for me and a steal of a deal in clearance!

This. This dance, because I can’t stop watching it. West Coast Swing Dancers (via Instagram) who step onto the floor and totally improvise. (I might be a little obsessed with West Coast Swing now.)

I could go on, you know I could! But I’ll close with a wish your January has been filled with new discoveries and warm and cozy comforts that are, in the words of Barbara Brown Taylor, saving your life right now in the midst of these cold winter months. I’d love to hear if you care to share in the comments!


30 Days of Joy


  1. Donna

    I always enjoy reading your writing! I love winter and candles too! One of my favorites is Storm by Sensational and Coconut Palm by Sand + Fog (TJ Maxx & Home Goods)! Thank you for reminding me that I have many books I want to read!

  2. Crystal Rowe

    Gosh I love my library card so much. The library is like a magical place for me – it instantly takes all the bad vibes away!

    • Cathy

      Right? A place of calm and possibility. Happy to hear from you, Crystal! Thanks for commenting.

  3. Katherine Jeffcoat

    I’m checking out the Playa linen shirt . Does it run true to size? I’m not sure between a small or extra small . Any advice? Thanks!

    • Cathy

      It’s meant to be loose and casual so I went with a medium, my usual size. I often size down with Athleta but in this case I am happy with it being a bit roomier, “overshirt” style. If you get it, hope you love!

  4. Vicki Ringer

    Just bought Demon Copperhead so can’t wait to dig in based on your high praise. Miss y’all!

    • Cathy

      I think you are going to LOVE it (although it is brutal) and will agree with me it should be required reading for every human. Do let me know what you think! XXOO

  5. Kathryn Davé

    I also made a change to my reading habits this year! I examined what worked well for me last year (running) and, more importantly, why (visible progress), which led me to sign up for a Goodreads account for the first time ever. Apparently I just needed somewhere to track my progress. Also saving my life right now: long runs, any sunshine I can get, those microwavable 90-second rice packs for pantry magic grain bowls, Momofuku chili crisp for the same reason, and negroni biancos. 🙂

    • Cathy

      I love this list, Kat! (Negroni Biancos–yes please!) I’m also thrilled to know you are on Goodreads so I can find you and your book loves there. You are such an inspiration to me! HUGS.

Cathy Rigg Headshot

Hi. I’m Cathy.

This is a blog about writing, creative living, and grace in the everyday. It’s my hope this little spot on the internet will be for you a place of quiet and reflection, a source for inspiration, and a reminder there’s beauty all around—we simply need to keep our hearts open to see it. Thank you for being here with me.

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