The Daily Grace
The Daily Grace

What Worked for Me in 2023

Jan 19, 2024 | ideas & inspiration | 4 comments

HOW GRATIFYING it can be to look over the past year to consider the things you added to your life that actually worked. I love reading other folks’ lists, and it brings me joy to realize even tiny changes can carry significant weight. I thought I’d share mine here in hopes you’ll add one or two of your own in the comments.

So here we go! Cathy’s list for 2023.

1. Paying attention to my colors. Over the past couple of years, I’ve made the transition from medium brown to my natural gray hair. And while that process was not for the faint of heart, now that’s it’s done I’m happy to embrace the freedom gray brings. I wrote about this last year, but in 2022 I went to the folks at Created Colorful and “had my colors done” (like we did back in the 70s). At the time I could not believe I have moved from a warm Autumn to a cool Soft Summer, but LET ME TELL YOU it is true. What a difference it makes to know this! Not just my hair, but with age my skin has taken on a cool tone and never would I have guessed. NO MORE MUSTARD YELLOW OR SOFT WARM BROWNS OR BELOVED ORANGE for me! Hello soft cool blue, dusty berry, pine green. I’ve changed my clothes, my jewelry, my makeup, and I just can’t tell you what a difference it has made. When I’m in the right colors, there’s a sparkle, I swear. When not? Ummm, not so much.

2. Speaking of my hair, my switch to Olaplex. There is so much to love about embracing your own gray, and I am a lucky girl that I inherited my Dad’s Phil Donahue white. What I did not expect, however, is the way the texture has changed. It’s very tender, with lots of frizz and tons of breakage, especially up at my part where a thousand little strands seem to stand straight up. My hairdresser suggested the Olaplex line, which is expensive and for me, has proven worth it. Their claim is technology that repairs fragile bonds, and while I still have flyaways my hair feels much softer. I also think it looks brighter.

3. Katie Couric’s Morning Newsletter, Wake-Up Call. I wish I were better at news. But beginning with COVID, and with all the hate and ugly in the world today, I simply don’t have the stomach for it anymore. (I’d much rather wake up to a great novel than the news, and I most often do.) To be clear—I do not think this is a good thing. In a 2023 baby step I subscribed to Wake-Up Call, a newsletter that arrives every morning and that hits the stuff at the very tippy-top of the news cycle. You can get the gist; you can click for more depth; you can scroll right on past. In addition to news, there is always something in the email that interests me, as I’m sure I’m right in the sweet spot of her target audience with quick clicks to health tips, business news, psychology, cooking, celebrity news (and more) as you move on down the page.

4. (Speaking of Katie Couric’s newsletter) Katie Couric’s Pilates Instructor, Ashley Patten. I’m still a yoga devotee, but I do love this morning stretch that’s so quick it’s impossible to bypass. On days when I am on the run, I grab my yoga mat and IN MY PAJAMAS stretch with this routine and then follow-up with 10 squats using Ashley’s helpful methodology. She offers so many great, short routines, and all of this is free on her You Tube channel.

5. Spotify Playlists, and in particular, my own Cathy’s Top 100 Songs Playlist on Spotify From the moment our friend, Paul, mentioned he’d curated a list of his Top 100 All-time Favorite Songs, Tim and I both were obsessed. We’ve spent hours discussing the merits of individual songs, bands, albums, criteria for inclusion, and it’s become a regular topic of conversation anytime we’re with friends who love music as much as we do. I’ve been working on whittling down my list for months and months now, and I’ve made it to 157 songs. Because I love a challenge, I am still committed! Tim’s list is longer, but he gets extra credit for creating the bonus playlist: “Tim’s favorite 100 songs that Cathy will listen to.” (Bye bye Grateful Dead and thank you.)

6. The joy of binging. Yes, we’re those people. Professional bingers. It’s how we spend most evenings, and because television is just so dang good these days, I’ve decided to stop feeling bad about it. Case in point: have you watched Fisk? PLEASE WATCH FISK on Netflix. Promo copy: Fast-paced comedy about high-end contracts lawyer Helen Tudor-Fisk, who is forced to take a job at a shabby, suburban law firm following a humiliating marriage breakdown and a professional fall from grace. There are two seasons, start right at the beginning. You will thank me.

(ALSO. We just watched Schitt’s Creek, start to finish. FOR THE THIRD TIME. It does not seem possible that’s a good use of anyone’s time, but it was. It absolutely was.)

7. Sleeping with a noise machine. I started this in the mountains, where the winds can be loud and terrifying. Now I also have a noise machine by the bed at home in Columbia and I turn it on Every Single Night. There are many options out there, but here’s the one I bought. You can also use an app on your phone, which I do if we’re traveling (you’ll want to choose BROWN NOISE because it is less sharp than White Noise or the other options, I’m not even kidding—this is a great tip.) I use the app White Noise Lite, which is free.

from a new series I’ve been working on—abstract landscapes

8. Turning my art hobby into an art business. For the past two years I’ve participated in #the100dayproject and both years I’ve chosen to paint a little watercolor each day to reflect something about that day. I love so many things about the challenge, not the least of which is the wonderful things the rhythm of the practice did to improve my beginner’s skill. Many of you sweet friends also encouraged me to offer paintings for sale, and this summer I took the plunge by opening Studio CRM and a subsequent Studio CRM store on Etsy. I’ve been honored and humbled with all the support!

9. Traveling cross country. In an RV! No one who knows me (including me) would ever think I am a good candidate for the RV lifestyle. Nevertheless in 2023, Tim and I took this on, and to everyone’s surprise (most especially mine) I absolutely loved it. I wrote about our 32-day adventure extensively here on The Daily Grace (I’ll put the links below), and we even produced a handful of videos sharing our loves and lessons and tips! I stepped out of my comfort zone a thousand times on that trip, and the rewards were immeasurable. Plus the joy of seeing our beautiful, beautiful country in such an up close and personal way—it was truly life-changing.

We RV.

What has surprised us along the way.

When You’re Driving A High Profile Vehicle

On Being Overawed

May I Just Say This About Utah.

First-Timers Guide to a 25-ft RV

Our Big RV Trip: the final leg

Tips for First-Time RVers

RV Life Q & A, the nitty-gritty

RV (also good for regular life) Must Haves

So there we are! A happy list of things that worked for me in 2023. I do hope you’ll share your own tips in the comments, or shoot me an email at And as always, thank you for being here and being part of our TDG community. I treasure you, each and every year.



  1. Melissa Ligon

    Love your year-end wrap up, Cathy! Here’s to a wonderful and joy-filled 2024?

    • Cathy

      Thank you, Melissa! All the best to you in 2024!

  2. Barbara J.

    Thank you for sharing… added several to my life!! plus re-visited your 2022 list and immediately put my fav photos into my iphone wall paper! How did I miss that??!! A new joy for sure!

    • Cathy

      Isn’t that the best feature of the iPhone? I enjoy it as much today as I did the first time I got it up and running! So happy you’re here, and thanks for commenting. Happy New Year!

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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