I usually enter into the new year thinking about all the people, places, and experiences I was blessed with the year before, but rarely do I wrap up a year thinking back on the things it brought me. 2018 was different. I made some personal purchases that were revolutionary to my wellbeing, and I wanted to share. Here they are.
10. Watercolor paints – this year introduced me to the glory of watercolors, as I began creating canvases to hang in D’s nursery. I have been accustomed to using acrylic and puffy paints for my artwork and had believed watercolors to be boring in comparison. I have been delightfully proven wrong. Watercolors are so simple, and they bring a whole new world of color to the table. Literally.
9. Netflix – okay, so I have obviously been familiar with Netflix before 2018, but this was the year I really stepped up my binge-watching game. The last few months of my pregnancy, which were the first few months of 2018, I was glued to Netflix. Everything hurt, and I had no desire to do much of anything else. So I watched 8 of the 13 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy. They rocked my world. And when Dominic was a newborn and slept in my arms regularly, I finished the remaining seasons. Thank you 2018 for giving me a much deeper appreciation for instant television and fictional surgeons.
8. Aquatic center membership – I never in a million and one years would’ve thought I’d be able to swim, let alone enjoy it. But during pregnancy, next to Netflix, it was just about all my body could do. I taught myself how to do some strokes (courtesy of YouTube) and started off. Once I figured out how to get a breathing pattern down, I made it the whole length of the pool. But not back. That took some more time. The week before I delivered D, I was able to swim 100 yards without stopping. For those of you thinking that’s a long way – it’s not. Postpartum, I was SO ready to get back to running, I rid my pool days au revoir and didn’t look back. I ran. Got injured. Took some time off. Then winter 2018 hit, and I felt myself wanting to swim again. So I bought myself a pool membership and have found some real cardio satisfaction swimming back and forth in lanes parallel to those of small children and old men. Turns out, swimming, like all other things, is far easier when there is no baby holding onto your lungs and pushing on your bladder.
7. Stainless steel water bottle – this thing is my little buddy. Seriously. If there’s ever a picture of me taken, you can bet ur bottom dollar that my water bottle was set down just outside of the frame. The stainless steel has been a game changer – my water stays cold and it never tastes “off” like it would in my former plastic bottles. PRAISES BE.
6. Library card – having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card! But I haven’t had one of these bad boys since I was in 6th grade. After graduating from college, where I could just check out books on my student ID card, I preferred purchasing books from Amazon over borrowing them. This was all good and well until I wanted upwards of 20 new reads (for myself and my classroom), and I just couldn’t justify spending that much money on books I’d likely read one time. So I strolled into our library and signed up for a library card. This took all of 3 minutes. And it was FREE. What a steal! Somewhere in my growing up, I forgot you could get any book you wanted for the sweet price of nothing. It’s been lovely to read fiction novels on the reg once again.
5. Wet brush – fun fact: I brush my hair a lot. I really don’t enjoy feeling like it’s messy or frizzy. But I also really don’t enjoy brushing my hair. Especially after a shower. Per a recommendation, I bought a Wet Brush, and my world was forever changed. I don’t know what kind of science this thing is, or why it took so long to figure out how to not have every woman wishing she could just shave her head whenever she picked up her hairbrush, but this creation is magical.
4. This blog – all of those thoughts I’ve got spinning around in my mind? I’ve taken to writing them down in a semi-coherent fashion. For your benefit and for my own. It’s a relaxing escape to write and a total treat to have purpose in doing so.3. Sound machine – when Dominic was born, we got him a sound machine to mimic the whooshing sound of the womb. For his first 2 weeks, if he was fussy and we couldn’t make out the reason why, we’d bring him right by the sound machine and he’d settle down. After we transitioned him from the bassinet in our room to his own room and crib at around 2 months, we moved the sound machine with him. As an astonishing result, I couldn’t sleep. So we bought a second one. I have always slept with a fan on for its accompanying white noise, but with our sound machine, I don’t also need to freeze to hear the same sound. I love love love it, and I truly can’t sleep without it.
2. Young Living Essential Oils/Cleaning Products – the thing I never knew I needed. I have always been a very scent-oriented person. I don’t think that’s a thing, so I’m making it one. I have a knack for naming odors – both pleasant and unpleasant – and more than songs or photos, I connect smells to memories, people, and places. So an opportunity to enhance my wellness through using my nose? Sign me up! I have loved replacing toxic candles with oil diffusing and toxic cleaning products with a non-toxic, better smelling option. I have loved ingesting and rolling oils on for health benefit. And I have loved not worrying about any of it. Because worrying is what I do best. I feel healthier, and truth be told – cooler, with these products in my life.
1. Bullet journal – I saved the best for last. This journal has structured my day to day, given me a creative outlet, and held me accountable for areas of my life that need strengthening. I have logged workouts and gratitude. I have written packing lists, to-do lists, and wish lists. I have taken notes and prayed. I have painted and sketched. I have brainstormed and written. It has kind of my everything inside its pages. I love being able to make it whatever I want, and like my water bottle, bring it everywhere. It was a casual purchase I made about halfway through the year, and not a day has gone by where I don’t use it.
2018, you superstar, you. Thanks for the things.