On occasion, we share what’s making our lives a little sweeter lately. It’s a blog series called My Good List, and it was the inspiration for Tsh’s podcast The Good List. Here’s a brief glimpse into my list for this current season of life.

1. A Thing

Ever plug your phone in and then expect it to be charged when you come back only to find that someone else has unplugged it to plug in their device and your phone is still in low power mode? I don’t know why it took me so long to get a multi-port charging station dock, but in only a week it has reduced so much frustration. Problem solved. Finally! Now we can charge 2 Kindles, a baby monitor, two iPhones, and an iPad all in the same place. It’s also helpful because now there’s a more regular place to check when looking for all these devices. Side note: I didn’t heavily research this charging station and I’ve only had it for a week, so this is a recommendation for the idea of a charging dock generally, but not necessarily this one in particular.

2. A Habit

For the past few months I have been working on a mental habit that has been powerful in small and big ways. Last fall I became aware of how often phrases like, “I’m not allowed… “ or “I don’t get to do things like that,” would come to mind when I would see things that I wanted to do but felt I wasn’t able to for whatever reason. But the habit is paying attention to when these phrases come into my mind so I can stop and evaluate the statement. Am I really “not allowed” to have a peaceful morning routine because of this season of life? Or have I chosen to allow my mornings to be hectic because I’m not doing things ahead of time the night before that would allow me more margin in the mornings?

The fact that I feel envy that someone else got to go to a relaxing writing retreat in a beautiful location is a signal I should pay attention to, not an unrealistic desire. By questioning the default inner dialogue I’m able to reframe something like, “I don’t get to do fun things like go on an international trip without my kids” to “I could go if I want to.” Logistics may be challenging, finding childcare I feel comfortable with can be a lot of work and maybe money. I might have to save, plan, or shift some financial priorities to make it happen. But most of the time when this limiting belief comes to my mind, it’s about something that needs to be examined and dismantled.

3. A Work of Art

Normally my go-to recommendation for “art” would be a book or poem, but this time it’s a reality TV dating show. What? Yes. I do not watch much TV or movies. (And I don’t say that to brag, but simply as a fact because it may be helpful to know how out-of-touch I am with what is available to watch on streaming and live TV.) I sometimes wish I had more time to watch good movies or shows that friends recommend because I know there are so many creative, powerful stories being told. But these days I’m often too tired after kids are in bed. I just want to enjoy talking to my husband without kid-interruption and then fall asleep reading a book.

However, a friend recently recommended a reality TV dating show to me by saying, “It gives me the same ‘hope is restored in humanity’ feeling that The Great British Baking Show gives me.” I said, well then, of course, yes I will try it out. The show is called Flirty Dancing and is described like this: “Strangers are taught a choreographed dance, then they dance together on a blind date to see if they have chemistry.” It’s available on Hulu and Fox.

I have to add a caveat—there are definitely still problematic elements. It is still a reality TV dating show. But, if you enjoy watching dancing and are intrigued by the basic premise, check it out and let me know what you think.

4. An Idea

I love the exercise of picking a word of the year or put another way, paying attention to the themes that are rising to the surface in your life. For 2020 my word is “invest.” For me this is about focusing on investing in long term-benefits even if the return on investment won’t be available anytime soon. I want to invest in my children, my marriage, my health, my friendships. I want to invest in myself, my writing, my creativity, my business. I want to invest in my home and organization. I want to invest in my long-term health by how I eat and take care of my body. And I also want to take the word invest literally by saving money. But sometimes to invest in what you value, you have to spend money.