This Week I Love: Comfy Things

January, as you may have noticed, was a lousy month. Last week in particular was especially crummy. After all the job drama went down, all I wanted to do was get the apartment in order, snuggle with the cat and/or Kevin, and eat Ben & Jerry’s.

I have two reactions to difficult situations: fix them, or hide under the bed until they go away. If they can’t be fixed, I seek out things that can be fixed, like dusting the whole apartment or rearranging some shelves. If it’s too late to fix things, or if I’m tired out from trying, or if I’m just plain tired, I like to curl up in some blankets and eat ice cream or drink tea. It gives me some cathartic self-pity time, and also helps me recharge for the next round of “fixing.” If I feel like I have control over at least one part of my life, if I feel comfortable in just one little area, I’ll feel better about all the other junk I need to deal with.

What comfy things to you utilize during rough times? Here are some of mine.

1. Candles

Not much explanation required here.  Candles. They’re pretty. When I went on my “fixing things” rampage, I redecorated these little shelves with a collection of candles.  They used to hold a mishmash of items – a vintage soda bottle, an empty tin of candies Kevin brought me from Italy – but now they match a little better. Matching is a good thing.

My sister brought me the two on the right from Costa Rica!

2. Scarves

I love scarves, and not just because I am a perpetually chilly person.  Sal at Already Pretty posted this one and it was love at first sight.  Unfortunately, ModCloth’s high shipping rates topped my self-imposed impulse-buying budget, so the scarf remains at large. (My birthday is in July. I’m just sayin’.)

The fun thing about scarves is that even when you wear them on your lousiest days, you will instantly look like you tried harder.  I can show up to work in all-black, feeling gross and boring, but adding the bright pink scarf says “hey! I’m chipper and bold! Check out my fun and fresh accessorizing!”

And hello, they’re warm. Huge bonus.

3. Tea

Speaking of warm, and tidying up the apartment:

I am a huge tea nerd.  That isn’t even my entire collection – I also have a tea chest from Tess loaded with standard tea bags.  Pretty much the only teas I don’t like are chai and traditional green tea.  (Sorry, Japan.)  Tea gets me through tired mornings at work and relaxes me in the evenings.

4. Comfort Food

Mine is that Kraft “gourmet” macaroni & cheese with the creepy liquid cheese sauce.  I know, it is probably giving me cancer, but it’s so good. On Tuesday evening, after Job Guy called, I stopped at Fred Meyer and grabbed a box plus a pint of Ben & Jerry’s (Cheesecake Brownie). I never actually got around to making it because Kevin took me out to dinner instead (<3), but rest assured I would have eaten half the pot in one sitting.  Half the Ben & Jerry’s would have followed.

When I’m sick, my comfort foods are Top Ramen, pasta with butter and parmesan (okay, yeah, I would eat that anyway), Campbell’s chicken noodle soup, and raspberry sherbet.

5. Bookshelves

First the walls, then the tea pantry, then the bookshelves.  I took great pride in organizing both of the bookshelves in our apartment.  My books are vaguely categorized by genre and author: the Ray Bradbury section melds into the Science Fiction section, which is sorted chronologically from H. G. Wells to Philip K. Dick; “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy serves as a transition to Modern American Literature, which includes everything from “Tortilla Flats” by Steinbeck to “Water for Elephants” by Sarah Gruen. Below that, my Ireland and England travel books segue into English literature and historical fiction. My international historical fiction shelf ranges from Spain to India to Japan to Russia. All my guilty-pleasure mass-market paperbacks, the Michael Crichtons and Mercedes Lackeys that served as my gateway drugs to adult reading, take up the top shelf.

And now I can enjoy them all from the comfort of my little nook – assuming the cat isn’t already there.

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3 thoughts on “This Week I Love: Comfy Things

  1. Funny, I focus on similar things when I’m packing to be marooned on my islands. I’ve become somewhat candle-obsessed, since they’re good-smelling and produce a much nicer ambience than flashlights/lanterns. One of my favorite parts is doing my personal shopping – I get to do 4 months’ worth of snack and book shopping in just a few weeks. It’s my book stash and my snack bucket that get me through some of the toughest, loneliest days out there.

    • I can’t imagine living on a deserted island like that, but the way you describe it it sounds cozy. 🙂 What kind of stuff do you like to bring with you?

      • For a tent, it’s pretty cozy. Work provides all the essentials, but entertainment’s the main thing, seeing as there’s only a few of us for the whole summer, no resupply, and no internet. So, tons of books (I read 30 last summer), an iPod, movies/tv shows (especially Doctor Who), art/craft supplies, games/puzzles, a camera, etc. Last year we organized a “First Friday” art night which gave us an outlet for fun creativity.

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