How is it July already? June's collection of sunrises and sunsets felt like a flip book, each day a page, turning so effortlessly! While I am still recovering from years of over stress and under concern for what I really want and need to navigate this topsy turvy life maze, the key word is that I am, without a doubt, recovering. And, I'm just beginning to rustle the dust and debris off my psyche, to see what's been hiding underneath.
Health-wise, I'm back in the habit of taking daily vitamins along with my regular meds, which currently consist of plenty of allergy cure-alls, sine mine have been HORRIBLE this year. My little old lady, days-of-the-week pillbox, featuring adorable lady bug renderings on each day box, has been a huge help informing this daily habit (Thanks, B, for picking up that little treasure for your old lady wife!) I'm drinking more water, and I'm getting a full 8 (plus) hours of sleep each night. I'm also meeting with my therapist every week to help me remember that I am allowed to take this time off for myself, that I am worthy of it, and that it's ok to focus on my wants and needs, first and foremost. She helps me with that pesky negative self-talk and quieting those raucous voices that have a tendency to bucket drum and drone and hiss and tsssk inside the old noggin.
During "week the second", I started incorporating daily workouts, and for the past 3 weeks, I've worked out at least 5 times a week, including a mix of 3-4 outdoor runs (I'm training for the SeaWheeze half marathon in VC, BC this coming August), along with 1-2 interval workouts at OrangeTheory (btw, I am obsessed with OTF! And I can tell it's helping to amp up my running game). On my "off" non-workout days, you'll find me at the driving range or more recently, practicing Yoga at my favorite studio, where I started up again this past week.
I am so happy to be running again, and what's especially great about training for a race and not working is that I can fit in my longer training workouts on my favorite lakeshore paths and trails during the work week (usually heading out around 9 or 10 am) -- which means I can avoid the work crowds and the weekend warriors that pack the trails during the early mornings, evenings, and weekends. It's glorious to have my favorite running paths (almost) all to myself!
I am reading a fair amount, though to be honest, nothing all that noteworthy as of late. I keep my reading list up to date on Goodreads, and if you're a big reader and a Goodreads lover like me, then look me up and we can swap titles. My sister just got me a copy of Gretchen Rubin's new book on forming happy, healthy habits, and I'm looking forward to digging into that. I promised my sister I'd read it before we meet up back in MI later this summer (I'll do my best, E!), so I'll probably get cracking this weekend. The book found its way to me with a perfect sense of timing, since I want to use this time off to form new habits that will bring more peace and satisfaction to my daily life.
Speaking of new habits, aside from the ones I've already mentioned, I am working on embedding a daily/weekly household chore routine into my life (thank you, Pinterest, for helping me to put together what appears to be an eventually manageable maintenance schedule). Right now, I'm hit and miss on locking down the chore endeavor. But, that's ok. I'll get there, and I want to get there, because having a clean, orderly home makes me feel like I am taking care of myself, and Brian, too. For the record, Brian is not "off the hook" with chores even though I'm not working, nor did he expect to be, and he is great about pitching in on the weekends (and is still the go-to chef in our house). But I like being able to take more of the pressure off during the work week now that I have the time, so that when he gets home, we can relax together, free of the visual noise of a sink full of dirty dishes or an abandoned sock puddle on the floor (defn of sock puddle: a pile of socks, usually mine, that builds up at the foot of the couch when I inevitably kick them off while watching TV).
I'm starting to jump into new(ish) hobbies and interests with more fervor than I could muster up during my work work work life. For the past ~4 years or so, I've been a passive learner of golf, with sporadic trips to the driving range, and a loosey goosey commitment to the sport. I've gotten to the point where my driving range record is not always horrible, and B took me to golf my 9 holes at a nearby par 3 course. We opted not to keep score (thank goodness!), and although I lost 6 balls (yeah, that's right -- 6 balls lost on a par 3!), I still had a blast and cannot wait to get out their again for another 'whack' at it. I've got the name of an instructor, so I plan to get in a lesson this July to help me adjust my swing, which I've been told is actually pretty good, but I have a tendency to hit a little left, and as a lefty, this means I'm leaving my club face a bit open. And, now that I've finally been out on a course, I have learned that I need to pay a lot more attention to reading distance and adjusting my swing accordingly -- for the record, my revised new favorite club is the pitching wedge. I knew it was versatile, but now I "get" it with much more clarity than before with all of its pitching and and chipping prowess!
In June, I also took a somewhat unplanned trip home to MI. I've got a big trip planned for late July/early August (for 2+ weeks!), but my grandmother died at the end of May (during my last weeks at work, just to add to the stress of my final days), which lead to this added sojourn to the homeland. Our family opted in favor of a smaller, family affair a few weeks after her death (versus a big church funeral), in part to allow some of my family abroad more time to arrange and make the trip. The memorial included a really nice family lunch and a visit to the cemetery to visit my grandmother's grave, and the graves of other family members as well. While death is never easy, I'm so happy my grandmother had 99 years on this earth, and I shared just a few small threads from her life in my previous entry.
Let's see, what else in June...Oh yeah, I ate a lot of ice cream and I watched a lot (lot!) of television - so much that I earned an Xbox "achievement" badge for using Netflix 7 days in a row. I didn't even know that was a thing, and I have an inkling that maybe I shouldn't add that achievement to my LinkedIn profile. Yes, I admit I am a completely TV junkie. TV and reading are my reality escape methods of choice. Anyone looking for a summer TV reco? If so, check out Sense8, one of the newest Netflix original series, developed by the famous Wachowskis (of Matrix fame). The series chronicles the lives of 8 people from different walks of life and from around the world, who discover their lives are interconnected across many dimensions, and in extraordinary ways. Their rare and unusual connection is seen as a threat to some circles, and they learn they must work together to stay in tact (e.g. not get killed). The reviews I've read about the series are polarizing, and I fall firmly on the "like" side of the fence, though at times the sex and violence is a bit much for my taste, and it took a good 4-5 episodes to lay the foundation (e.g. a bit of a slow start). I do have to give an especially rave review for whoever is in charge of the music for this series -- powerful stuff! Is Sense8 available as a Pandora Station? I must investigate this!
...And that, my friends, is more or less how I rocked month one. More adventures, big and small, to come!