We are welcoming August and all it’s offering us: the evening summer thunderstorms, our thriving garden, lots of coffee trips, a stack of new books that desire to be read, a trip to somewhere new for us both, and lots of time spent reflecting.
July was unexpectedly hard for us so we are taking August one step at a time. I’m feeling very introspective about it all and I’m continually blown away by the community of people we have around us right now. Friends that bring us giftbags, send cards, drop by to check on us. Family that talks about life for hours with us. People who only know us through Instagram reaching out through DMs to check on us. It all means so much and we are humbled.
If 2020 and 2021 have taught me anything, it’s to be truly present and value the moments of stillness, when everything is settled. There is no great rush to be productive 24/7 if I don’t want there to be. Work will always be there; life will always continue on. But it’s important to give yourself space and time when you need it.
1. Take a Much Needed Break
Mike and I decided that this month we needed to finally take a vacation/honeymoon. As many of you know, we got married in November 2019 and we had plans to take our honeymoon to France and Switzerland the next May. Of course, everything shut down in March so those plans fell through. When things started to open back up this spring and we got our vaccines we decided to take a month long trip out west and travel while working, but then our dog was diagnosed with cancer and we absolutely couldn’t spend a month away from him, even if he would’ve had a blast with my parents in the mountains. Instead, we started planning a trip that involved him and we thought we would drive the length of the Blue Ridge Parkway in a camper and take him along for one last adventure. Unfortunately he didn’t make it that long. So now that we are figuring out our life again, we decided to take a trip for two weeks, completely unplug from work, and take time for the two of us. So we are heading out to Paris this month to read books, drink wine, eat lots of bread and cheese, and explore the city.
2. Re-charge My Creativity
Along with needing a break from life in general, I’ve been struggling so much with my creativity lately. Surely it’s due in part to stress and grief, but I have felt so incredibly drained of my creativity for awhile now. This month, along with our trip and much needed break from work, I’m wanting to start doing things for my mental health. Journaling more, going to the gym regularly, reading just for fun, picking back up a creative hobby like painting or crocheting. I think my mind and my clients will both thank me for it.
3. Make Room For Grief
As I’ve mentioned, we lost our dog last month. It wasn’t necessarily unexpected, since he had been diagnosed in May, but it was more sudden than we had hoped. He was our little partner. He made us a trio. He was my shadow and the most genuinely happy dog. He brightened every single day, made us laugh constantly, listened so intently to everything we said, and loved so hard. We’ve been in a really weird space of trying to still live our lives while also grieving the loss of a third of our household and it’s been incredibly difficult for us both. I don’t expect that we’ll ever get over it. I’m sure we’ll miss him for the rest of our lives. Death is hard and full of random emotions that seem to hit you suddenly and overwhelmingly. But we’ve learned so much about life, our families, and each other through this and we know it’s important to give ourselves time to grieve instead of feeling like life should be back to “normal” somehow. Everyone copes in their own way and we are doing our best right now, which is really all we can hope for.
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