With all the “end of summer” hoopla around the country it still doesn’t feel real to me. I could blame the heat in Florida (and part of me still does) but the main reason is because, for the first time, summer was just a season. It wasn’t a period of three months to do ALL the activities before school started again. It’s weird, but in a good grown-up way.
Throughout the summer I’ve shared some of my highs and lows in real-time, but now that it’s officially over (well, unofficially calendar-wise) I’m choosing to find the meaning from it all. My summer was simple and a bit of a rollercoaster, yes, but good in many ways. In fact, there was some maturing and self-reflection that needed to happen, along with a lot of rest, gut healing and puppy kisses.
8 Takeaways From Summer 2016
Progress isn’t linear
June and July were rough months gut-health wise. I was discouraged that I had felt so good in the spring only to “spiral” downward this summer. In hindsight, and after discussion with my doctors, it’s somewhat normal to have an initial burst of success when you change something, health or otherwise. Then things settle down and you are forced to rebalance. The setback didn’t mean all progress was lost, only that I had/have more work to do. Truthfully, it will be a continued effort for some time, but as long as I’m heading in the right direction, I’m doing OK.
Puppies are hard work…but 100% worth it
I tried to come up with a cute, concise bullet for this one, but this sums it up nicely. Without a doubt, this summer was dedicated to our new dog, Archie. Tell me…what is with puppies needing to be walked, fed and played with every.single.day?! They are like children, substitute crying with barking.
He’s now 5 months old and bigger than Rocco (our 8-year-old cockapoo). Bad haircut and all, he’s a very sweet and naturally well-mannered dog. 100% worth the piercing barking. Ok, 99% worth it.
The job search isn’t a walk in the park
Let’s all just LOL that I once thought I would get a job in a month. I saw the process come easy for some people so assumed I’d have no issue. That was in April…
Now that hindsight is obviously 20/20 I know that it can take many months, cover letters, interviews and denials before being offered a job. At times, this search has knocked my confidence down like ten
thousand notches. As someone who has always a) done things for herself and b) been relatively successful, it’s humbling to have the tables turned. I’ve learned that accepting help isn’t a sign of desperation or defeat, and, of course, that this process is LONG.
I’ve touch on the job search within posts but don’t always want to write about it here. You can assume I’m still plugging away and consumed by the process (apps, interviews, etc.), even if I don’t mention it :)
Change your thoughts, change your world
For a good chunk of time, there was a lot of negativity taking up space in my body. The defeating job search, injury and stomach woes all amounted to some poor self-esteem. Slowly, and with some guidance, I’ve been able to eliminate toxic thoughts. Not eliminate completely, but I’ve seen great improvement. Positive mantras and sources of good energy (which I will discuss soon) have brought some mental clarity and overall confidence.
But sometimes you need a physical change of scenery…
I didn’t do too much traveling this summer (see: puppy), but I’m very grateful for the two trips I did take (to D.C. and Colorado). As a creature of habit, I need to break the mold every once in a while. I always come back from trips, no matter the length, more motivated and happy in my daily life.
When I don’t have the time (or money) for a big change of scenery, I’ve enjoyed going to coffee shops to write and read. A small, simple change but it works.
Disconnecting from social media is good…and necessary
This has been the year of Instagram for me…growing my account, finding my style/voice and interacting with others. I love it, really, but it’s effort. Throw in Snapchat and all the other platforms and it’s exhausting trying to keep up with everything and everyone. Hell, I’ve just about given up keeping up with the Kardashians at this point. (No judging…it’s a guilty pleasure).
I got to a point early this summer where I felt guilty for not posting or commenting. Then to add in the FOMO that can naturally result from following hundreds of people, I knew something needed to change. For me, that change ranged from limiting my scrolling time to not even opening the app. Drastic maybe, but it’s more important to be present in real life and take care of mental health.
I think I’m finally finding a happy medium (yay!) and have once again rekindled my love of this crazy connected world.
Respect and give your body what it needs
Mine needed a lot of TLC this summer. I hadn’t intended to give it so much rest and attention but, hey, duty calls. As I get back into running post-injury, I’m mindful of what my body is telling me, even if it’s contrary to what everyone is posting on social media (see above).
You do you. I’ll do me. We’ll all get along in perfect harmony. That’s close to the song, right?
When all else fails, go climb a mountain
It’s kind of magical for mental clarity…and you’ll feel like a badass. Bonus points for holding a yoga pose.
This will likely be my last summer-related post because now it’s time for what really matters in life: fall, football and sweet potatoes.