July 2020

How is it August already? I don’t even know where July went! Reading back on each day’s gratitude, I think, how was that even July? Lockdown life and lockdown days really are merging together now. This gratitude journal has been good at trying to keep me present and staying in the moment, but I must admit, it is getting tougher these days.

I’ve noticed recently that I’ve felt it somewhat chore-like having this process each night. But it has made me realise that July has been a busy and slightly darker month for me. I haven’t really exercised or looked after myself as much this month. I’ve been ill, work has been super busy, and we’ve been trying to research a lot on properties and places to live. I feel July has been a month of trying to run away from the present – trying to find what little time I have for snippets of reprieve.

I think I just need to rest and breathe and take things slowly. I am not super woman and I can’t pour from an empty cup. I think I just need to rest – or go on holiday! Perhaps a good 12 hours sleep would do me fine, but I think there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. So here is my somewhat sombre July gratitude journal, with snippets of joy sprinkled in every now and then:

1 Networking: grateful for networking and keeping in contact with people. I’ve learnt a lot from people over the years from all walks of life and I’m grateful that I can call on those people.

2 Hubby: grateful for the hubby today. He helped make my laptop behave and was lovely when I was being a grumpy old man annoyed with technology.

3 Progress: grateful for the progress I’ve made in the past months regarding my mental health and wellbeing. Today I acknowledged something instead of seething in it, something that would have annoyed and frustrated me months ago. It’s as if the noise and extraneous things in my life has calmed and allowed me to focus on what’s really important.

4 Technology: grateful for technology today. Using technology to organise my life and also for entertainment, scarily can’t live without it but also very grateful.

5 Being outside: grateful for being outside for a little bit today. Today we went to the shops running errands and though it was still really odd being outside and seeing so many people, I’m grateful I managed to leave the flat. I’m also grateful that there were no incidents like the ones I’ve heard about in the news, I guess everyone else is also super grateful for leaving their properties that no one yet is angry enough to cause such incidents.

6 Music: grateful for music today. Blasting out some classic 90’s and noughties music, rocking away and being reminded of good times dancing the night away. I realise that music really evokes strong memories for me, which is odd as my hearing is not exactly on tip top shape compared to my other senses.

7 Tea: grateful for tea and hot drinks today. The weather wasn’t great today so was nice to have a little pick me up.

8 Realisations: grateful for seeing connections and new truths. Today and earlier this week I’ve been able to find root causes and connect things I didn’t realise were ever connected. This has opened my eyes and really helped me understand why I act or react the way I do to certain people, words, or situations.

9 Rest: grateful for rest today. Strategically booked a 4 day weekend that I am super really looking forward to just chill and relax. Also grateful for a little lie in this morning too.

10 The Half of It: grateful for this unassuming yet heartfelt film. We watched it this evening and the plot never turned out the way I was half expecting it to, it was better. It was about finding yourself and being ok with who you found. There were some great lines too, one of my favourites was that love is being willing to ruin a good painting for the chance of a great one. Just beautiful.

11 Hubby: grateful for hubby doing house stuff and sorting things out making my day easier.

12 Quietness: grateful for quietness today. After some commotion nearby last night where the police were called in, nearby neighbours have been much much quieter today. Not quite sure what happened or whether it was all connected, but super grateful to have some peace and quiet to hear my own thoughts.

13 Rest: grateful for a restful day today. Slept in till gone 9am, which was wonderful and apparently much needed. Lovely to be able to recharge and give my body the rest it so clearly needed.

14 Exercise: grateful for exercise and moving around today. Getting back into the swing of things and aiming to exercise in the mornings and stretch in the evenings. Not only does the extra moving about release endorphins but it’s also a great way to help me be present. I try to view exercise as a preventative measure, like teeth brushing prevents teeth decay, exercising can prevent mental burnout.

15 Ukulele: grateful for the ukulele today. Strumming along to some great songs, just being present and enjoying being in the moment. Also loving muscle memory for some difficult chords, it’s getting easier.

16 Skincare: grateful for taking some time this evening to be present and focus on my skincare. Simple yet effective routine that grounds me and prevents me from thinking too much.

17 Advice: grateful for a some advice a friend gave today. Been trying to figure things out and it was helpful speaking with someone who has had recent experiences dealing with what I’m trying to deal with. Grateful for the time and advice given.

18 Senses: grateful for all 5 senses today. We watched a film called Perfect Sense where an epidemic sweeps the world and takes away people’s senses. I wouldn’t say my sense of smell or hearing are too great, but I’m grateful that I can smell enough to enjoy food before I eat it and grateful that I can have conversations and listen to people and to music.

19 Progress: grateful for a little progress today. We spent a lot of time today researching places to move to, no small task and we’ve whittled the list down to a handful. Grateful for the progress, no matter how small.

20 Quietness: grateful for moments of quietness today. There has been banging and DIY-ing by neighbours throughout the day so having half an hour of quietness was really nice. Not sure why all the DIY has to happen so early and continuously during the day, but grateful for little pockets of reprieve.

21 People and experiences: had a few reflective moments today thinking about people and experiences. I’m grateful for the people in my life who have shared their experiences, hardships, and dilemmas with me. It’s helped me realise that I am not alone in the world, that people have been through the exact same thing I’m going through. Grateful to step back and reflect today.

22 Hubby: grateful for the hubby today. It’s our 8 year wedding anniversary today, how time has flown by! Grateful to this soul for celebrating highs and supporting me through my lows, always there for a laugh and always there to pick up the pieces.

23 Hubby: grateful for the hubby again today. Super supportive and always there for me offering an objective viewpoint to help me see things clearly. Such a gem.

24 Rest: grateful for rest today. Didn’t feel so well so had numerous naps to recharge and re-energize. It worked quite well and feel like I can function again.

25 Little Women: grateful for this book today. I’ve had trouble sleeping recently and these past few nights I’ve slept quite soundly after reading a few pages of this lovely book. I saw the film earlier this year and it was wonderful so reading the book and seeing the characters come alive in my mind has been magical. Sometimes a little escapism is just what you need.

26 Rest: grateful for a lovely lie in today. Slept in till about 9.30am, which is the latest I’ve slept in for a long time. Naturally read some Little Women to send me off to slumber town and it must have worked a treat. My body is still recuperating a little from a bout of bad food from a few days ago and I’m going to try and listen to my body and take things easier.

27 Perspective: grateful for some insightful perspective today. Been doing a lot of research and thinking about different aspects of my life and came to the realisation that it is better to think about this current phase as a marathon not a race. Recently it’s been hard staying present and enjoying the moment when things are so in flux and uncertain – I so want to move things forward and progress quicker. But I’m grateful for this insight and will try to reset my thinking and give myself a break. I am only human.

28 Support network: grateful for my support network today. Having people encourage and push you helps when things seem down or dark. Having that enthusiasm spark some motivation has been really useful.

29 Progress: grateful for a little progress today. Potentially added another town to the list of places to move to. Small progress is still progress and also had a couple of correspondences with people who have been very helpful. Odd to think how things look so dark and cavernous yet a simple email out the blue can turn things round.

30 Lie in: grateful for a little lie in this morning. Had a bit of a restless night for some reason so catching up on a little extra sleep was bliss.

31 Birdsong: for the first time in ages I actually heard birdsong today. Grateful to be able to hear it, as I don’t often get to living in a busy city.

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