Just Life

Looking Back | July.


I’ve been saying for months that I wanted to Look Back before I said Hello. This month I finally managed it, and whoa, I can see the benefit. We’ve now been “at home” for four full months and this month really showed it. Save one Saturday (the 11th) on my sister’s porch and the four Sunday runs to the lake, every other photo was taken within less than 100 feet of where I’m sitting right now – and 15 of them were in the same room! wow. In Before Times, I would’ve made a goal to broaden my world. Today, I’m especially grateful to have such a warm, welcoming space to call Home.

1. What am I celebrating?
+ see above!
+ two more sessions of Marmie & Poppa camp.
+ Zoom! I have three recurring calls (knitting, small group, mere-et-filles meetup*) and at least a couple of ad hoc Zoom and FaceTime calls each week. They are lifelines and windows … both welcome and necessary since the view from my real life windows has been limited.
+ we are all still healthy.

2. What surprised me?
+ how full the days could be when they were spent at home.
+ the state of Georgia (population ~ 10MM) surpassed the country of France (population ~ 65MM) in number of cases. (we are now tracking to surpass Germany. and I won’t be surprised when it happens.)

3. What voices am I listening to?
+ Sarah and Beth on Pantsuit Politics. If I haven’t already convinced you to check out their podcast, please do. They ran a 4-segment series on How To Be a Citizen (episode one is linked here ) the last two weeks of the month and it is solid gold.

4. What did I make? For the first month in a while, I sewed nothing. I finished a sweater, a baby blanket, and an afghan.

5. What was the best thing I watched?
+ MMD Stay at Home Book Club Retreat (I even wrote a blog post about it).
+ Marc and I also loved Padma Lakshmi’s Taste the Nation. grabbing the link I saw this headline “Padma Lakshmi’s New Food Show Is a Trojan Horse” (link) and yep, the article is spot on and succinctly describes what we loved about the show. (and yes, I cried during at least half of them.)

6. Read?
+ I read 11 books in July, including two – Deacon King Kong and Warmth of Other Suns – that will for sure be on my 2020 Favorites List. Warmth is also on my Must Read Shelf.

7. What am I leaving behind?
– honestly, I can’t think of anything.

8. What do I want to focus on in the month ahead?
+ making plans for my fall/winter wardrobe.
+ keeping up with y’all – finding a rhythm to share in this space (even if that’s an irregular rhythm) and to balance “staying off the computer” with following your stories. I’ve managed to do each of those things separately, but not both together.
+ keeping up my morning journal and prayer practice (again. I made progress, and I want to keep this in front of me. still.)

One last thing … In Emily P. Freeman’s (check her out here) July newsletter, she posed the question “What’s one thing you know for sure?” She says it’s easy to answer One thing you know, but for sure?! For me, it’s that my morning routine is the foundation for a better day. It might not be a great day, or even a good one, but for sure, it’s going to be better. Hence my continued focus.

How about you? is there ONE thing you know for sure?

*yes, we are still meeting weekly (1-2:30pm ET). If you’d like to join, please let me know!

11 Comments

  • Juliann

    Great reflecting questions. I’m really trying with the photo a day idea this month. Did you know the author of Warmth of Other Suns has a new book? So many good books.

  • Carolyn

    What an inspiringly intentional July you had, Mary. Lots of good stuff I jotted down to check out. The one thing I know for sure is that my day is always better when I sweat!

  • Katie @ The Cozy Burrow

    I totally agree with the one thing you know for sure. My morning routine has been hard won and I don’t want to ever let it go.

    But what a month you’ve had! I’m glad to hear that you’re all still safe and healthy, despite Georgia’s challenges right now.

    Now I’m off to look for Padma Lakshmi’s Taste the Nation – thanks!

  • Bonny

    I never would have guessed that I would see so much lovely crochet in your looking back photos! Would you ever have guessed you would feel so content at home? It look like you are truly making the most of it.

  • Sarah

    Even though I’ve always been a homebody, I would have thought that I’d be a little stir-crazy by now. But the truth is that, like you, I’ve discovered that home has a lot to offer. Of course, I might feel different if it were the middle of the winter and it was harder to get outside every day, but for now, I am content. We’ve all settled into the new routine, and I’m really not in any hurry to change it. I do so look forward to non-work Zoom calls, though — I even enjoy Zoom board meetings now!

  • karen

    One thing I know for sure: I am happiest when I worry about my own problems instead of other people’s problems.

    I tweak my balances all the time between life, internet, and how I spend my days.

  • Kat

    Lots of things to add to my list here! Thank you for the recommendations – I am with Katie in searching out Padma Lakshmi’s Taste the Nation!! Also, thank you for this post and the reminder to celebrate being home! I was going to skip my “look back” post, but you have inspired me! XO

  • lydia

    Finally getting caught up on blog posts = post quarterly work load has leveled out-yea! Hoping to be on the call Sunday- xo

  • Carole

    Thanks for sharing your insights on the month of July at home. It’s interesting as always, I love the glimpse into your daily life and routine.

  • Vera

    So nice to see all the pictures. Looks like July was very satisfying!! One thing I know for sure is I’m loving being home – working out so well for me.

  • kym

    Dorothy was right . . . there’s no place like home! Thanks for another “look back” with wonderful insight!. As always, thanks so much for sharing. XO