Just Life,  Knitting,  Sewing

Looking Back | August.

Wow, August kind of kicked me in the backside. and again, I’m really grateful for this daily photo habit because otherwise I’d be looking back at a fog of days that ran together spent mostly at home and lonely, combined with seemingly endless heat and humidity (broken by violent thunderstorms that put a shaking Holly into my lap on many evenings), and nights that brought little rest and strange dreams. I am happy to have these 31 images (plus a few more – see below), to add to that story. both are true. and ♥.

1. What am I celebrating?
+ we are all still healthy (in a state – and a county – with some of the highest infection rates, this is something I celebrate every day).
+ a wedding (still basking in the joy of that day).
+ the successful conclusion of Marmie & Poppa camp’s summer session.
+ getting back to running (now 3x a week!) and the stunning views are a welcome pause at the hard parts!

2. What surprised me?
+ how inspired I was by Biden’s VP choice. I knew it would be a woman. I hoped it would a woman of color … and still, I cried when I found out who it was. (Sarah and Beth did a 5 Things You Need to Know about Kamala Harris episode – link – and it’s a must-listen!)
+ how hard knitting has been. y’all. These days, I can barely manage stockinette in a tube (and I used to teach LACE classes). I’m sure this is entirely related to that opening paragraph. still. it’s unsettling!

3. What voices am I listening to?
+ Sarah and Beth on Pantsuit Politics, Anne Bogel on What Should I Read Next, Kendra Adachi on The Lazy Genius, Emily P. Freeman on The Next Right Thing, Brené Brown on Unlocking Us, Kate Bowler on Everything Happens (yes, my podcast queue is always Out of Control … in a good way.)
+ Elizabeth Acevedo. I listened to her narrate Poet X last month and I LOVED it/her. I downloaded the audio version of With the Fire on High on a whim (the first non-bingo book I’ve read since April!) and adored it.

4. What did I make?
+ I did have three FO’s (well, six if you count the three things I sewed as pieces, instead of an outfit).(and I am proud of the fact that I have FOs in three different crafts!)

5. What was the best thing I watched?
+ Homeland Seasons 1-6. yes. if you are familiar at all with this show, you might know that is 72 episodes. Marc hadn’t ever watched the show, and he decided (Sara and I are still not sure why) he was ready. So … most nights, Marc and I (and Holly) are watching Homeland. I am actually enjoying it a lot more on re-watch. maybe because I’m not losing track of the storyline between episodes (or seasons) and maybe because I have someone right there to watch it with me. (we are mid-way through Season 7 now and I expect “the rest of Homeland” to show up here next month.)

6. Read?
+ I read 10 books in August – and shared ALL of them on Goodreads! Song Yet Sung, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and Normal People were the stand out 5-stars. I loved the discussions we shared about Song Yet Sung on Sunday afternoons*. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a MMD Bookclub flight pick for September and I know many of y’all count it a favorite. Normal People is Sara’s favorite. I snapped a few photos of favorite lines as I was reading (see August 18 above) and look forward to discussing this with her … maybe we’ll even watch the show together (well, together apart. I’m thinking it might be awkward otherwise?)

7. What am I leaving behind?
– I’d love to think I could simply turn the page on the calendar and leave all the bad feelings/memories behind … but I know better. and Alice Hoffman reminded me why
“Once you forget a piece of your past, you forget it all. That’s not what you want, dear.” -The Rules of Magic

8. What do I want to focus on in the month ahead?
+ making plans for my fall/winter wardrobe … still!
+ 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. …still!
+ being present to the joy. I might not find it everywhere, but I can find it somewhere.

One last thing … I shared from Emily P. Freeman’s Looking Back last month and I’m going to do it again this month … and this month it’s actually TWO things (which neatly rounds out my list to ten. and that makes me happy!):

9. What’s something I’m reconsidering as a result of the last 30 days?
+ saying a hard “NO” to tennis. Katie picked up a racquet in July for the first time since high school (which was maybe the last time I played, too) and asked me if I was interested in playing again. My answer was a quick “NO”. then. stay tuned!

10. What is one thing I’d like to start doing in September?
+ blogging more often. I had found a good 2-3 times a week rhythm and I’d like to make it a regular thing. We’ll see!

Is there One Thing you’re planning to start this month?

*our Sunday afternoon Zoom is SIX months in and going strong. If you aren’t participating and would like to, please let me know in the comments!

14 Comments

  • Vera

    Echoing Juliann, I miss your blogging too. But I get it. Do (or don’t do) what you need to do (or not do). Just curious, why such a strong “no” to tennis (initially)?

  • Katie @ The Cozy Burrow

    I hope September helps you find a rhythm that allows you to balance all of your interests and joys. I totally get wanting to stay in touch with fellow bloggers while wanting to limit time in the online world. It’s part of the reason I only sit down at my computer between 4:30-6:30am! That’s when I read all of the blogs that I follow and leave comments, and also when I write my own blog posts and and respond to comments. Sometimes I feel bad because it feels like I’m ignoring everyone, but I know that it works for me. It also helps that I’ve turned off the option to have comments emailed to me and turned off all of my wordpress notifications on my phone. Both of those decisions have made a world of difference!

    I love your Looking Back posts. Thank you for all of your honesty and inspiration!

  • Carole

    I applaud your honesty at sharing your struggles right now. We’ve all been in and out of that feeling, I think, and it’s good to be honest and support each other throughout this whole thing. I do think watching Normal People with Sarah could be awkward but I highly recommend watching it – with subtitles, because those Irish accents are sometimes hard to understand. I can’t imagine rewatching Homeland!

  • Sarah

    I really do hope you’re able to find a schedule that works for regular blogging because I love reading your updates! I’ve found it’s helped me to have my regular days for blogging — Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays — and to give myself permission to occasionally stray from that schedule. And catching up with everyone else’s blogs is part of my morning schedule, something I do each day while I enjoy my coffee. I love that it feels like sitting down to a coffee with a bunch of friends!

  • Karen

    I’m not sure when my August recap will get online, but I do know what I’ve decided to take on for September. Actually it’s not taking on—it’s giving up. I’ve been very conscientious this year about setting monthly goals and tracking them. I’m taking a month off from all of that–no specific goals, no tracking. We’re away for two weeks so it seemed the perfect time, and I just feel the need to “go with the flow” for awhile. We’ll see where I am come October. I hope September brings you many moments of joy, however small. I always enjoy your Goodread reviews and ratings.

  • Bonny

    Those closed-in-at-home feelings are tough to deal with, but I still think it’s important to stay home as much as possible. Even though almost everyone I know is being careful, John’s aunt died of covid, and my niece and great-nephew have both just recovered from mild cases. I enjoy blogging and reviewing on Goodreads – it’s mostly for me, but I really love the personal connections. So I hope you can blog more often, knit when you can, and know you are not alone in feeling unsettled!

  • Margene

    I enjoy your recap, even though we “catch up” every Sunday and that makes me feel like I just had a coffee with a friend and had a nice chat. Normal People is such a good book and I’m sad I don’t have Hulu, but it might be worth given Hulu a try because of the show. Your August looks like it was a beautiful month! And, so full of joy. Every one of us still has angst that creeps in even when life is (still) good. I feel you.

  • lydia

    August was pretty much a blur-organizing, cleaning and working pretty much dominated the month. Hoping for more outside sitting time in September and possibly more reading. Dare I hope?!

  • Debbie

    I’ve been in such a funk for the past month and have been having a difficult time focusing on things and feeling hopeful. I keep waking up at night in a panic about the November election thinking I don’t think I can take four more years of this…and I’m just lonely and blah.
    You asked about what I am planning to start in September and I have two things (I’ve already begun the first). I’m taking a fiber collage workshop offered by House Wren Studio and I spend about an hour each afternoon quietly stitching on it. I find it so soothing to work on this slowly and in silence.
    The second thing I’m doing is taking a course offered by Richard Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation. The class is Mary Magdalene: Apostle For Our Times and is taught by Cynthia Bourgeault. It starts later this month and I’m really looking forward to it.

  • Patty

    I hope that September brings many smiles your way Mary. I think this may be my funk month. No trip. Cooler weather. Less light. BUT the days will still be beautiful. I’m considering piano lessons believe it or not! 🙂

  • Alexa

    Great to see that despite the horribleness of the month, you managed to do so many creative things (and your wedding outfit is stellar!), and that you have arrived at September with more energy and looking forward. I hope there’ll be lots of moments of fun, enjoyment and blessings, even if they’re little things (which are often the big things, of course), and I look forward to reading whenever you find the rhythm to share …

  • karen

    I love that wedding photo! I’ll be looking up your tv show, we are watching all the super hero movies on Disney in order. It’s interesting! I’m hoping my September is more intentional than August. I was a little lazy in that month.

  • Jane

    Those views are stunning. Your reflections are an inspiration, very insightful. I am curious about the name of the lake? You remind me I wanted to look for that Alice Hoffman book. Somehow I lost track of that title. Here we go into September.