Sunday, August 5, 2012

summer notes: highs & lows

Greetings August! Wow, where has the summer gone? It's hard to believe that I am sitting her in the nook with just my sarong on and trying to stay cool midst the 90+ degree weekend we have had. Out of all the summer months, August is my absolute favorite. Here in the Pacific Northwest, I would say it is the best month to enjoy the outdoors and take advantage of all things summer; swimming, ice cream, bbq's, boating, etc. I feel strongly that adults should play just as hard during the summer as the kiddies who are out of school. I live pretty true to the quote, "All work and no play makes Jane a dull girl." Summer and life in general are just too short to sit back and let it pass by.

With that said, I have been away from the blog for about a month and I thought I was due for an update on my summer happenings & adventures.

The Great Outdoors...
So far, I have been lucky to spend a lot of time outside; hiking, scooters, swimming in lakes, a day at the beach in Maine, evening walks with the man and Ginger, picnics, outdoor cafes, grilling, gardening, you name it...even a water park.

The Summer of Fiction...
Ever since I could remember, I participated in summer reading programs at the local library. Weekly, I would go and browse the shelves, pick up as many books I could hold in my arms, and head home where I would read when the sun would go down or I wanted a tiny respite in the middle of an adventure, road trip, or camping excursion. I only read fiction during the summer; fun beach reads, tales of friendship, coming of age, and love. Yep, I'm still doing it and I have already made my way through 5 pieces of fiction this summer.

Embracing My Inner Hippie Chic...
More yoga, more smiling, more spontaneity, less pushing, less workaholism, more friendship, more connection, stomping around in bare feet and sarongs, following what feels good, even if that means eating bacon.

Cleaning Up My Diet...
So, despite the bacon, August is my time of trying out the gluten free thing. It's been something I have been avoiding for awhile but what better time to do it than when the produce is at the height of its season? I have been going strong for about 5 days now and I am noticing subtle changes; ability to focus, less fatigue in the middle of the day, etc. More check ins on that later.

Dealing with grief. 
My nana passed away unexpectedly a few weeks ago.. It was absolutely devastating. I was crushed. I cried, felt pretty low and down, and turned inward. Not something I wanted to experience this summer at all. In the past year, I have lost 3 grandparents and one cousin. It doesn't seem fair, real, or possible yet death does arrive at the door when we are never expecting it.

My relationship with my nana had been somewhat of a rollercoaster throughout the years; ups and downs and most recently we have found common ground on having a wonderful granddaughter-grandmother relationship. She was enjoying her life to the fullest; working at the golf course part-time, getting out and exercising, and just really being present in her interactions with all of us. Most of all, my nana loved reading my blog. It was a conversation starter and a way for her to be informed of my life on the West Coast.

An Impromptu Trip To Maine...
With the darkness, comes the light. Because of my nana passing away, I went home to Maine to be close to my family. Yes, a lot of tears were shed and there was a sense of heaviness with my visit BUT my whole family was together, the 4 of us, just like old times. We shared in adventures; beaches, lobster, a 5k run, campfires, dining outside, shopping trips, a yoga class with mom, swimming, art walk, and just being with  each other. So...the summer continues to unfold and I am loving it, despite the hardships.