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Article: June Reflections from Mary

June Reflections from Mary

And just like that, half of 2024 has come and gone. I feel pulled between reflecting on how much has happened and the desire for doing, seeing and accomplishing more. Have I stopped to smell the roses enough? Can I remember beauty in the small things or have those memories been washed away by big events? Instead of spiraling down this path of questioning, I'm going to recap June and June only. Same thing as last month, using recap as an acronym for different thoughts and experiences I've had.

READING

I'm here to admit that I'm a book addict. I have been since I was a child and I don't see that changing anytime soon. I wish I could buy the physical copy of every book I read but I also want to live minimally (until I have a home library that is) so I've resorted to reading most books on my Kobo and truthfully, I do love it. This month I read The Husbands by Holly Gramazio, inspired by one of my fave podcasts, Easy Reads. This was such a light, easy and very fun read - a perfect summer read in my opinion! I also hope this bring this to life as a tv show or movie and bring back that nostalgic romcom feeling we haven't had since the Notting Hill times. I am also reading a few pages a day of Manifest by Roxie Nafousi to remind myself that the only thing that is in my way from having the life I want is myself. It's been really enlightening to read this, slowly and intentionally, as I reflect on my habits and thought patterns to better understand which ones are serving me and which ones are holding me back. 

EXPERIENCES

Even though I said I wasn't going to look back at the first half of 2024, I had to just a little for this one. As I was mentally reviewing each month I realized that I haven't had many experiences. Yes, I've done things, but not a new experience - does that make sense? I am a creature of habit so I can admit that I don't naturally pursue new experiences or activities. Which I'm going to change - even a little. I started a list on the notes app on my phone of experiences I want to add in, especially in the summer while the weather is better for trying new things. A few experiences I want to well, experience, this summer are: 

  • mini put
  • go karting
  • fishing
  • outdoor concert
  • jazz in the park
  • movie on a rooftop
  • flea markets

If you have an experience you recommend or one you want to try too, please let me know in the comments so we can experience together! 

CONNECTIONS

As I've grown older, especially post pandemic, I've realized maintaining or growing connections isn't as easy as it once was. So many of our lives are going in different directions, moving to other cities or countries, getting married, having babies, building homes and so much more, that it's easy for us to lose track of each other as our own worlds fill up and start to fly by. Which leaves me questioning, how do we maintain connections as adults with full lives that are in different places than our friends or peers? A few thoughts that came to me around this is removing the stigma or pressure of staying in touch all the time. The unanswered texts haunt me on a daily basis and I started to realize that I felt pressure or annoyance in replying to my friends messages. It didn't feel intentional or supportive if I was replying in a rush. I've tried to make connecting with my long distance friends more clear, setting up facetime calls (and putting them in my calendar), only replying to texts when I have the mental capacity to do so and writing letters - yes, snail mail! I'm here for whatever recommendations you may have for not only maintaining but deepening connections with friends - thank you in advance!

ADJUSTING TO

This month I've had to, and will continue to, adjust to giving my body more rest. Rest has been a common theme in my life and it's more than just the physical rest, which I actually wrote about recently for my personal substack. Though this month has been focused on physical rest after a pretty intense back injury that happened right at the end of May leaving me far from feeling my best. I talk about rest a lot, giving yourself grace and compassion but in all honesty, it's hard for me to take that advice myself. I've lived with chronic pain (migraines, endometriosis, adenomyosis and back pain) for over 15 years and it honestly doesn't - or hasn't - gotten easier for me to navigate. The past few years I've regressed in my physical health and have been dealing with chronic pain more days of the month than not, so when I put my back out it didn't come as a surprise. But the inability to bounce back or heal quickly has been hard mentally and emotionally, on top of physically. I've had to give myself grace to not hit my 5-10k steps a day and to get out of my routine of working out because I truthfully couldn't. This is something I'm adjusting to, revisiting in so many ways and trying to unpack why resting is so hard for me.

PEACE

Since this past month has been hard on me mentally and physically I've focused on finding moments or places of peace. Whether that is sitting with a matcha in the sun for 20m instead of rushing back to my desk or reading on the couch (and hoping my husband will give me a foot rub) I've realized peace can easily be found and added into each day. Some other ways I've incorporated peace is being more intentional with cooking; making my favourite meal, putting on music I love while I cook, being present and recognizing how privileged I am to cook for myself and eat well. Lighting a candle or incense while stretching for 5-10m makes something that can feel like a chore to feel more intentional and even ceremonial. Small choices we make each day and how we look at those things, taking it from 'I have to' to 'I get to' can bring such peace into our lives.

Thank you for joining me this month and I hope it inspires you to also explore these topics for yourself. If you do, I would love to hear them - if you want to share of course. Feel free to leave a comment or DM me on @itsmaryyoung to chat more. The beauty of all this, especially being on the internet, is to feel less alone and reminded that we truly are in this together. Thank you for being here, thank you for being you.

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