The Month That Was

July 2021 Reflections

July 2021 Reflections

Goodbye July, hello August. What do you say about a month in lockdown? Especially after months of almost normal life. It’s still a good way to keep track of life, of lockdown diaries if you must. Before jumping into another month of lockdown, let’s look back at the month that was July 2021, shall we?

What I wrote in July 2021

July was a good writing month for me. In fact, it was one of the few things I was motivated to do and did it every weekday morning. The writing routine I started in June continued into July and it’s been a good thing. I finished two short story drafts with edits, sent one off to my writing group, and started a third story. I also managed some creative nonfiction/poetry pieces I wrote on the blog and Instagram.

What I read in July 2021

July wasn’t a great reading month because it took me a while to get into reading thanks to lockdown. But, I feel like I have got back in the groove. I only read 4 books in July but they were all good reads. I finished Snowflake by Louise Nealon, The Others by Mark Brandi, Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo, and The Family Doctor by Debra Oswald.

On the blog in July 2021

The one positive of having so many thoughts and wanting to pen them was the blog was slightly more active this past month. Apart from my weekly gratitude posts, I also wrote a couple of poems – Bloom and Lockdown Mornings; and a couple of pieces of nonfiction – 959 days and Lockdown Lists. There is a definite theme to all the posts!

What I listened to in July 2021

I went back in time with my music choices in July, listening to 90s rock, grunge and pop music. There is something comforting about listening to old melodies in trying times. I did also have some post-rock like The Seven Mile Journey or Jakob, especially in the background when trying to read or write. I have also been back to catching up on So You Want to be a Writer, the podcast by the Australian Writer’s Centre. This has kept me company on my solo walks.

What I watched in July 2021

I binged on season one of Ted Lasso on Apple TV. This is a must-see show especially if you’re in lockdown. It’s the kind of wholesome show we need in times when everyone seems so divided. Season two is currently out but I think episodes are being aired weekly so I’m going to wait till I can binge-watch I think. Apart from that, I watched Final Space which is an animated show on Netflix, and have been rewatching Friends in the background { for the same reason as comfort listening}.

Health in July 2021

There is something strange talking about personal physical health in a time when so many people are contracting Covid. I am grateful that my health has been relatively good. I’ve had to have a Covid test twice in July due to my chronic colds/sinus issues. Thankfully, I have also been managing to keep some of my strength training going by having personal training sessions outdoors twice a week and working out at home twice a week. I have also been walking a lot {like most of Greater Sydney, I presume}.

My mental health started off wobbly due to lockdown and I managed to get an urgent appointment to see my psych early in the month. Since then, I’ve been working on some of the things we talked about and at our session last week, I realised I am in an okay space in that I’ve inadvertently been practising radical acceptance along with self-compassion and compassion for others. Consequently, I’ve let go of a lot of my initial anger and haven’t been crying either. Time will tell how things continue, especially if lockdown goes into September.

Life in July 2021

Life in July was pretty much all about being in lockdown. There were catch-ups over walks and sometimes, takeaway coffee with a select few friends because they live in my 10 km radius, lots of solo walks, books, alcohol at home, phone chats and just getting through one day at a time. There were chats with online friends and a Zoom book club. There was time spent in nature, time spent on the couch, time spent in front of the laptop. I worked while feeling quite unproductive. I figured out a few career things and started the background work for my private practice.

Highlight of July 2021

This is a tough one but I would say the highlight is the friendships I have cultivated over the years, including during the ten or so months out of lockdown because these friends are checking in, catching up, and it’s heartening to know there are so many important people in my life.

Lowlight of July 2021

Lockdown, the divide between states, the anti-vaxxers, the media, the PM

Lessons from July 2021

The biggest reminder for me this month was that I’m not alone even though I live alone. We are all suffering in our own ways and thinking our pain is worse than someone else’s is only making that disconnect further. Instead, acknowledging we are all suffering, and therefore being kind to everyone and myself was the takeaway for me. It helped me acknowledge the grief but not wallow in. It helped me take control of what I can {e.g. not reading too much news, not engaging with toxic people on social media}, and let go of what I can’t {anti-vaxxers, border closures, the PM for now}. It was also a month to remember to ask for help and reach out when I needed.

August is going to probably be a similar month to July and all I can hope is there is light at the end of this tunnel so that I can get back to training at the gym, going to live gigs, and seeing my friends who are out of my radius in person again! A reminder that I am participating in the gratitude challenge on Instagram. It’s not new to me and if you follow my blog, you know I write my weekly gratitude posts. August needs a bit more of that than hate and divide.

How was July for you?

Do share!

***Linking with Denyse for Life this Week***

Until next time,

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  • Barbara Lofgren
    2 August 2021 at 4:28 pm

    July was very mixed for me – on a positive note,I had my birthday and a lovely dinner out, I ate some good food, read, stayed cosy, went to exhibitions. But I was both bored and frustrated at work, and got quite depressed for a couple of weeks realising that we still can’t travel to Europe or Canada to see family, Hope your lockdown ends soon….
    Barbara Lofgren recently posted…This week’s small pleasures #244My Profile

  • Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
    2 August 2021 at 7:46 pm

    I’m so grateful we’re in each other’s radiuses – our coffee catch ups have definitely been some of my July highlights!

  • Astrid
    2 August 2021 at 8:58 pm

    I really feel you on being in lockdown. We’ve been out of lockdown since the end of June, but I’m expecting we’ll be back in it by the fall. That being said, I’m so glad you’ve been doing so much writing. I really need to get into a writing routine too, but it’s so hard. Oh and reading four books is a lot if you ask me. #LifeThisWeek
    Astrid recently posted…I’d Rather Not AskMy Profile

  • Vanessa
    3 August 2021 at 2:09 pm

    Your morning word totals are so good to see. I haven’t had ability/brain to write but it does make me feel like it’s possible.

  • Debbie+Harris
    4 August 2021 at 8:07 am

    I’m so glad to hear that despite everything you have been through that although you live alone, you are not alone – that’s a lovely takeaway for me. I feel for you as you have at least another month of lockdown ahead. take care x
    Debbie+Harris recently posted…What’s on my plate – anyone for a scone?My Profile

  • Denyse Whelan
    4 August 2021 at 6:44 pm

    Taking care of ourselves before any others can be hard for those of us in the helping professions…and teaching…and for me too I guess being Mum and Grandma

    However, I guess lockdown has taught me that I can resist what I may think I ought to do and make a plan for living with this situation better than I have.

    I have made very small changes. I never watch the 11 am Press conferences with Gladys and I catch up only if I choose via twitter. I am commenting LESS but still commenting and trying to back off being too cross. I have set myself a 30 minute limit sitting here on the computer. I then get up, walk around, try some art, go outside. Spending too much time was not good for my physical health – ie back, shoulders.

    Our son’s gym has closed and it was his go-to on a daily basis…the other day he posted hilarious shots of using his kids as weights and lifting one with his legs..anyway, they thought it was funny.

    Your month sounded pretty darned good you know and no, you are never alone…reach out, so many here who care for and about you.

    Thank you for linking up this week for #LifeThisWeek. Glad you could join in. Hope to see you next Monday. Cheers, Denyse.
    Denyse Whelan recently posted…Questions. 31/51. #LifeThisWeek 94/2021.My Profile

  • Ju-Lyn Tan
    6 August 2021 at 9:52 am

    Am so glad for this opportunity to catch up with your month!
    I really do hear you about the challenges of lockdown (on and off, on and off, on and off), and of your living alone. Thank goodness for friends and friendship, and that you have access to supportive mental wellness help (my sister recently had to change her Wellness Coach and is struggling).

    Hurray! that writing provides solace and that you have been enjoying that.

    Hope August brings some sunshine as well. Keep safe and well.
    Ju-Lyn Tan recently posted…Last Photo for July 2021My Profile