Although July wasn’t really any better than June, and in some ways it was even worse, I find myself in a better frame of mind at the end of July than I was at the end of June.
For one thing, my cat died. This in itself is a very sad and super-sucky thing that kind of set the tone for the month and made everything much more difficult to handle for a while, but it also helped me put things in perspective a little. There’s this huge, chaotic, awfulness on a macro scale, but at the same time there are micro-moments with my little family that are both closer to my heart and closer to my sphere of influence. This month I’ve started to focus more on those little moments, which helps me avoid a lot of overwhelm.
It also helps that I remembered meditation existed this month and managed to silence the little voice that said meditation apps are stupid and I don’t need them because I already know how to meditate and just need to sit down and do it. I tried out Headspace and found that I quite like it. Their courses addressing specific concerns, issues, or techniques are well done and progress logically, and the ability to select the length of each meditation and listen from the desktop site as well as the app helps me work it into my schedule even when I’m busy. I’ve been meditating daily for most of the month, and it’s really helped me with that “appreciating micro-moments” thing I mentioned.
I also started doing some great neck and shoulder exercises, had some pleasant not-in-person interpersonal interactions, reconciled myself to boring suburban walks, read some excellent books, and shunned Amazon more comprehensively than I had before, and we’ve had some awesome unseasonably cool temperatures, all of which have really helped my outlook. I mean, I’m still disappointed at how my country is handling the pandemic and nothing has come to light to change my opinion that we’re pretty much screwed, but the day-to-day has improved, and that’s really all I have control over.
All I need now is some foster kittens…
Visual Interest: Gift from the Sea
Finished in July (13):
Krista Kim-Bap by Angela Ahn (R.A. with my son)
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III (audio)
Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling (R.A. with my son)
Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver
The Crucible by Arthur Miller (R.A. with my daughter and spouse)
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (audio)
A Kid’s Guide to Native American History by Yvonne Wakim Dennis (R.A. with my son)
Bossypants by Tina Fey (audiobook)
A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Parry (R.A. with my son)
Trickster ed by Matt Dembicki (R.A. with my son)
The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
Blood on the River by Elisa Carbone
Turtle Island by Eldon Yellowhorn and Kathy Lowinger (R.A. with my son)
Periodic Tales by Hugh Aldersley-Williams (R.A. with my son)
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Debbie Reese, and Jean Mendoza
What the Eagle Sees by Eldon Yellowhorn (R.A. with my son)
Becoming a Citizen Activist by Nick Licata
A Different Mirror by Ronald Takaki
American Colonies by Alan Taylor
To-Read for August:
Still working hard on the Build Your Library U.S. History curricula we’re doing, and I have my Litsy #bookspin list (below).
You can see my Litsy profile for status updates throughout the month.