July Rose & Thorns – A monthly recap of the highs and lows experienced throughout each month.
Rose: Currently Reading – Furiously Happy
It’s been a while since I’ve sat down and read an actual book. I kind of fell off the wagon after reading a few not-so-great books from my Neighborhood Little Library. In need of something to read for a beach trip with my friend, I tossed this book in my beach bag. The manic raccoon on the cover is really what drew me in. The author of the book, Jenny Lawson, shares stories of her struggle with depression and mental illness. She can intertwine humor and wit into situations so well you almost feel guilty for laughing. Her perspective on the cycle of depression and anxiety is relatable for those who know the struggle all too well, and makes it more digestible for people who find themselves in the caretaker role.
Furiously Happy is a choice the author made to live vehemently happy. Why? Because depression sinks you into a motionless potato and knowing the next swing of the pendulum will bring wild adventures gives you something to look forward to. When those happy endorphins hit, it’s essential to make the absolute most out of every second of it.
Thorn: Missing Post
Not since last year have I missed posting twice in one month. I was on a steady streak of producing a blog post every Sunday. But this month my attention was being pulled in too many different directions and something had to give. Making a quality blog post takes hours: gathering and editing pictures, checking the places I’m writing about for accuracy, sending the draft post to my editor (Aaron); this all takes a lot of time.
My head was not in a suitable space and if I’m feeling uninspired, instead of beating myself up, I would rather recognize it and take a healthy step back. I don’t want this to be a whiny blogger post but I’d like to provide clarity for those folks who show up for me each week.
Rose: Viral Blog Post
On a related note, I may have missed two Sunday posts this month, but my Sequoia National Park – One Day Hiking Itinerary post has blown up! I don’t know what I did to appease the SEO Internet Gods, but that post has scrolled past thousands of people’s computer screens in the last week. Whatever secret sauce made this post so magical, I can only hope everyone enjoyed reading it and found it informative and entertaining. After all, your continued support is why I do this each week.
Rose: Neighborhood Mango Tree
My afternoon runs have turned into afternoon walks over the last few weeks. Understandably, it’s July and I live in Florida, where temperatures will easily exceed 90 degrees until after the sunsets. I don’t always take the same route every day. I try to change up my scenery and avoid building afternoon thunderstorms. On this particular day, I took a well-traveled stroll through my neighborhood and stumbled across a house with a table posted under a tree. As I walked closer, I saw a little sign saying, “Free Mangos.” I suddenly looked up to realize a tree I’ve walked by a hundred times was full of ripe mangos. I took a couple and left them to ripen a little on my porch. A few days and a YouTube tutorial on how to slice a mango later, I enjoyed chilled mango cubes as an after-dinner dessert.
Favorites of the Month
Patagonia Hip Pack – During my trip to California at the beginning of the month, I used this hip pack every day. It’s easy to throw on and carries everything I need. Whether it’s a hike to the top of a mountain or a quick trip to the grocery store, I take this pack everywhere.
Sardines Salad – I may not have been running as much this month, but I’ve been eating healthy. I’ve created one of my favorite salads to date: Mixed greens, sundried tomatoes, sunflower seeds, canned artichokes, feta cheese, and a can of sardines in olive oil. Warning, the smell of sardines may clear the room once you open your lunchbox. Lucky for me, I work alone most days.
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