At the end of each month, I take stock of the previous month. What went well? What did I learn? What brought me a simple joy? These monthly reports are a way to encourage myself to take delight in the littlest of things. I find that Ten Things I Loved allows me to always see the silver lining, even when there are hard moments in a month. And taking joy in the simple things is paramount to how I want to live, making 10 things an invaluable tool for me. Here’s this month’s simple pleasures.
Kicking off the new medical school year. As you know by now, I am partnered with the University of North Carolina’s Medical School’s Charlotte campus (some of its students come to Charlotte for their third year of medical school if they are looking for a more urban environment for this year of education) to create reflection curriculum and deliver workshops on reflection, self-awareness, and mission. The newest 3rd year students started at the beginning of the month, and I really enjoyed my time with them. It gives me such hope for healthcare to see these earnest, eager students really embracing their purpose.
Book writing. I have been sitting on an idea for a new book for a long time. With Circle de Luz and Happy having lots of needs, my time was pretty limited but this summer allowed me to finally get a couple chapters down on paper so that I can pitch it. It was such a pleasure to fill up notecards with ideas, sit at the desk and write long, and then go word for word with a fine tooth comb. The other day, as an icebreaker, I had to answer this question: What do you want to be when you grow up? My answer? I wish I could write a book a year. One year it would be a really thoughtful, earnest nonfiction book about living in an authentic, empowered way and the next year, I would be at the desk writing some very irreverent fiction. Because life is all about balance, you know.
Passion. Purpose. Plunge retreats. These experiences are so precious to me. Helping women hone in on their passions and purpose and focusing in on how to powerfully care for themselves makes my soul happy.
Launching The Healthy Happy Sane Teacher Home Study Program. Tami Hackbarth and I created a really powerful self-care program for educators in all fields and have packed it to be a self-paced home study experience. Because both of us have had the experience of being unhealthy teachers with insane schedules, capturing how we got ourselves out of the muck we had created and translating that to our fellow educators has thrilled us.
Dinner with neighbors. Every Fourth of July we host a low country boil for our neighbors. It’s easy, fun, and delicious and we just sit for hours, eating well and enjoying each other.
Beach week. We headed east for our annual beach trip. There was boogie boarding, wave jumping, tidal pool lounging, book reading, castle building, ice cream eating, face painting and more. This year, we were especially lucky to be joined by wonderful friends from Colorado. Already dreaming of next year’s beach trip!
Entertainment. I really enjoyed reading Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan and All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner this month and watching Begin Again (my current ear worm is Keira Knightly’s Lost Stars).
Rocky Creek Discovery Trail. The Rocky Creek Discovery Trail is a multi-dimensional outdoor sensory experience intended for therapeutic and educational use; built with the intentions of designing and creating a “model” sensory trail. When it is complete, it will feature 26 sensory stations (each inspired by a letter of the alphabet), a family friendly fit trail, an archery range, water experiences, a hands-on Equine lifecycle experience and more. A friend is one of the geniuses behind and creators of RCDT and so when she invented us for a sneak peek, I was thrilled. I had high hopes but, I tell you, it blew me away. I didn’t even know to dream like this. I cannot wait for this incredible resource to be complete and ready for community use!
Happy passing his swim test. Our little family of three is made up of people who love the water and so we spend a fair amount of the summer at the community pool. This was the summer where Happy’s confidence in the pool really grew and so it was especially thrilling when he took on the swim test (swim the length of the pool unassisted and without breaks and then tread water for 45 seconds in the deep end once you’ve reached it) and passed. With his earned red necklace, Happy can go anywhere in the pool without an adult. Now, every pool visit is punctuated with endless cannonballs off the diving board.
Seeing my parents. My parents aren’t as mobile as they used to be and so it is important for us to schedule time to go see them. Happy and I journeyed to them last week and, as always, had a lovely time. I am so thankful to have this time to enjoy them and for them to enjoy their grandchildren and feel relief that their children are in good places as I am always aware of the sacrifice they made—living in a country that was brand new to them, away from family—for our futures.
So, what did you love in July?