Updated: Jul 7, 2021
June has, somehow, come and left us. I swear to God I was just taking my New Years hike with my little sister. June has been a really big month of self-care for me. And when I say "self-care" I do not mean, like, bubble baths and wine (actually a little? Yeah there was that. Funny story about that later.) This last month's self-care was really more survival. Even though the world is coming out of whatever you want to call the last 18 months, I (and I'm sure plenty of you) are just now having that stress manifest. Kind of like how I used to get sick at the end of every semester of college. If you are not feeling very "wow, I can't believe it's all over and I feel totally normal again" you are in the majority. Give yourself the time and grace to take care of yourself. Talk to your loved ones and friends. We have no idea how to move on from last year, it's OK if your footing is still unsure.
Coming into July I feel both hopeful and prepared, but still tired. Below find June's inspiration and some small comforts!
The Beach Boys
I didn't understood time growing up, like most kids don't. I didn't understand that The Sandlot took place in the past, that kids didn't really play with marbles anymore, or that The Beach Boys had been beach men for like 30 years, or that the Beatles had been broken up for over 40 years when I was listening to Love Me Do.
Listening to the Beach Boys is almost like becoming 6 years old again, looking out the window of my parents car in that timeless place before you start to understand the outside world. I've returned to them recently. Even though they're songs and sounds are so familiar to me, I can finally appreciate just how talented they were and how complex their music is. I highly recommend listening through their top tracks at the very least. Plus, nothing says summer like the Beach Boys. I would also highly recommend newer groups like Beach Fossils and Summer Salt if beach rock is your thing!
Mushroom Tea (coffee?)
I looooooooove coffee. I've been drinking it since I was 12 years old, and it's been a favorite flavor since then. In May, I fasted from caffeine to see if it would help with some of the stress I was experiencing (LOL it did not, but here's to trying). Anyway, in the last few months I've found some teas I really enjoy, but nothing was really doing it for me as a coffee replacement. While I was browsing the Sprouts tea isle I came across Reishi Eleuthero mushroom tea from Teeccino(I assume it's pronounced like cappuccino?). I went out on a limb, and it is SO GOOD. It has and earthy, coffee-like flavor that was so much better than I expected. What's nice too is that unlike decaf coffee, this actually has the benefits of having adaptogens, as well as being acid-free (my tummy appreciates that). So, while I am back on coffee for my own reasons, this has been a tasty addition to my late-afternoons. Tastes great alone, with cream and/or sugar, or even iced! I'm not selling anything, I'm just seriously blown away. Actually... I think I'll make a cup right now.
The Outer Worlds
If you've known me for longer than an hour then you know I love video games. This last month I finally got around to playing The Outer Worlds for the first time. This game really kept me going this month, providing me a place to go and a story to engage with instead of being lost endlessly scrolling. When I finished the game the first time I was actually pretty disappointed.... but that didn't stop me from restarting it immediately with a new character. And then a third. And then restarting that second one because I felt like my stats were off half way through. I'm fine. It's fine. This game feels like a proper return to form when RPG's are just getting twisted all over the place to be bigger and better. But really bigger is not better with RPGs, choice is really where it's at. This is where OW excels. You have a lot of wiggle room with how to proceed with the decisions you have to make, every choice carries its own weight, and there no clear right or wrong answers (usually.... you can fly your ship into the sun but just... don't. You will die.)
Jack Johnson - The Curious George soundtrack
Do you need a happy album to work to? Tired of lo-fi? Just throw this bad baby on and get going! It's like the chill, feel-good sibling of Phil Collins' Tarzan soundtrack (monkeys included?)