July: caught in the in between

May had been fantastic and June was somehow even better… July should have been grant! It turned out… well, actually, I’m not sure how to describe it. Part of it was great though, part of it, not so much…

Minty being pretty… as usual!

As for every monthly recaps I wrote, I’ll say the same things again: you don’t need to read, because I’m just journaling my way through a pandemic. Trying to keep traces of what it was like.

Maybe these recaps can help you understand what I published in between, where it came from. Most likely you don’t really need to have such an understanding! Why would you?!

Just like you, I’m going through ups and downs. Just like you, I have lots of hesitations, fears and maybe as many happy moments & blessing.

Maybe reading these recaps can help? They are here primarily to help me navigate life during a pandemic, which simply means life, in all its glory and with all its difficult times.

So, do as you please!! Here we are…

Note: This post include affiliated links in the ‘best buy of the month’ section. If you decide to make a purchase, I may get a small commission at no extra cost to you.

July highlights

My Birthday! 😁 That is a big highlight!

For the longest time, I didn’t like celebrating my Birthdays. Nothing good can come from celebrating the fact that you are aging. But I’ve come to realize that it is a ‘glass half empty’ way to see things.

So now? I see the glass is full!

My last 2 Birthdays were spent around Minty and that is the coolest way to spend a Birthday, although I didn’t know this before. Last year, on my Birthday, we were finishing her up. Almost, she was not entirely complete, but somehow ridable, nevertheless. This year? I drove it, like really drove it! This year was magical!

That’s it. That’s the highlight! My month is summarized here!

I drove my bike! It was glorious!

OK, well, I cancelled my trip to Paris (link explains partly the reason, but it wasn’t just that). However, I camped again and that was the next best thing! I drank a little more than I should have. I still had a lot of fun!

Yes, it rained! It was very soothing! (sound on to feel relaxed)

The pandemic & the vaccine

On the other end, although I was very happy about the announcements of the French President, I soon understood that it would probably not sort out the situation. A lot of people rushed to get vaccinated and that’s a good thing. However, between the people striking (without a mask) and especially the ones rushing to get fake certificates, once more, I realized that the pandemic will continue to thrive and that my dad would still be at risk.

And I don’t believe your right to be stupid & selfish should hinder my right to enjoy life.

You still have a choice if that is what most precious to you. Your choice is to get vaccinated and join the ones who get a bit more fun & freedom, or don’t get the vaccine and stay isolated. You can’t have it both ways because you are a risk to everyone else.

The fake certificates are mostly troublesome because it seems that we will never be able to trust people in general.

So yeah, the pandemic, really affected me this month again. I had some reunions planned but understood a little before that the people I was going to meet had no real intention to get vaccinated. People very dear to my heart. It broke something inside me.

My new body?!

I recently wrote about the various changes I have been experiencing, not just physically, but here we’ll stick to the physical changes. This isn’t about just loosing some weight. The transformation is about being healthier and stronger. To be healthy means something different to everybody and right now, to me, it means re-discovering how my body functions. It means rediscovering how good it feels… when my head touches my knees, when I’m not bloated in the evening, when my left shoulder doesn’t crack! I am getting stronger and more resilient. That feels good too! I like it and I’m thankful.

Happy place!

The main take out

You may be tired of hearing about my motorcycle by now, if you’ve read any of my other monthly recaps or else. I can’t help it! It has been life changing!

This very long week end spent at my dad was no exception. Not just because I drove it like I did the previous times. I actually went on little ‘adventures’. I drove over 30 miles in 3 days. Happy when I didn’t stall. Happy when I stalled but managed to turn the engine back on easily. Happy when it didn’t go so well, but I learned something from my troubles. Ecstatic of course when it went well and I rode at the glorious speed of 40 miles per hour!!

It isn’t just the riding that made these few days and miles special.

I realized I was now the second person, after my dad, who drove it the most, who went the furthest!

Our milage is nothing to be compared, obviously!

Still! I got very emotional with such a realization. I had won.

Many doubted, including myself at times at one point, that we would manage rebuilding such bike, let alone that it would work properly. But we did. I did. And probably some doubted that I would managed to ride it but I did. I also won a huge battle against myself by doing so. I conquered some of my fears and doubts. And with such realization came pride for what has been accomplished and excitement for what’s to come.

The furthest I went was about 6 miles from my dad’s place. It is still the furthest anyone else but him went. My brothers, my cousins… they drove it in the past. Some managed to put it into 3rd gear, some never could. None went very far. They were just messing around, they were just having a little bit of fun.

Minty is exploring
Minty being pretty in front of a village church entrance!

Still caught in the in between

Despite the fun and the changes, I still felt in the in between. In between two tides, like the crab I am, navigating between the water and the sandy beach.

In between two financial situation, unsure how I will handle… in between two bodies, two apartments and two sets of pandemic related feelings. Maybe I stand on the threshold, but I’m not quite sure the door to newness is fully open. I try to peek in, to make sense of it all, maybe I try to pry open the door a bit more. To be reassured. It doesn’t seem to work this way.

In this in between I still sometimes see my old self, although most times I recognize the changes, I can foresee where it is heading.

This is called liminality. A new word for me which brings unease. The ‘not yet’ is scary, no matter how much I sought it and how much I want it to be thrilling.

July has brought weird feelings about this in between. To have glimpses of the future and all the possibilities. Yet, to be held back in the shadow or my former self, my former believes. Maybe August will be the real start of the next phase…

Little follow-ups

Online money investment: Still going strong. Adding funds every months without going over my budget has become a game. Income from this won’t be paying my rent anytime soon but we’re not talking about pennies anymore.

NMN? I can tell it helps recover from Pam, so I’m trying to continue, but it’s been on and off.

Pam? Still in love! Will continue to profess such love every month!

Drawing? Part 3 of my big project is almost done! Had to kick myself to make progress. It’s too hot, I should do this instead… Don’t have time… Really had to kick myself!

Moving? Well moving is still planned for December and I’m going to have to kick my butt on this too, to get things happening on this matter too.

Minty? 🥰🥰

Best buy of the month

It should have been my new motorcycle jacket but actually the one delivered was not exactly what it was supposed to be. A little bit of a disappointment considering it was my Birthday gift!

So I guess, my best buy is my new nutcracker! I broke the one my mom had bought me years ago while cracking hazelnuts for my little squirrels. So here is my new one!!

nutcracker

I just realized while adding the picture that I should explain why I crack the nuts for my squirrels! They can obviously open them themselves.

The issue was that our little squirrels are very well mannered and didn’t leave anything behind. Our place remained spotless despite the numerous nuts eaten. Until we realized they were throwing all the unwanted bits, down below, onto the neighbor’s terrace!

Very thoughtful of them but not a great idea considering our not very friendly neighbor. He is definitively not a squirrel lover! So we started to give them ready to eat nuts and no one has complained about it!

Personal reminder: Do not tell the neighbor about the squirrels or the fox roaming around!!

Now I also really like my new probiotic by Vegavero. It felt a bit weird inside, the first 3 or 4 days, but now it’s glorious!

Any plans or highlight for August?

July is my Birthday month but August is my partner’s Birthday month! We get to celebrate all summer and like it!

Something I learned

Well, it’s kind of important to reflect (on your goals, your progress, etc…) sometimes!

I wrote this piece on our recent eco-friendly improvements and felt really good about the effect of my diet change and how it reduced our plastic trash pile.

On the other end, it made me realize that I should try a couple other things. So I did! I tried doing tortillas and that wasn’t a great success. However, I also tried making my own onion bhajis (because as stated in the above linked piece, the only vegan friendly Indian restaurant, where we live, only makes deliveries in plastic containers) and behold!! These onion bhajis were sooooo good!! Crispy while soft inside, with 1/10th of the recommended oil used! A great success!

Home made onion bhajis! Sooo good!
My first onion bhajis!