I wasn’t planning to take a week-long break when I wrote what turned out to be my last post at the end of June. But as we approached the Fourth of July weekend, which felt even longer this year thanks to the holiday falling on a Tuesday, I decided to take a little extra time for myself.
The last few weeks after my grandmother passed have felt like they flew by and also like time stood still. Add to that that grief is a tricky emotion, and you never know what you’re going to feel when, and some time to myself felt like a good idea. As I tied up loose ends on the caregiving front and prepared to say my final goodbye to my grandmother at her service, I also permitted myself to begin doing things again that used to bring me joy.
Before the holiday weekend officially began, a local Instagram follower invited me to take a beach walk at Robert Moses State Park, where you can make your way over to neighboring Kismet on Fire Island. It was just what I needed after a long week, and it was a nice way to connect with someone new. She had been following my caregiving journey on Instagram and is a caregiver herself. As we walked and talked, we were able to connect over the many shared experiences we had as caregivers. I will forever be grateful for all the times she checked in on me and my grandmother over the years. Plus, walking over to Fire Island was something I hadn’t done in a long time, and it was a great reminder to get out of my comfort zone and explore different things.
Then, over the Fourth of July weekend, I was invited to a wellness event in East Hampton, which marked my first trip out east this summer. My workout game has seriously been lacking lately, so I welcomed the opportunity to take an outdoor yoga class and meet some new people. Unfortunately, it was the start of the holiday weekend, so traffic was brutal, but getting in a good sweat session helped me reprioritize myself.
Of course, no weekend would be complete without time at the barn. I was able to get a last-minute ride in on my friend’s horse while everyone was away at a horse show. I couldn’t have asked for a better day to ride, as I love when the barn is quiet and I can connect with the hoses in peace.
After a day at the barn, it was off to my first Heckscher Park concert of the summer to hear The Nassau Pops Symphony Orchestra perform. This is one of my favorite musical groups that come to the park every year, and this year, the performance was even more special as they played a tribute to Frank Sinatra. Each night, when I would visit my grandmother, we would sing songs from Frank Sinatra and Johnny Mathis. One of our favorites was Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night,” which The Nassau Pops performed a beautiful rendition of. Naturally, I didn’t think to bring tissues to the park for a night of music, but they would have come in handy.
And finally, no Fourth of July would be complete without my annual tradition of seeing fireworks at a local beach. Since I was out of commission last year for the Fourth (#IYKYK), the holiday meant even more to me this year. As I’ve been doing for the past decade, I organized a picnic on the beach with friends to watch the sunset before the fireworks began and then settled in for the spectacular show.
While these events made my Fourth of July memorable and kept me busy, I felt my body telling me it needed some downtime. For anyone who has lost a loved one, you can relate to how physically and mentally exhausting the sense of loss can feel. So, I decided to listen to my body and give it the rest it needed. This has meant taking it slow the past few weeks as I adjusted to a new routine and easing into this next week as I prepare to onboard new clients. However, I didn’t realize I’d have to learn a new social media platform in the meantime. So, if you’re on Threads, you can also find me there sharing the many thoughts that live rent-free in my head.