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  • Writer's pictureDrew Dotson

Just July

Last week, on the first of July, my neighbor Tracy surprised me with this vase of flowers. With it was a handwritten note praising my ability to find joy in June—and encouraging others to #BeMoreLikeDrew. Her kindness made me smile, and I considered whether I should label July in some way. Genial July? Jovial July? Just July?

A woman with a bouquet of yellow and purple flowers

But, in full transparency, as June petered on, it became increasingly difficult to identify moments of joy. Perhaps I've grown weary of this newer, less active lifestyle. And although I know it's temporary, the lack of mobility has impacted my mood. The other morning, as I did a chair workout, I realized the fitness coach had created the video during the throes of COVID-19.

In some respects, the past five weeks have been like COVID-19 all over again. Except this time, rather than being in the hospital with Ramón, I've been at home mending my broken leg. This means I haven't left the house much, which in turn means my world has become quite small.

And though I love the people who grace my smaller world, it's easy to become hyper-focused on your own issues when your world fits within the confines of your home. So, I want to make it clear that finding joy is a very deliberate process for me—and almost always has been. Optimism isn't exactly my default setting, but Finding the Silver Lining is. I will always strive to find beauty in adversity for one simple reason: it makes life’s hiccups—which are inevitable—more tolerable.

Why not view life’s misfortunes through the lens of hope?

When people face adversity, others tend to label them strong, admirable, or brave. Yet, when I talk to those who are enduring misfortune, they insist that they’re just doing what the situation warrants. In their eyes, they’re adhering to the doctor’s treatment plan or continuing to live despite the loss of a loved one. It’s not an act of heroism; it’s doing what’s necessary given the circumstances. I believe what people really mean is this: “I don’t think I’d be handling this as well as you seem to be.” But I think most people would be surprised by their ability to withstand life’s difficulties.

I guess it’s #JustJuly over here—and I’m good with that.

1 Comment

Jul 08

July is my least favorite month. My husband passed July 6,2007. My dad passed July 5, 2012, my mom 13 days later July 18, 2012.

Only reason I don’t hate July is my son’s birthday is July 12:)

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