Sometimes things at work calm down for both July and August, but this year, August is getting pretty booked, so it looks as though July is basically my summer "down" time, and I'm really only realizing this as it is drawing to a close.
I do have several more PTO days I can take this year; just need to figure out a reasonable way to schedule them. Generally taking a 3-day weekend (or expanding a 3-day weekend into 4 days) works best for R&R. *Nothing* really seems to work for decluttering, other than my friend coming to visit once a year. Tomorrow and next weekend will thus be busy preparing to make my home less cluttered before her visit the first weekend of August. I DO intend to make decluttering a major focus for next year. I don't seem to be able to take on more than one major non-work goal at a time at the moment given limitations both of my work schedule and my energy levels, which are impacted by Hashimoto's even though my TSH levels are normal (even improved, all while the thyroid antibodies have worsened).
So "summer" means actually making more of an effort to see and do things with friends, seeing people maybe once a week rather than maybe once every six weeks. Now and the holidays are the only times most of my friends hear from me. I did call one of my friends today whom I haven't spoken to in a year or so; she told me that she turns 75 this fall and her husband turns 80, which is sort of startling since when we met, she was in her 40s and he was in his early 50s. Makes you realize how time flies.
As a single person and one of the few people in my local friend group who is not already retired, it means that I have to make an effort to reach out and arrange things--and these days, I generally don't have the energy that I did in my 40s and early 50s. Since most of my friends are retired, they usually get together for lunch or to see a matinee when I'm working. I'll have to make efforts to expand my friend group, but one thing at a time. Last year, CFP exam; this year, focus on health, next year, decluttering so I have a place I feel good about inviting people over to, and THEN a focus on the social.
I've had a few dinners with friends, including last night and tomorrow night. One of my friends owns my favorite local restaurant, so tomorrow night, I am going over to her restaurant (which is closed on Sundays) for a private dinner with her and her husband, and then we are going to see Where the Crawdads Sing at a nearby movie theatre--my first visit to a movie theatre since COVID began.
I also uses the summer time to catch up on doctor's visits. I still need to get glasses following my eye doctor visit back in May. And I had my annual primary care visit last week, generally all good news except mildly elevated LDL cholestorol, and then those TPO antibody numbers (which were based on a test that *I* ordered; he just ordered TSH and free T4). A couple of friends had suggested that I might try going on Levothyroxine at a low level to see if it would reduce the fatigue and brain fog, but my primary care doctor didn't want to do that since my TSH numbers are normal and even improved. I DID decide to change endocrinologists and will be seeing the Head of Endocrinology at the local hospital, who a friend recommended, but I'll have to wait until Oct. 25 to see him.
In the meantime, I realized that my increase in thyroid antibodies directly tracks with an increase in dairy consumption. I've decreased my carbs and increased protein to lose weight, and a lot of the increased protein has been one or two servings of Greek yogurt each day. So I decided to eliminate dairy and retest my antibodies in another 6 weeks.
Another summer experiment is that I just purchased a "Slack Block," a device for balance training. This is a purchase I have been toying with for a couple of years, and, after hearing my friend today talk about the balance problems that both she and her husband have, and having had 3 of my colleagues who still have living parents had a parent hospitalized this year after a fall, I've decided that it is better to start being proactive about this before I develop any problems. (I don't have any balance problems, but neither do I currently have the strength to stand up from the floor without using any hands whatsoever....at best, I can stand without putting a hand on the floor but I do need to brace a hand on my knee to stand up--and I can only do this on one side.)