Morning routines and silly beans

Happy Friday readers! I am FINALLY back on schedule with my posting and I wanted to share a lighter post this week about my morning routine (or lack thereof… it’s a work in progress.)

So since I got a puppy I have been needing to find time in my day to take Pippa out on walks. Short walks, long walks, and everything in between have become normal daily life for me. You see, I live in an apartment. Not a huge deal except I live on the 13th floor. With a puppy who needs to go out at a minimum of 3 times a day (it was A LOT more than that but as she’s 10 months now, she can go a wee bit longer between wees). So I’ve had to find a way to get myself into a bit of a routine. It’s fairly flexible because my work day changes so much every day, but here is the gist:

6-645: wake up call from Braden.
7-730: make coffee.
730-830: walk Pip around the neighbourhood with special time spent off leash being a maniac.

And then I work for most of the day, take Pip out after work and relax for the evening before I have to take her out AGAIN before bed.

REPEAT most days.

Now, I still have a lot that I want to add into my morning routine. Some time spent in meditation, some time spent in reflection (journaling anyone?) and some time spent with my spirituality are all on the list to incorporate. Thank the gods for that morning call so that I can actually be awake and function. Anyone who knows me knows that an alarm is usually seen as a suggestion by sleepy Sara. So there’s that.

BUT, I have come up with some tips for anyone who is trying to establish a morning routine. These are things that have really helped me embrace my new morning-person-ness. Kind of. (Hey I’m trying at least!!) So here it is. My tips for the unwilling morning person:

  1. HAVE SOMEONE WHO WILL HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE. Have your best friend, partner, SOMEONE who loves early mornings (or in my case is a few time zones ahead of you) who can be your hype person for those early sunless mornings.
  2. Pick a time and stick with it. Don’t change your wake up time daily thinking that that you can ease into it and only have a morning routine on Mondays. Or that it doesn’t matter on the weekends. Trust and believe, you will thank yourself when this becomes a normal part of your day.
  3. Do the EXACT same thing EXACTLY the same way every morning. Do you pee before or after the coffee has been started? Or do you do yoga and then jazzercise? Do it the same every day and it will feel like second nature to just do that thing.
  4. MOST IMPORTANTLY give yourself a reward for getting up so early! Especially in the first bit, you deserve something special for getting up so early. At first for me it was a trip to starbucks once a week on Mondays while walking Pippa. It gave me a reason to get my feet on the ground and a brush through my hair.
  5. Ok ACTUALLY MOST IMPORTANTLY make sure you have a reason that you are getting up! Give yourself a clear intention that you are going to fulfill. A goal that you want to achieve, a feeling that you want to get, a dog you must walk. All of these are good reasons. Find what works for you and gives you a purpose to get that motor running.

All of these have seemed to be imperative in one way or another to get me moving in the mornings. Now those of you who are a natural morning person, first of all, know that I do not understand you, but also keep it movin. These tips are probably not for you. BUT for those of us who are natural night owls who have a reason to turn that frown updside down first thing in the morning, try these things and let me know in the comments below if any of them work for you. And please, for the love of god, if you have any tips on making these autumn-moving-into-winter mornings a little more joyful PASS THEM ON! Don’t hoard that shit inside. Spread the word. Make my life a bit easier. I BEG of you.

Love always

Sara

When the music stops

So I have been debating on this post for a few weeks. There has been a lot that I want to put into words and speak into the universe. And I really think its important for me to do this properly so it’s been weighing on me.

Ultimately, Patrick simply was not as good a guy as I thought he was. The longer version of the story is that he cheated. For a long period of time. He moved out and moved in with her. He lied to both of us and continued trying to play me even after I found out. He lied. ALOT. And simply put, he is not someone I want in my life. He made a liar out of me to the people I care about most. And he confused the situation almost costing me some of the most valuable people in my life because he straight up could not manage to tell the truth and be honest with anyone.

That being said, I am grateful for the finality with which it has now ended. I am grateful for the relationship it let me be free enough and strong enough to embrace. And I am grateful for the fact that I am now able to say I KNOW that I am ok alone and a relationship is something that should add to my life.

Our relationship circled round and round for years. He was always one foot out the door, and that’s left me with some really awful trauma responses that I have to find a way to manage. He and his instability is the reason I have missed some really important events in my life. He is a large part of the reason that I am in the financial situation I am. And he is the reason that I struggle to sit in the comfort of a relationship with someone who is stable, loving, kind, and above all, honest. I question everything, I worry about my new partner not showing up for important things because that is what I’ve known for the last several years. Will he get on the plane to come see me? Is he going to be there when I show up? Will he run if my mental health is less than ideal? Will he run if I share the deepest struggles I have?

It’s been a lot to deal with, and something that I continue to deal with and unpack. Honestly, I have been reflecting so much over the last 6 months about the last nearly 9 years of my life that I spent dedicated to someone who couldn’t be bothered to afford me the same respect. I wish I had seen everything clearly before when I did, but I think it took me being devestated to find out how strong I can be. And to know that I have people around me who will support me no matter what. That I have a best friend who will drop everything and be on a plane the next day because I need her. (Christina, I will forever be grateful for you. I knew that before, and I especially know that now.)

At the end of the day, Patrick and Kelsey deserve each other. And I mean that. She knew what he was doing and still decided to stay with him, even after he was exposed as the liar he is, and even after he claimed he had moved out to try and maintain a relationship with me. At the end of the day, this is the end of that chapter of my life. Yes it still hurts, and yes there is still A LOT of residual issues that I have to find some way to manage. There is still a very long road ahead of me. But he has no place in that future.

I have learned that it is not possible to be everything to someone, nor is it healthy to have someone be your everything. But I have also learned that it is incredibly important to have people around you that add to your life.

I have learned that I am able to be strong, but that often I need to lean on the people around me.

I have learned that it is important to trust my gut. My instincts are almost always right.

I have learned that I need to call on my spirit guides when something does not feel right.

And I have learned that when it’s time to move on, I will know. Not every story has to have a happy ending. And I only hope that it was time not wasted.

Above all else, I have learned that the things that 20 year old me was willing to put up with in the hopes of finding “the one” will no longer fly. I want more from life than that.

What is your most valuable learning experience in your dating life? Any fun or insightful ways to deal with a cheater? What is the best dating advice you wish you could tell your 20 year old self? Let me know in the comments!

Love always,

Sara

Re-re-re-start…ish

Sometimes we all need a little refresh. Some time to stop and say what the hell am I doing?

And sometimes we need a little push.

Welcome back friends, and for those of you who are just joining HELLO! We are starting fresh this week and really diving back into why I started writing to begin with. The last… year and a half?… has been truly crazy. So full of ups and downs that I’m not even sure where to start.

At the beginning you say? Alrighty then. A lot of things I will deep dive into later as I take some time to think about what has gone on but here is a synopsis:

  • Work has been insane. I’m considering quitting my job in favour of a full time graphic design gig instead.
  • PATRICK. Oh jeeze. What didn’t happen there… suffice to say we are not together any more.
  • Houdini passed 😿
  • I got a puppy!
  • I moved…. and then moved again… and might move… again?
  • My family is just as messy as ever (well at least some things don’t change, right?)
  • I have a NEW SHINY BOYFRIEND!

I know, lots to dive into. All in good time, I promise. Trust I’ll be processing it right alongside all of you. There’s a ton to unpack and its far too much for a single post.

But this brings me to why I’m writing. Why now? And more importantly WHAT now?

The long and short of it is I want to get back to basics. I considered doing this in podcast format, and there may yet be a podcast spinoff of the blog, but this feels like home. Writing feels like home. It’s my favourite way to express myself and I find it the easiest way to get all my thoughts out. But this is more than just a journal of my experiences navigating the tumultuous time of my thirties. As time goes on I want to have guest writers from all walks of life who specialize in wellness, health, spirituality, finance, and entrepreneurship. My goal is to have this grow into a community of humans mentoring each other and finding our way together so no one of us is left fumbling in the dark.

So yes, it will start, and remain, a place for me to work through the craziness that has and will continue to present itself to me as I walk this path, but I hope you get something out of it too. As far as why now, I find myself at a crossroads in life in basically all major points. Relationships, career, family, mental health, and community, to name a few. And its a precipice that I have found a lot of people in my generation come to in their thirties. So lets name it and move through it together.

Now this ride won’t be for everyone, so if this isn’t for you, that’s completely fine. You’ll find the right blog for you. But if it is, hit that follow button and catch the updates as they happen. I’m going to be releasing blogs once a week on Fridays for the time being, but will be expanding the number of posts per week as time goes on. Now if you’ve stuck around this long, why don’t you hit me up in the comments and let me know what appeals to you. What do you want to hear about first? Feel free to share a bit about your story and where you’re at.

Have a great week!

Sara

The rain just pours

So it’s been some time but I’m back!

It’s been a rough go of it the last couple weeks and it’s about time we had a catch up. So we are still in pseudo lockdown here in Canada, and as a result I’ve been spending a lot of time alone. Then Houdini had abcesses on her anal gland, which is about as gross as it sounds, so she needed major surgery to resolve that. No sooner did she heal from that then she started showing signs that her glaucoma had come back in her remaining eye.

Rough go for poor Houdini, and massive hits to my wallet. Now she had to have her eye removed because the pressure in her eye was so high that it just couldn’t be otherwise controlled and it was causing her a not insignificant amount of discomfort and pain. So we opted to do the hard but responsible thing to have her eye out, and we are now adjusting to having a blind cat in the house. The biggest adjustment has been from Gir, who definitely isn’t accustomed to having an animal moving around the house bumping into everything but here we are.

All of this to say, it’s been a while my friends, and I am glad to be back and writing for you.

Some good news that has come up lately however, is I have been investing in more cat toys for Gir to play with, so she has things to do, and I have been putting time into my side hustles again. Standby for some photos of the crocheting that I have been working on ❤

On top of everything, my meditation practice has slid a bit and I have lost sight of the goals I have been setting for myself, so I am going to start setting 3 small goals every day for myself. Be it being more social during the day, meditating, or just remembering to drink water instead of the copious amounts of coffee I have been drinking. 3 things every day that are achievable in that day.

Let me know what you think! How are you coping with quarantine? How are you finding your productivity focus has changed lately? Let me know in the comments! And don’t forget to follow the blog to know when the latest posts come out!

Much love,
Sara

Oh Tarot My Tarot

I recently picked up a tarot card deck. Its been an interesting journey to start. I am still just learning about it but I was turned onto the concept through conversation with my best friend, as well as listening to my favourite podcast. As many of you will know I’ve been listening to the Almost 30 Podcast a lot lately, and it has inspired me to explore a lot of things both spiritually and as lifestyle changes.

So I’ve been reading the cards every day. Sometimes multiple times a day about different things. I haven’t had the courage to do a reading for anyone else yet. There are so many meanings for each of the cards. And I have so much more to learn.

All of this leans into the fact that I am trying really hard to work more intuitively within my life. Listening to what my body and soul are telling me. It’s easier said than done. Definitely easier said than done. But here we are and I’m trying my absolute best to flex that intuitive muscle.

And so I continue with the tarot cards. Slowly learning the meanings, both the standard and the inverted, hopefully getting to the point eventually where I don’t need the guidebook anymore except for with the rare cards. I keep having the 2 of swords come up in my readings, and I am trying to learn what that means in the broader sense. I understand the meaning of the card, but what does that mean for me. It is a card that is blinded by the unknown, and I know that I struggle with the unknown in my every day life. Maybe it has something to do with that. Either way, I’m discovering a lot about myself by reading my cards, and am recognizing that even at thirty, I still have a long way to go.

Sara Turns 30

Alright. So we’ve reached my birthday. Today I turn the big 3-0. Thirty flirty and thriving. That’s what they say right? Well my thirtieth trip around the sun is off to a weird start. I mean who could have guessed when I started this that I would be cancelling Vegas and starting thirty mostly alone in my apartment? Definitely not me! It was all planned out, but here we are.

So what does thirty mean to me? What does it mean to anyone? And what am I leaving behind in my twenties?

It’s that last question that is the most important in my opinion. The habits and bad decisions that I made in my twenties that I’m definitely not going to miss. Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of fun in my twenties. There was a lot that I think I got right in my twenties. But it was a time of figuring out who I am and who I want to be.

Some habits I will be trying to leave behind? How about trying to hard to get other’s approval. I think I’m going to dedicate my thirties to doing what feels right for me, not what I think will please everyone else. Or picking at my nails. Or over analyzing what I’m doing. I think I need to try to live more spontaneously.

Things I am going to try to do in my thirties are be better about standing in my light and being my most authentic self. And taking better care of myself mind, body, and soul. I’m going to chase my dreams and make some goals on how to get there. I am going to try to eat less popcorn and more kale. And most of all, I’m going to try all that life puts in front of me with more passion than fear.

And then there’s the big goals that I have for the next decade of my life. Things that I would love to do and really want to achieve, but also acknowledge that life throws curve balls and it might not be possible. I would love to be a mom, own a condo (I live in one of the most expensive cities in the world. It wont be a house for sure), be married, and have all the family things ironed out and laid before me. But above all of that, I want to be a better me. To wake up in the morning and have my routine down, to know where my career is headed, and to be well on my way to my goals there.

As I write this I’m realizing that I have a lot of work ahead of me to make my thirties everything I want it to be, so wish me luck! I may not have it all figured out, but at least I’m working on it.

Much Love,
Sara

To Vegas…. Or Not.

For me, birthdays are a big deal. It’s the one day a year where you can feel extra special. A day where you’re important. A day to celebrate you. So this year I had it all planned. Why not celebrate thirty in Vegas? We had it all booked, there was going to be 8 of us going down to Vegas and we were meant to leave tomorrow.

Then COVID happened.

The world stopped. And so, naturally, the trip had to be cancelled. There were flights to be cancelled, hotels to be cancelled, excursions to be cancelled. It was an awful feeling letting go of a weekend that I was so excited for. One that I had been looking forward to for months. I’ve never been to Las Vegas before so it was going to be the trip of a lifetime. Letting go of that in favour of people feeling like they were going to be able to remain healthy and avoid the fast spreading virus was important to me, but I struggled for several days before making the call. I’m glad that I did when I did because at least the choice was mine, not the government’s (as would have been the case if I’d waited a week).

Giving up Vegas has left me with a lot of feels. Especially staring down a milestone birthday that I don’t feel ready for. Ringing in my thirties surrounded by people I care about was really important to me, and that was taken away rather suddenly. It’s hard not to be a little bitter about it. And really, I am a little bitter about it. But at the same time I’m trying to be grateful. And I am… Kind of. I’m grateful that no one who was to be on the trip is sick, I’m grateful that I’ll still get to go on my trip at some point, and I’m grateful that things aren’t worse than they are where I live.

So I’m trying to practice gratitude this week, when I am looking at the things that were and are important to me falling away. I still hope to make a big deal about my birthday this year, and will probably spend much of it reflecting on my twenties and thinking about what I want my thirties to be. Hopefully I’ll be able to celebrate with friends on Zoom, have a beer and maybe some cake with the people who are important to me, even if it’s from a distance.

I’m disappointed that I’m not going on my trip for my birthday this year, which feels like a massive understatement, but I’m hopeful that it will be made a big deal of in light of the disappointment. We’ll have to wait and see what happens in the next few days!

Much love,
Sara

Love is Blind, But I’m Not – A Netflix Review

Recently I finished the first season of Love is Blind on Netflix. I’m a little late to the game but I have some feelings about the show, as a concept and the season itself.

Off the get go, I wasn’t sure I was going to buy into the whole premise of the show. I mean, you take a bunch of people, put them in pods to talk to each other, how deep are they actually going to go? And on top of that, why would any of them follow through with the weddings. It’s like The Bachelor but everyone wears blindfolds and straight jackets. But if there is one thing that Netflix knows how to do, its how to create a supremely bingeable TV show. I made it through the first episode, saw the “coming up this season” section and I was HOOKED!

Now full disclosure, I finished the season in 3 days. There is something that goes missing when you’re bingeing a show and you definitely don’t get quite as emotionally invested, but it still got me in the feels hard when we got to the weddings episode. And those CLIFFHANGERS! I mean, way to make me lose 4 hours Netflix. Of course I want to watch the next episode.

Winding it back a bit, I certainly thought that Carlton was hella full of himself the whole way through the pods. Major toolbag. But I definitely didn’t think he deserved to be treated so badly by Diamond when she confronted him the morning after his big reveal. I thought he was courageous in telling her about his sexuality and really made himself vulnerable in a way that wasn’t otherwise seen. That said, boy, watch your mouth and don’t call a woman a bitch in any way unless you’re ready to feel the wrath.

Did anyone else feel that the girls that they got on the show were gorgeous but the guys were mostly average looking? Like don’t get me wrong, there was something conventionally attractive about each of them, but none of them were wow’s for me. Just me? 🤷‍♀️

Now, my favourite couple hands down was Cameron and Lauren. When they got married, I teared up and cheered. I was rooting for them the whole time. I loved everything about them and loved how they communicated their way through all the little things that could have massively tripped them up. But the big thing I think is they both BOUGHT IN. They were in it right from the start and weren’t playing any games. Refreshing right?

Now, as far as the show itself, I thought there were a couple major things that left me with questions. Now my friend Braden likened the show to basically arranged marriage, and I disagree. The reason for that is that I feel that there was a high degree of choice to the show. No one had to accept a proposal, and no one was told that there was one right guy for them in the group. That said, I can see how someone could come to that conclusion. I felt like it cheapened the experience to have the Mexico trip be heavily relied upon to deepen the relationship in the way we all know they meant. Sex. But there can be more of a physical bond even without sex. It isn’t the only part of a physical attraction that is important for a relationship to be successful. I really felt this was where Jessica had it right not to jump into that part of the physical right away and try to let it happen naturally.

There were so many cringey moments that were captured, like any good reality TV show, but that just made it more intoxicating to keep watching. Like sitting there saying “no way he didn’t just say that” and watching on to see how it ends up. And yes Netflix, I am almost always still watching. Especially now. So can we please ease off the judgey reminders?

What did you think of the show? Haven’t watched it yet? I definitely recommend it! As always, hit that like button if you like what you’re reading and want more of it, and follow the blog if you want to keep up with the latest posts!

Much love
Sara

The Week of Weeks

So this week it’s been a bit of a step backwards in some of my goals. Houdini (my cat) had a major medical issue that had to be dealt with suddenly last weekend and it’s been a week of playing catch up.

My meditation practice has kind of fallen off a bit as a result. As has my yoga practice, or really my selfcare practice. I am finding myself become a bit wound up in taking care of everyone else and making sure they have what they need. This is both who I am and a little frustrating because I know that I need to take care of myself as well. I’ve said before that I am learning that self care isn’t a dirty word, and it’s been so difficult to go down this path and really discover who I am.

In good news, I have been using puzzles as a bit of a meditative activity. Something just peaceful and quiet where I can quiet the noise of my mind and be in the moment. That’s something that is important to remember about meditation. It’s less important to sit and do nothing than it is to give your mind a rest.

Being in isolation from the world is difficult. Being in isolation from the world while taking care of a sick cat is even more difficult. But, at the risk of repeating myself, it’s also the gift of time. And so far it hasn’t really been time well spent. I have so many things that I want to accomplish with this time and I haven’t really started any of it (except my puzzling). I almost feel like there is too much that I could be doing so I am going to break it down to 3 impactful things that I am going to do this week.

  1. I am going to rearrange the office. This will let me go into the work week with a clean and organized space that is ready for me to work in.
  2. I am going to meditate in some way 3 times this week.
  3. I am going to do yoga 3 times this week.

I feel like if I can accomplish these 3 things this week, it will have been time well spent. Otherwise next week will feel just as long and drawn out as this past week.

How have you been keeping sane the last few weeks as the world has become more and more chaotic? Let me know in the comments! I’ll take all suggestions! And don’t forget to like and follow the blog if you like what you’re reading for future updates.

Much love
Sara

The Romance Shift

This week I’ve been reflecting on relationships. Not just the romantic ones, but the friendships too (more on those later). As far as romantic relationships go, however, I’m what my friends have called a serial monogamist. I like being in a committed relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally happy on my own too (found that ability in my twenties), but there’s something really nice about having a partner in crime. But as I approach my thirties, I’m a little startled to see that the way I approach relationships, and how I exist in them, has changed in a big way.

In my early twenties I viewed a romantic relationship as something exciting yet comfortable. I was constantly in search of the “puppy love” phase but I also thought that it was important for me to be in a relationship constantly. I thought that was the big goal in life. You get in a relationship, fall in love, and then get married and your life really begins.

It seemed like a pretty linear way of living life. You go right from point A to B to C. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. If life worked like that, I always thought that I would be set and would hit all those milestones that I expected to hit by the time I was thirty. And maybe that works out for some people, but it certainly hasn’t worked that way for me.

Instead, I am finding relationships to be complex things where some days you fly and everything fits perfectly, but other times it feels like you’re working through every trauma of your past to get to the future you both want. It’s wonderful to have a partner beside you working for the same goals and striving for the same level of excellence. Its working through the fights to see the sun on the other side instead of calling it quits at the first sign of trouble. It’s trusting that the other person has your back when you may not have your own.

And I’m learning that life doesn’t begin and end because you’re in a relationship or not. Life is what happens around you as you choose your path, whether you have someone making footprints beside you or not. I’m learning that relationships don’t define who you are as a person but you are who define you and the relationship should compliment that. And that’s both empowering and frightening at the same time. It means that I have to decide who I am, even in a long term relationship.

Now those who know me know I’ve been with my partner since my early-ish twenties, so a lot of this learning has been done with him by my side. We have grown together and faced more than our fair share of bumps along the way. And things are complicated because of the amount of growing we’ve done together and separately. That growth hasn’t always been at the same rate or at the same time. But still we choose each other. And thats powerful.

I’m learning that relationships aren’t what happens when two people see each other in the right place at the right time, but rather that it is when two people choose each other every single day, despite all the other stuff that could get in the way. And when you stop choosing each other, that’s when the relationship ends, not when things get hard. And I’m learning that some days the odds are stacked against you, and others its a windfall in your favour. It’s rarely something in between.

What is your favourite thing to learn about your partner? How has your view on relationships changed over the years? Let me know in the comments! And don’t forget to like the post and follow to find out when I post next.

Much love
Sara