Dream Chaser – Part 2

It was only about 6 or 7 weeks before the filming that we actually booked our flights, thank goodness, because that gave me much less time to stress out about the whole thing. I went back and forth every other day between being so excited I could hardly function to being so petrified that I didn’t even know if I would go.

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I didn’t tell anyone at the gym that I was going. I’m not really sure why, I think part of me was worried that people would be angry at me, upset that I hadn’t included the larger group that had talked about going together for so many years; but I think the real reason was that I was afraid to say it out loud because it meant that it was really happening. I know it seems so counter-intuitive and crazy, this was my dream, and here it was coming true before my eyes! But fear was running through me faster than I could control. I was exactly equal parts petrified and over the moon.

I finally broke the silence about three weeks before the trip to two friends while we were out doing a “paint and cocktails” event. I just blurted it out with no interlude or segue whatsoever. “I’m going to New Zealand for filming”. Thank goodness the girls were amazing and reassuring and so excited for me that I started to get more and more excited for myself. It was seeming more and more like this was really going to happen!

I posted that I was going on social media the week before I left asking if I could pick up Reebok clothing for anyone while I was there, and was rewarded with an absolute avalanche of texts, messages, calls, comments wishing me well, telling me how excited they were for me. At this point, I was excited for me too. In my mind there was only one barrier left between me and my dream: 13 hours of ocean.

As time has this funny way of doing, it kept chugging along one day after the other, and before I knew it, the moment was upon us. I was giving Matt a huge hug, not really sure if I would ever see him again, my dad was dropping us off at the airport and my mom was doing the same with him, and then it was just the two of us, our absolute MAMMOTH suitcases (mine was over 70 pounds – just like it was on our European honeymoon for 2.5 weeks…..oops….) and all the nerve we could muster. We were off to conquer the world!

My angel parents had taken pity on me and upgraded my seat to business class so that I could sit next to my mom the whole way there. Can I get a BOOYAH?! Lucky, lucky girl over here. Our first leg was Toronto to San Francisco, 6 hours. I spent an entire year flying back and forth between Toronto and Vancouver, so wasn’t overly stressed about the 6 hour flight. You know, more so than the usual terror anyways. I remember our flight attendant in Business Class like it was just yesterday. This tall, thin Asian lady named Tracey with a neat bun hairstyle and a great sense of humour. She learned my mom and my names right away and kept bringing us chocolate bars, chips, anything we even hinted that we may be interested in for the entire flight! There was one patch of turbulence that lasted about 20 minutes, and my nerves got a little frayed in that section. My mom got up to use the washroom just after the seatbelt sign turned off, and ran into Tracey in the galley of the plane, and Tracey told her that she had “spoken to the captain, and told him “NO MORE TURBULENCE” because she was going straight home when she got to San Francisco and didn’t have time to re-do her hair”. It got a smile out of both of us, and eased my mind that the rest of the flight would be smooth; which it was.

We landed in San Francisco and I got off the plane feeling like a hero. One leg down! I still couldn’t fathom on this earth how the next leg was going to happen, but we had a couple of hours to kill in the terminal and mull that conundrum over.

We were both exhausted, as by now it was after 1am our time (or 10pm San Francisco time). My mom fell asleep sitting up in the Business Class lounge while I nervously stuffed my face with bite-sized brownies and anything else I could get from the lounge buffet. I also had a nice, long text conversation with one of my instructor friends back home (who should not have been up at that hour!) which killed at least an hour for me. I had so many people sending me messages wishing me a wonderful trip, telling me that I was living their dream as well as my own, and it all meant so, so much to me. I knew that whatever happened on this next leg, that I had made the right decision. I was where I was supposed to be at this moment.

We made our way down to the gate like zombies for our scheduled boarding time. I had been pretty wired upstairs in the lounge, but by the time we got downstairs to the gate, I may as well have been an extra on the Walking Dead. I wasn’t even scared anymore; I just wanted to get on the plane so that I could close my eyes. It was a bit of a torturous wait at the gate, I guess it takes a while to load up a big beast of a plane like this for a 13 hour trek, but finally, FINALLY we were ready to board.

The greatest miracle of all was that our Business Class seats extended into fully flat-reclining sleeper seats (if I haven’t said it already – I am one lucky girl!!). We sat down and it was all I could do to keep my eyes open until takeoff so that I could put that seat down and get to sleep. There was a bit of an adrenaline pickup when we finally did take-off, enough for me to snap these pictures of the crazy flight path (something I’ve never seen before!!), and then I was back to zombie-land, put my seat all the way down and passed out for 6 hours cold. Unbelievable. Who is this girl sleeping for 6 hours on an airplane bound for Auckland, New Zealand?!

I woke up a little over halfway through the flight, had missed the dinner service completely, but didn’t care because we were over halfway there! We were so close I could taste it. There were some issues in the second half of our flight that really left a bad taste in my mouth. My mom’s seat beside mine stopped working properly when she woke up from her snooze (it wouldn’t raise or lower anymore, the mechanism froze completely and couldn’t be re-set in the air). The flight attendants were extremely rude to us and made it really, really difficult on us, when we had done absolutely nothing wrong (and on the contrary, had paid an arm and a leg for the seat). I was really disappointed with the airline (that would be United Airlines by the way – if you thought I was too classy to say the name of the airline, think again). Really poor customer service, and failed to deliver on their business class promise. I would not recommend flying United Airlines if you can at all help it. My mom actually ended up in tears on the airplane because she was treated so badly and embarrassed so much.

Once the calamity had died down, my mom and I switched off seats so that we could each get a little bit more shut-eye. I didn’t really sleep solidly for the rest of the flight, but that was fine with me, because with every minute, half hour, hour that ticked by, we were getting closer and closer and closer. I watched a couple of movies (13 Going on 30 and Miracles from Heaven) which killed a couple more hours, and did a lot of gazing out the window day-dreaming about our destination as well. By the time breakfast was being served, a new flight attendant crew was looking after us, and things were starting to look up a little bit. Plus, breakfast meant that we were so freaking close.

When we first saw land, my heart skipped a beat. New Zealand looked just like I always imagined it would. Green, rolling hills. Sheep. Yes, we saw sheep from the airplane. As we started our descent, my heart was absolutely racing. Was this real life? Had we actually made it all this way? Was the only barrier that stood between me and this dream about to be lifted from in front of me?

When the wheels of our plane touched down in Auckland, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I ended up laugh-gulping a bit. I can’t remember feeling such a sense of relief in my life. My mom was still a bit hot and bothered by the really poor customer service on the flight, and insisted that she wanted to speak to an agent on the ground, but we never did end up finding anyone to talk to us. We were also so exhausted that the sting of the poor treatment was starting to pale in comparison. We had to walk down stairs off of the airplane and then took a bus across the tarmac into the main terminal, which was partially under construction. We were unapologetic tourists, snapping photos at every possible opportunity.

I had been warned over and over again that New Zealand is a country that does NOT allow fresh fruit / vegetables to be brought into their country (something to do with controlling pests and viruses). A friend of mine was charged over $300 for forgetting about an apple in her bag! We waited in a pretty gigantic line-up to go through customs to enter the country, and then had to have our bags x-rayed before we were allowed to exit. The first and only time I’ve ever had to do that on entrance into a country! My mom got held up in the line-up because she told them that she had anxiety medication in her bag (for the flight – the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree), which they wanted to see and examine before they finally let her go. They had the most adorable German Shepherds wandering around the area I was waiting sniffing bags, not for drugs but for food! #NewZealandProblems

We finally got through those magical sliding doors, and out into the terminal, and got our first real glimpse of Auckland. I had been getting sweaty and sleepy waiting in the line-up inside, but once we got outside, I was bouncing around and ready to go. We got into a cab to take us to our hotel which was the Hilton down at Princess Wharf, about a 10 minute walk from Les Mills Auckland City. I was SO impatient in the cab; I remember feeling like an 8 year old squirming in my seat, so anxious to get into the city and especially to see the gym. It really seemed like forever, but FINALLY, FINALLY we were in the heart of the city, and the cab driver gestured to his left that the Les Mills gym was “down there”. I knew it was a long shot, but I looked hard….and there it was. I could just barely see it across a gigantic parking lot, tucked in behind some other buildings, but my first glimpse of Les Mills Auckland City was that moment, and it sent this electric rush through me. I was desperate to get there! It was only 8am Auckland time, so we had our entire day in front of us, and I wasn’t about to let a day go by without being in that studio!

We arrived at our hotel which was tucked away down a really cute wharf overlooking the harbour, paid the early check-in fee and we were up in our rooms in 10 minutes or less. The room was beautiful, with two single beds and a balcony that looked just like a cruise ship room overlooking the water. I wasn’t feeling great from all of the motion and the excitement, so we decided to take a quick nap before heading back out to the gym to sign up for our memberships and take a BodyAttack filming rehearsal class with the presenting team. Um, what?

I slept like the dead for about an hour, and then was back up and ready to go! My mom was a champ and gamely came right along with me. We agreed that we would just go and sign up for our memberships right now, check out the gym, maybe watch some of the SH’BAM rehearsal class, and then go get something to eat, and maybe some groceries before the BodyAttack filming rehearsal class.

I must have been half-running from our hotel to the gym. It was only about 2km away, but it seemed to take forever and ever to get there. It was a bit of a meandering path through the streets of Auckland, and one that took us up a SUPER steep hill (oh how many times would we climb that hill over the next 10 days), and just when I was starting to reach feverish pace and think we were never ever going to get there, we emerged on Victoria Street. I looked left first, nothing.

And then, I looked right.

 

 

Dream Chaser – Part 1

I wouldn’t call myself a “dreamer”. I’m not one that daydreams very often about going places or becoming things, and over the years I’ve even found myself getting pretty complacent when it comes to setting goals and challenging myself to keep growing as a person.

But for as long as I can remember, I have had one dream.

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When I was 17 years old, one of the Les Mills instructors at my gym lent me some of her instructional DVDs for BodyAttack so that I could watch them and see how they learned choreography. I remember taking the stairs two at a time and sitting cross-legged on the carpeted floor in my parent’s bedroom (for some reason our only working DVD player was upstairs in their bedroom at that time), popping the DVD in and gaping at the TV as I laid eyes on the BodyAttack program director and master trainers for the first time.

They were perfect.

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I remember being absolutely transfixed with the entire class; I sat there and watched it from start to finish. I drank in every detail: what the participants in the class were wearing, the lighting in the room, the water bottles off to the side. Everything. I had no idea at that point that I would ever succeed in becoming a Les Mills instructor, let alone that I would ever have the opportunity to be one of those people in the masterclass.

Fast forward a year later, and my then “dream” of becoming a Les Mills instructor came true. I went for BodyStep training shortly after my 18th birthday and received my own copies of the instructional DVDs to keep. I watched those things over and over; so many times I memorized the dialogue between the presenters. I knew every affliction of their voices, when they cleared their throats, when they were going to laugh.

A little creepy when I look back in retrospect!

My path with Les Mills continued onwards and upwards as I’ve described many times on this blog. I fell more and more in love with the company, with our programs and with the process with every passing month and year that went by. I started to feel like I had found my purpose; what I was put on this earth to do.

I’m not really sure when the dream to travel to New Zealand was born. It kind of emerged over the course of so many conferences, so many years of exposure to these amazing people and programs, little tidbits of New Zealand culture woven into trainings and workshops and presentations. When you factor in the vacation time, the costs and the registration for the filmings, the dream to travel to New Zealand and attend the quarterly filmings of our instructional DVDs seemed about as likely to happen as a trip to the moon.

We got close a couple of times. About two years ago, it looked like the trip may develop. A group of my friends and I got serious about looking into the costs and the time to make the trip. The travel agent was the bearer of bad news. It was thousands of dollars for the flights, and it would take over a week of vacation for sure to get down there and really enjoy the country. We seriously looked into the trip twice, but wrote it off each time because it just wasn’t feasible.

Fast forward a few more years, and in the era of social media, I was starting to see more and more instructors take the leap, get on the airplane and make the trip to New Zealand for filming. Every time that someone made the leap and went, my heart swelled for them. I was so happy to see our Canadian instructors go, and each one of them came back with the most full heart and happy soul. The dream was itching in the back of my mind.

I never in a million years considered going to New Zealand in 2016. It’s been a crazy year for travel. I’ve been to Vegas and on a huge 2+ week honeymoon all over Europe this year, so I definitely wasn’t planning on any more big trips. Until the Summer.

It was Sunday July 24th and Matt and I were on a Go Train into Toronto to watch a Blue Jays game with my mom and dad. We couldn’t get seats together, so my mom and I sat in one foursome and my Dad and Matt sat in a separate foursome talking about pumps (yawn). Out of absolutely nowhere, I found myself blurting out “I think I’m going to go to New Zealand this Fall. On my own”. To my absolute surprise, my mom wasn’t shocked at all; she nodded appreciatively and said “I would consider going too, if you would have me come with you.”

Just as quickly as the thought came, it was gone. Evaporated into an afternoon in the sun drinking Iced Capps and eating foot-long hot dogs. I didn’t think about New Zealand again for at least another month.

As Summer drew to a close, the thought bubbled up again. I (once again!) pulled up the accommodations and the flight information that I had looked at so many times. Looked at options to use my Visa and my Aeroplan points, looked at options to stay in an apartment-style hotel instead of a full-service one. And for some reason, this time, it seemed to make sense. We had some money from our wedding that Matt had earmarked for me to use on something or other (he bought a $3,000 canoe, don’t feel too bad for the guy!! ;-)), the flights made sense with when I needed to be in Auckland for the filmings, and the timing worked perfectly, being right over Canadian Thanksgiving weekend which gave me an extra day there.

I knew things were different this time when I actually booked the hotel. It was a Saturday morning before I went out the door to teach my BodyAttack class, and hitting “Book” on Expedia sent this huge rush of adrenaline through my entire body. It was probably one of the most energetic classes of all time!

There was full cancellation insurance on the hotel, so I wasn’t too concerned about changing my mind. It was the flights that really scared me. I got my Dad’s travel agent looking into options for the flights and anxiety started to set in. How could I do this? Me, the terrified flier. Sit on a plane for 13 hours? Surely I would die of a heart attack. I started to feel sick to my stomach whenever I thought about it.

I changed my mind at least 15 times. I actually sent an email to the travel agent telling her thanks, but sorry (once again), I can’t do it this time. Too much money, too much time away, too far to travel. My mom was all in to go; all she needed was the okay from me to book her trip. I couldn’t give her the okay, my anxiety was sky-high.

It was Matt that made the difference. He was all over me. “Why wouldn’t you go? For what reason? Because you’re scared of flying? You need to do this now, this is the time. Stop thinking and book it. Now.” I went back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

And then one afternoon, in a sudden rush of courage, I typed the email to the travel agent, closed my eyes and hit Send before I could change my mind.

“I’d like to proceed with booking – please go forward with charging my credit card.”

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The second I sent it, I was flooded with regret, panic, anxiety. What have I done, I can’t afford this, I can’t survive the flight, I can’t afford the time away from home, from work. Mistake, mistake, mistake.

Before I could change my mind, the travel agent replied with my tickets. It was done, booked. I was going. My mom was shortly behind me. And then it was done. We were going to New Zealand for filmings. For filmings!

At some point, my panic and anxiety transitioned into jittery, nervous energy and excitement. I still had no idea how I was going to survive the flights. But I knew what was waiting for me on the other side, and I was flooded with hope that I would get there and get to experience it all. The hard part was over, now I just had to make it happen.

Stay tuned for Part 2 in this  mini “Dream Chaser” series!

 

 

 

 

 

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 12

I just can’t believe that it is December 15th. Where has this year gone?

I feel like I’m grasping at 2016 like sand through my fingers, feeling like I have nothing to show for it; like I didn’t accomplish so many of the things that I wanted to, didn’t make any of the changes or grow the way that I wanted to. All in all, although 2016 had some truly wonderful moments to it, I’m feeling like I’m ready to turn the page and start fresh in 2017. I know that a new calendar  year really doesn’t represent anything except a different number, and that really December 15th is no different than January 1st, so in all reality, I’m trying to start working on things that I want to achieve in 2017 already. Not tangible things (although there are a couple for sure), but mostly things like trying to slow down, prioritizing what matters and who matters to me, dealing with stress and anxiety a little bit better and most importantly, shifting my mindset and becoming a more positive person that other people can draw inspiration from.

All of that is a great segue into today’s writing challenge assignment (yep, I haven’t given up yet….surprised? LOL).

Write about 5 blessings in your life.

I don’t love the term “blessing”, but I do like the notion of gratitude, and it’s something that I’m trying to focus more and more on these days as we’ve been faced with some more difficult times over the past couple of months, and I’ve just been finding it so much easier to fall into a slump and get my head down about things.

Tough times aside, I’ve always been a person that naturally tends to get frustrated easily and look on the negative side of situations. I don’t think it’s EXTREME, but I’m certainly not a “glass half-full” person like my husband Matt.

But he’s a Golden Retriever in a human’s body, so he’s a different breed all together 😉

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While I don’t think I’ll ever go “full Golden Retriever” (you can’t have two Golden Retrievers married to each other…that would just be ridiculous), I’d sure love to be at least part Golden Retriever by the end of next year. Hell, by the end of this year. So I’m working on it! Trying to find the positive in negative situations, trying to train myself to see those things before I see the negative. It’s a process, and it’s not easy. But I’m working on it.

Today’s post asks me to list five blessings in my life, or five things that I’m grateful for. So here goes:

  1. My Golden Retriever husband who keeps me laughing, in line and ruffles my feathers when they need to be ruffled and sticks by me even when I’m being a royal pain in the ass
  2. My health, and the health of my family and friends. I’ve seen first hand what life is like when you or your family doesn’t have your health, and it is pure misery.
  3. That I found something that I am so passionate about, that fulfills me and picks me up on days when I truly don’t think that anything can (I’m talking about Les Mills, of course!)
  4. My good job and financial independence. Yea, you’ve heard me complain lots on this blog about my corporate job, but the truth is that without it, I wouldn’t be typing this post in my own home, or be driving the car that I do or taking the vacations that I take. I’m grateful to my corporate job for paying the bills and allowing us to live a life full of fun extras on the side.
  5. A recent, spontaneous, and absolute dream come true of a trip to Auckland, New Zealand to live out my dream of attending a round of Les Mills filmings. Yep. I did it. And I am so, so grateful for all of the things that fell in line to allow me to do it. My mom for coming with me (and for helping with the costs!), Matt for pushing me out the door to go, my body for staying healthy and strong enough to do everything I asked of it…..I’m grateful for it all. Eventually I’ll get around to documenting that entire trip on this blog, but for now, here are some pictures of my dream come true.

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Life is good, and I’m a lucky, lucky girl. Even when I can’t see it!

-Sara xoxo

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 11

When I graduated from University (seemingly decades ago now – but who’s counting? ;-)), I had this horrible pit in my stomach that was telling me that something wasn’t right in the direction that I was heading.

I was so lucky to graduate with a job offer in hand; no endless interviews, applications, networking, schmoozing….nada…..I finished my semester late in August and started work the following Monday. I had to take a vacation day from work to attend my convocation in October!

In the semester leading up to graduation, I had this thought that I couldn’t get out of my head, and on a whim I applied to York University for teacher’s college (senior level – high school). I got the recommendation letters, my transcripts, wrote the essays….the whole deal. I honestly never thought that anything would come of it.

But something did.

I ended up getting selected for an on-campus interview with the York Teaching Faculty; so I went. I can still picture the waiting room that we were all sitting in. I was sitting at the table across from a tall blonde lady with very  curly hair, an older Indian man in a full three piece suit, and a bunch of other folks whose faces have blended into the folds of time.

I felt so out of my league, the people at the table with me all had designations, specialties, some had spent years working in childcare…and then there was me! I was so relieved when they finally called me by name to go for my interview.

It wasn’t a business interview, we didn’t sit across the table from each other. Instead we sat in a comfortably cluttered office with uneven stacks of paper on the shelves at a computer desk side by side and had a conversation. I remember the interviewer to be a short lady, a little plump and also with short blonde curly hair. I wish I could remember more about the interview, but I can’t. I left that day unsure of what outcome I was hoping for.

Several weeks, maybe even months later, I received the telltale “big envelope” from York University; I had been accepted.

By this point, I had the job offer from my current employer in my hands as well, and a decision needed to be made.

What to do, what to do?

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I agonized over the decision, but being the risk-averse person that I am, I went with the safe bet. I turned down the acceptance, accepted the job offer and carried on my merry way.

I don’t really believe in regret (most days….), I tend to subscribe more to the idea that each decision we make contributes to where we are today, and where I am today isn’t a bad place to be by any means.

Sometimes I can’t help but wonder “what-if” though……..

Well, I’m off to teach my BodyAttack class; poor Matt’s come down with an awful stomach bug so it doesn’t look like we’ll be up to much this long weekend, but here’s hoping!! 🙂

-Sara xo

 

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 10

Sunday evenings have been a real punch to the gut for as long as I can remember.

I think most of us (save the select few lucky souls in this world that truly love what they do for a living) experience some level of sadness that the weekend is over and that it’s back to the grind for another week, but for me this has been really exaggerated, especially in the last year.

I started noticing not long ago that the “Sunday evening blues” were extending into the “Sunday all day blues”, and even more horrifying was the day when I realized that the “Sunday evening blues” had stretched into the “Saturday afternoon blues”, and then eventually into the “Saturday all day blues”….leaving really one sacred part of the week left untouched; Friday night.

Today’s 30 Day Writing Challenge asks me to write about something which I feel strongly about; and in really sitting back and considering this, I’ve realized that a) the list is quite short and b) that slowly, I’ve been drifting further and further away from the fired up person that started this blog and completed that IronMan 70.3 back in 2013.

How terribly bittersweet it is that so few of us can see the merit in the person that we are until we are a lesser version of that person sometime into the future.

When I started this blog back in 2012 (seriously, over 4 years ago….how.is.that.possible), I was a plucky, courageous, outspoken 23 year old who truly felt unstoppable.

Case in point: I signed up for a damn IronMan 70.3 without ever having ridden a road bike in my life.

You say stupid; I say courageous 😉

I’m not totally sure what it is that’s slowly but surely morphed me into a cautious person, full of crippling self-doubt and self-confidence at an all-time low, rivaling the levels that I operated at when I was being bullied within an inch of my sanity in high school.

So many wonderful things have happened in the last 4 years that I’m really left with no choice but to draw the line back to my career, an area that I’ve been really, really struggling with on the inside more than on the outside.

From the outside, things look very rosy for me in my career.I have a good job. I make a lot of money. I have a lot of vacation time. I’m rewarded with lots of nice perks and benefits.

But I’m unhappy.

I am so, so deeply unhappy, and if that makes me a selfish millenial, then so be it. But it’s the truth.

The ironic thing is that in so many ways the somewhat successful path that my career has taken has created this incredible fear in me. Fear that nobody else will want me. Fear that I won’t succeed at anything else that I try to do. Fear that I will let people down. Fear that I will never, ever have the courage to do anything that means anything to me.

Sounds kind of like one of those twisted, emotionally abusive relationships right? It certainly feels like being in one.

In any case, I sat down to write this post about something that I feel strongly about with the intention to write about Les Mills and the profound love and respect that I have for our culture (surprised? Didn’t think so! ;-)), but my fingers started to type a different post, and so here we are.

I guess I do feel strongly about this topic as well 🙂

The silver lining to this post is that I truly don’t feel that it is ever too late to jump. It may hurt a little more with older, more brittle bones, but I truly don’t believe that the moment is ever gone for good.

I’ve slowly been taking some steps to reintroduce myself to a much younger version of myself who was truly enamoured with books and the written word. I’ve been reading again. And god damn it feels good.

I haven’t read for pleasure in so many years. I’ve devoured about 800 pages in books in the last week, and even as I type this post, my mind is wandering back to the characters living between the covers of my most recent find (The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins).

While it’s a far cry from being a solution to the issues I’m having in my career, something feels right about the direction that I’m heading, so I plan to continue down the path with some measurable steps that I’ll tell  you guys more about come September!

For now….it’s off to bed…with a quick stop-off in the fictional world to take the sting off the impending work week!

Have a great evening – fiction or non 🙂

-Sara xo

 

 

 

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 9

Happy Friday Friends – here we are, August 26th!

It’s been a scorcher where we are, but I’ve been loving the summer heat. I can’t believe that it’s already August 26th…will somebody PLEASE find a way to slow down time?

As per usual, it’s been a busy couple of weeks. I’ve been mucho stressed out about lots of different projects and things going on in all different life arenas. Work continues to be a massive source of stress (on a number of fronts), the gym has been as busy (but wonderful) as ever, and lots has been going on with my family and friends as the summer winds to a close and everyone is trying to fit in last plans before September hits.

Also since I last posted, I’ve planted the seed for a novel. I’ve mentioned on here several times now that my fingers have just been itching to create and to write again, but that I’ve been lacking in inspiration. I finally took a little bit of time to sit down the other day and create a little bit of space for my mind to wander, and loe and behold, wander it did! I don’t have a full picture of the outline yet, but I’m slowly chipping away at it, and may look to start writing in the next couple of weeks! Exciting!

There are also some very early plans in the works for a super exciting trip for me, but more details to come on that in the next month or so, depending on how a couple of things work out. Oh the suspense 😉

Today’s 30 Day Writing Challenge asks me to post some words of wisdom that have stuck with me. I (as per usual) had lots to choose from! I’m surrounded by lots of people who work in direct marketing businesses and use their social media accounts to promote their products, lifestyles and just themselves in general! This means that I usually see lots of inspirational words every time I logon, which is kind of nice!

I chose the post below posted by one of my Stella & Dot selling friends last year because it really did stick with me, so much so that I posted it on January 1st of this year as my annual call to action to my friends and family who are setting new years resolutions.

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I hate to see people give up on fitness. It really and truly makes me so sad. Time and time again, I’ve watched January 1st come and go, bringing with it a horde of sparkly-eyed, well-intentioned people, most of whom are gone by March. Even sadder to me are the cases of friends and family starting on health and fitness goals mid-year, and getting discouraged and giving up within a couple of weeks.

If you ask me, the biggest problem that people have with sticking to fitness as a way of life is that they start by asking themselves “what exercise will a) get me the fittest or b) make me lose the most weight” and then try to do that, whether they love it or hate it. In reality, it’s the opposite view that really creates lifelong exercise habits.

“Ask yourself what makes you come alive, then go do that” and I promise, promise that you will stick with it. Forever. Yes forever, and that’s a really long time.

These words of wisdom are so true to form in every aspect of life; career, relationships, hobbies, habits….I only wish that I was better at taking my own advice in arenas other than fitness 🙂

Happy weekend friends, I hope that you do something that makes you come alive this weekend:)

-Sara xoxo

 

 

 

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 8

Ah sweet, sweet Friday. We meet again. This week has been a pretty big and stressful one for me in lots of areas. Firstly, this week I filmed my assessment video for CXWORX (three times, but hey, who’s counting?), battled off a nasty sinus infection and have really had to deal with some sucky things at work.

This week at work I think I hit an all-time stress / unhappiness high. It’s a really, really long story that I won’t bore you with on this blog, but there have been some HR shifts recently in our group that have just made for an absolute hellish working environment that’s nearly impossible to exist in. Just yesterday I had to turn and walk away from someone in tears because I felt like I was going to be sick to my stomach if the conversation didn’t stop.

Yesterday’s events got me thinking (oh you know, for the 1,000,000th time) about career satisfaction and purpose in life. I don’t want to be a Millenial. Seriously, I can’t deal with Millenials. Can’t even deal. I understand the concept of working hard and paying your dues (really paying your dues; I don’t subscribe to the Millenial school of thought that says that 1 year is “paying your dues”), I don’t labour under any delusions that “I am special” and I understand that every day isn’t going to be a rainbow of Skittles and sunshine. Really. I get it. No, REALLY. I REALLY DO get it.

I often fantasize about what I would do if fear, uncertainty and self-doubt were no object. Would I own my own business? Would I be back at school learning? Would I change career paths completely and do something completely different than what I do right now?

All of those options, while sounding awesome, all seem completely foreign to me because they all involve some degree of uncertainty, a high degree of change, and they rely on my own ability to get things done.

So….that brings me to today’s topic…

Share something you struggle with. 

You mean you want me to pick just one?! Good Lord, some days I struggle to just get myself dressed in the morning.

I could pick any number of things:

  • Math
  • Eating healthy
  • Holding a hover
  • Confrontation
  • Balancing priorities
  • Math
  • Hypochondria
  • Math
  • Math
  • Math
  • Did I say Math?

Math

But I guess the one that I have been REALLY struggling with in the past couple of years is this crazy, crippling fear of change and uncertainty.

Why do I stay in a job that I hate? Because I know that A) it pays my bills, B) I’m reasonably good at it, and C) nothing has to change if I do. Pretty simple.

This is something that I really hope to be able to overcome one day…but currently is a big struggle.

So, as we head off for the weekend, what do you struggle most with? Any math fans out there? 😉

Have a terrific weekend!