20/20: perfect vision

Recently I heard the line, “know the difference between spectacular and significant.” It was said in the context of ourselves. How often do we look at others, in all their spectacular glory, and wish we were different? I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s a lot. I fail to recognize my own significance for the spectacular brilliance of others. Taking that little nugget of thought into account, it has shaped my goals for this coming year.

I write these posts every year and I’m usually good if I complete 50% of what I say I’m going to do. I don’t know if this year will be the same, but here are my hopes and wishes for the coming year:

  • Write more handwritten things. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as anti-paper as you can come. As the years go by the less I use the the penmanship Mrs. Miller in third grade worked so hard to instill in me. Also, as the years go on, the more I value receiving handwritten things. It takes time and it takes intentionality. I want to do that. I want to write more and let me people know I’m taking the time to speak to them.
  • Photography. I do say this one every year and every year I fail. I have great camera equipment and now I have the space to use it. I need to be better at documenting things I’m going to miss when they’re gone; my family.
  • Use the library more. And read. Diving into a world not my own brings me so much joy. I need to do it more.
  • Work / Life balance. I need to find it more than ever. This is probably this biggest one. I love my job, but I need to leave more of it in the office.
  • Journaling and devotionals. I’ve found a few that I’ve hand-picked to help me with my anxiety and faith. It’s my prayer they will be the umbrella above my life and help me with all the things I’d like to achieve.
  • Be authentic in my relationships. I’m starting the year in a new romantic relationship and it’s new and it’s fresh and it’s exciting. It’s my hope that I can continue to be ME, the real me, for as long as it may last. I can’t lose who I am. And if I choose the right people, I won’t have to.
  • Being a musician again. Oh how I miss this. All through high school and college music was my job but also my outlet; my place to express. I’ve found my instruments, I’ve ordered a new metronome and method book…I’m ready to get my playing chops back. If I get good enough, maybe I’ll join the community band. Watch out, SGF. I was pretty good back in the day.

Alright. I have one more and it’s a biggie. This is more of a dream goal, one that I won’t get accomplished in 2020, but needs to get started in 2020. It’s going to take a lot of time and a lot of money (that I don’t have) but I’m going to throw this out here. As you all know, I’ve been really enjoying yoga this last quarter of the year. It’s one thing I can do, even with a bad eye, and it’s brought me so much mental silence and peace. I want to be better. I want to get certified in it. And maybe someday…teach it. GASP. I’m trying not to tear myself down for even saying it out loud, because there are about 1,000 reasons why it probably wouldn’t work anyway. But despite those 1,000 reasons I’m still thinking about it. It’s a goal that I’m willing to work towards.

So. This is me. This is the me that is going into 2020 with open eyes. (Hopefully eyes that will get 20/20 vision back.) 🙂

Happy New Year, my friends. Let’s do this.

TODAY I LOVE: fragrant hot tea

SONG OF THE DAY: “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer

random friday stuff: vol 8

This comic brings me such joy. Check him out at Nathan Strange Planet.

My life lately has definitely turned into one big ball of randomness. And you know what? I’m kinda ok with it. Well, most of it. Welcome to some random!

  • I really need to make some time to read. I miss it. I haven’t taken a lunch at work in….well, way too long (and I usually read during it), and I’ve kept myself busy in the evenings. I’m off all next week so fingers crossed my eye cooperates and I can dive into another place and time.
  • Dating is hard and I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m way too naive for all of this.
  • I’m still obsessed with Foy Vance. He’s at the very top of my list to see if he ever tours near me.
  • I found the BEST pair of tights the other day. They are thick and so soft and warm. I recoiled at the price, but I can see them lasting for quite a long time. If you need a pair, check these out.
  • Because driving is particularly difficult for me, I haven’t been home to see my family in a couple of months. I can’t wait to see them next week! I always stay at my grandma’s house when I go (she’s my favorite human). I’m from such a tiny, off-the-beaten-path town that at night…it’s magical. It’s so dark you can see every star and so quiet you can hear every bird and bug. The moon GLOWS. I sleep in this little room, upstairs, with the window open. My heart explodes a little every time. Peace and contentment. It grounds me.
  • I want to subscribe to Disney+ so badly, but I already have several streaming services and I’m about 50 show behind that I need to watch. BUT DISNEY.
  • Gym life has dwindled to nothing as my depth perception is in the toilet. Lately I’ve been doing yoga at home. I found an app I really like that isn’t expensive. Anyway, I’m really loving yoga (as I’ve said before) but there are several poses that are just terrible awful and I’m sure I’m doing it wrong because they hurt. I have a running list: dolphin, camel, wheel, and puppy dog pose. No, nope, not happening. I think next week I’ll try to get back to the gym for at least some boring stationary cardio. I mean, I can’t fall off a stationary bike, can I?
  • I can’t wait for my next hair appointment because I need a lot more red in my hair. Gimme.

Have a wonderful weekend, my kind friends. Find a way to smile in this random world.

TODAY I LOVE: tacos (I had one the other night and it was delightful)
SONG OF THE DAY: “Where Does the Good Go” by Sleeping at Last (cover)

My 39th year

Hello hello! We are at the END of September. Can you believe that?! I certainly can’t. I keep saying it over and over, but I can’t really believe how fast it feels this year is flying by. Before I know it we will be celebrating Christmas and then the arrival of 2020. C-R-A-Z-Y.

I’m sitting here doing a little bit of prep work for the coming week; it’s going to be pretty busy one for me. On top of the normal month end / quarter end / reporting that comes with an old month and a new month, I’ll be busy prepping for an even busier week following this one. So as I’m sitting here sketching out some plans to make it all happen, I’ve somewhat drifted to the personal side of things. This week I will celebrate my 39th trip around the sun. C-R-A-Z-Y.

Birthdays aren’t really a big thing to me anymore. It’s really just another day. (It’s a day I can have a cupcake with literally no shame.). They do, however, make you take stock of where you’ve been and where you’re headed. For the first time in many years and months, I really like the direction I’m going. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t remotely how I thought my life was going to be. It isn’t what you plan when you’re fresh out of high school or college. But I believe there is a purpose for all of it. The best is definitely yet to come.

So I’m making some goals for the month of October, month #1 of year 39. Some of them are ambitious and will challenge me. Some of them are “minimums” just to get me in the habit of doing some new things. All of them will make me a better Sarah for whatever my future holds.

I challenge you to set a few goals for this coming month. Strive and stretch and grow and reach. What else can we accomplish by the end of this year?

TODAY I LOVE: kettle corn from the fall festival
SONG OF THE DAY: “A Safe Place to Land” by Sara Bareilles

random friday stuff: vol 7

Hello, my friends! Is everyone putting on their favorite music and having a mini dance party? No? Just me? Give it a try. I guarantee you’ll smile: if not out of happiness then at your pure silliness.

Here are some random things I’m stewing on this week:

  • I cannot stop listening to all things Foy Vance. If you like folk/blues/rock you’d love him. Go ahead and check him out!
  • My birthday is next week and I’m already thinking about some kind of treat I will allow myself. If you can’t break the elimination diet for cake on your birthday THEN WHAT CAN YOU BREAK IT FOR?! It will probably make me feel miserable, but I will suffer for the cause.
  • I haven’t run much at all this week due to falling in a hole while on a run Monday morning. I was oh so graceful. I rolled my ankle and then hit the ground. It’s been bruised most of the week but it’s going down now. All that to say, I’ve missed it! I’m looking forward to getting back out there and setting some goals for October. I’d like to be able to go more than 3 miles without sounding like a dying cow. 🙂
  • All my reading friends don’t throw things at me, but I’m FINALLY getting around to reading “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah. I know, I know, I’m very late to the party.
  • Jeans that are too big are just as awful as jeans that are too tight. Right now I’m in the middle of every size of jean I own. I’ve also learned that high-waisted skinny jeans are likely what it felt like to be wearing a full-body corset.
  • I’m still thinking about the Downton Abbey movie. I want to go see it again. Yes, it’s pure fluff. But unlike so many movies and tv shows you see these days, you leave it light-hearted and smiling. I’ll take some more of that please.

Ok, that’s enough for today. I hope everyone has a splendid weekend!

TODAY I LOVE: the tiny pink pineapple lamp I have in my kitchen
SONG OF THE DAY: “Unlike Any Other” by Foy Vance

goals, direction, and starting to see light.

Seeing the light arriving

Greetings, my friends! And Happy Sunday!

I hope everyone is having a great and relaxing weekend. It has been raining off and on yesterday and today and honestly it’s been nice to chill for a hot minute. I did quite a bit of socializing this week and was oh-so-ready for a day to be a hermit and recharge.

I do apologize that my writing has been so sporadic lately. I certainly didn’t intend for this to blog to only be used when I’m feeling down in the dumps. Now that I’ve made great strides crawling out of the dark place, I guess I’m trying to decide which direction to take this thing now.

First things first, some updates. This week will be Week 6 of my elimination diet. As I said in my last post, I’ve been adding things in and taking them out for a few weeks now. Even though I do believe now that most of my health issues are being caused by something other than food, it has been very enlightening to find out what foods do cause a reaction of any kind in my body. I *think* I’ve found out this week that dairy actually increases my heartburn. This makes me very sad, as cheese is practically one of my love languages. Anyway, the experiment continues. After that first week I’ve managed to maintain my calories at my normal level. Cravings are gone. I sleep well (for the most part). I don’t have a headache everyday. All that to say, I’m going to keep this experiment going for a while.

Beginning September I started running again. I’ve also added in yoga (in addition to strength training.) I’m really, really enjoying it. I’m not sure what finally made the switch flip in my brain, but I’m looking forward to workouts again rather than seeing them as a chore. I’m also looking forward to setting some goals for each of those areas for October. I haven’t set any kind of athletic goal in AGES! This is great mental progress for me.

So, where do I go from here? Someone told me this morning, “Every time I see you you’re always smiling! It makes me smile.” I guarantee the gal who said it had no idea how much it effected me, and probably not even for the reason that you’d imagine. I think maybe after all these months I’m finally figuring out that it really is all up to me on my perspective of things. I’m not in control of anything and I need to stop trying to grapple for it like a lifeline. I can’t control what people think of me, I can rarely control what happens to me. The one thing I can control? My perspective. If I can do that then the lows won’t be so low. The highs are even higher. And every thing isn’t nearly so dark. Life is quite a lot sweeter when you let it happen.

I’m looking forward to this week. I’m going home this weekend for our fall festival. I haven’t been back to it in probably 15+ years. This would normally probably cause me anxiety…but it’s going to be ok. I’m going to choose to look at is as an opportunity to enjoy some folks I haven’t seen in quite some time. Plus the parade! Band nerds unite! What are you looking forward to this week?

TODAY I LOVE: dry shampoo (seriously gals, am I right?!)
SONG OF THE DAY: “Alice from Dallas” by Foy Vance

sing with me

I love concerts.

I’m sitting here at home doing some work that I couldn’t get finished during the day. It was a very, very busy day. Lots of meetings that were important and required work and engagement on my part. So anyway, I’m working here at home and I’m singing. Because that is what I do. I thought for fun I’d jot down a few of my favorite sing-a-long songs that I happened to sing this evening. Maybe you’ll find one you like.

Here you go…

  • “Rich Girl” by Lake Street Dive (perfect warm up tune)
  • “Push” by Matchbox Twenty (come on high school friends…old skool)
  • “No” by Meghan Trainor (this requires dancing and hand gestures)
  • “Teenage Dirtbag” by Walk Off the Earth
  • “Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On” by Mel McDaniels (come on, I am a country girl.)
  • “Take Me Home, Country Roads” The Mountainman (fantastic harmonies. Show your stuff on this one.)
  • “The Joke” by Brandi Carlile (you REALLY have to sing loud on this one.)
  • “99 Problems” by Hugo (this is a great thumping Jay-Z cover)
  • “Shake” by Nathaniel Ratliff and the Night Sweats (this is for your dance break…give those vocal chords a rest.)
  • “Better Man” by Leon Bridges (the captain of smooth…this will get you back to singing and swaying)
  • “Found / Tonight” by Ben Platt and Lin-Manuel Miranda (because HARMONY PARTS and HAMILTON and DEAR EVAN HANSEN)
  • “What If This is All the Love You Ever Get” by Snow Patrol (this song is so stripped-down that you can sing so passionately and LOUD)
  • “Girl” by Maren Morris (everyone needs a girl anthem)
  • “Like a Girl” by Lizzo (dance break!)
  • “Tomorrow Will Be Kinder” by The Secret Sisters (Ok, this is a hard shift from Lizzo, but this is putting the day behind you and moving on. Sing sweetly and find the harmony.)
  • “Goodbye Road” by Johnnyswim and Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors (this one is a tearjerker. A great encore for your performance.)

Gah! I almost hate giving music lists because I love SO. MUCH. MUSIC. If anyone actually saw my music library I’m sure they would think I was a nutcase. (Maybe I am. And that’s ok too.)

Have a great evening everyone! Sing a song for me.

TODAY I LOVE: when reports all tie together
SONG OF THE DAY: “Tomorrow Will Be Kinder” by The Secret Sisters

random friday stuff: vol 6

Hi friends! It’s another sweltering day in the Ozarks! I hope everyone is wearing their sweat-resistant sunscreen.

Here are the fun random things that have consumed me this week:

  • SO MUCH NEW MUSIC!!! I’ve been crazy random on my music tastes and I’m loving it. Do yourself a favor and check out these new tunes:
  • I completely binge watched the entire season of The Spanish Princess and now I’m totally obsessed with The War of the Roses, the Plantagenets, the Tudors, etc. So I’ve picked up all my Philippa Gregory books and have started from the beginning. Last week I read “The Lady of the Rivers” and “The White Queen.” I’m ready to start the next in the series…”The Red Queen.” So good!
  • Drip Drop. For some reason I tend to get dehydrated very easily, no matter how much water I drink (and I usually drink 2-4L a day.) My beloved Nuun hasn’t been cutting it in this heat and my next favorite, Re:Immune, has been out of stock. I did some research and found this product. So far so good. I’d recommend it.
  • The Soundtrack Show. I love listening to the scores to movies. Most of them are quite gorgeous. The other day I stumbled upon this podcast that takes popular movie scores and takes them apart. For a big ole music nerd like myself, it is like Christmas morning.
  • I think I’m going to pick up crocheting again. My twitter friends are inspiring me. Besides, it’s something I can do while I watch the 1,000 shows I’m behind on. Why are there so many new seasons/shows during the summer?!

Alright, folks. Go forth and stay cool.

In honor of this post being mostly about music AND me being a total nerd, here’s walk down memory lane. Sarah, the high school band geek. Go Tigers!

TODAY I LOVE: cheese. All cheese. Gimme cheese.
SONG OF THE DAY: “Stockholm” by Penny & Sparrow