2019 in review

A very dear friend of mine, Willie, shared this with me after one of my most raw posts this past year. I’ve kept this as a reminder that I vowed to be real and not fake, no matter the cost. It’s special to me.

I was almost dreading writing this post. I’ve done it every year for as many as I can remember and this is one of the few years that I wanted to pass. 2019 was a hard year for me. It seems as if every hard year (from the last several) has been leading up to this one. Hopefully this was the climax and now I can have smooth sailing for a while? We shall see.

This year has been plagued by health issues. I started the year with the flu (head and stomach.) I’ve fought stomach issues for nearly half the year, and I managed to get an eye infection that almost left me blind. I’ve spent more money in Pepto Bismol, Tums, and eye drops than anything else this entire year.

I’ve gained and lost weight.

2019 was a year of dealing with multiple years worth of emotional baggage and depression that I’ve kept stuffed way down deep in my soul. Last year my ex-husband remarried and this year they welcomed their first child. While that simple sentence shouldn’t have impacted or bothered me in the least, it upset me tremendously and forced me to deal with feelings and emotions that I’d just kept shoving aside since our divorce.

I ended a long-term, long-distance relationship. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. And in doing it I just added to the pain of this year.

So….that’s the bad.

But here’s how I’m looking at it all today…

Dealing with all the emotions regarding my ex, his new family, and our old relationship, was incredibly painful. But doing so forced me to be real with a whole lot of people. I decided to take off the mask I’d been wearing for years, and you got the real Sarah. Take it or leave it. It forced me to broaden my circle of “people.” We all need people. We can’t do this life alone. It brought me my church and it brought me the girls in my LifeGroup. It made me write here more and believe it or not, it opened up so many private conversations with people! We were able to help each other. All this to say, one of the my most painful moments and hurtful years turned out to have a purpose and a point. I’m thankful that I can sit here and say that now.

I don’t know that I can find any way to spin my health issues. My eye is still not well and I’m not really sure how much clear sight and vision I’ll get back. I’ll be back to the doctor/surgeon first thing in January to check my progress and make a plan. Dealing with the limitations of my sight now are an ongoing frustration, but I’m so lucky to have dear friends and loved ones that help me out when I need it (mostly driving) and have patience with me because I’m just slow (terrible depth perception).

I’m looking back on this year as an awful, terrifying, dark and twisty roller-coaster ride. But you know the feeling, right after the last stomach-dropping loop that you cruise steady? The cart slows down, the track is straight, and everything settles back into place? The cart is barely moving back to the starting position? That’s me right now. The awful ride is over and now I can smile back on it in hindsight.

I’m spending a lot of time thinking about 2020. I’ll update you on that soon. ūüôā

TODAY I LOVE: glitter

SONG OF THE DAY: “Hold You Dear” by The Secret Sisters

the calm and the storm

Flying over a thunderstorm outside of Dallas this past October

I think I’ve stared at the “Add title” part of this post for a good 20 minutes. I just finished writing a very mopey post about memories and pain. It’s still in my drafts but I’ll probably never post it. I’m sure everyone is tired of me mulling over my divorce and the never-ending tentacles of it’s reach in my life. It still just amazes me how I can go from moments of pure joy and happiness to watching one video of a concert we attended and I’m zapped back into sadness. It has to stop hurting at some point, right?

Anyway, I really just wanted to update you on my goals and such. I’m entering week 3. I can say without hesitation…it’s been hard. I’ve pushed myself in workouts (which is a good thing) and it’s made me so sore. Week 1 of my “diet” was hard but I was 100% perfect. Well…I fell off the wagon hard this weekend. I had cravings that I haven’t been able get rid of so I indulged them. The scale scolded me HARD this morning, but it was necessary. I’m in a much better place today. Overall I have lost and not gained any weight. I wish it was more, but this is for the long-haul, not in the day-to-day ups and downs.

Little wins and little falls…it is life and going to happen. It’s how I even out and recover that matters. It is not letting my “little fall” take me all the way to “I don’t care anymore.” And guess what? I still care. A lot. All of this matters.

So if you’ve had a weekend like I have, where you’ve celebrated birthdays and you’ve enjoyed some things outside of your norm…find your way back. And remember your “why.”

Now. I’m going to go watch something that makes me happy and not sad home videos on my phone.

TODAY I LOVE: Milk Makeup Kush Lip Balm

SONG OF THE DAY: “Girl” by Maren Morris

someone has turned on the lights.

7N5A6146My grandmother just had cataract surgery in both of her eyes. ¬†After she got out of the surgery she immediately said, “It is like someone has turned on all the lights!” ¬†I love that. ¬†It is also how I feel right now. ¬†Now that the emotional and dark cloud of April has passed, now that I’ve mostly dealt with lingering emotional baggage, it’s as if someone has turned on all the lights. ¬†Everything is brighter. ¬†Everything is blooming. ¬†Everything has possibility.

Before I move on to new things, I’d be remiss to not thank my dear, dear friends for getting me through a dark period. ¬†I won’t list them; you know who you are. ¬†They diligently tried to keep me focused, always tried to keep me smiling, and became the master of distractions when I needed it. ¬†April was just HARD. ¬†A lot of things that I’d apparently buried and kept swallowed since the divorce resurfaced and I had to deal with them. ¬†I know it had to be frustrating for everyone in my life. ¬†I’m sure you all were asking yourselves the question, “WHY WON’T SHE JUST GET OVER IT AND MOVE ON IT. IS. THE. PAST?!” ¬†Yeah well, I asked myself the same thing. ¬†So there. ¬†But I’m happy to report I’m in a much better place right now.

I have so much to look forward to the remainder of this year! I’m moving into a cute house in a great old neighborhood with my bestie soul sister. ¬†I’m going to Kauai with my fella and his family. ¬†Plus lots of work stuff (that I could turn into very stressful things but I’m going to choose to see it as opportunities to make myself even more awesome.) ¬†<- (Remind me about this statement later on in the year when I’m so stressed I can’t think straight.)

Lastly, as you’ve probably figured out from the last several months I WANTED to be super dedicated to my diet and fitness but I just…haven’t. ¬†It’s embarrassing to say it but it’s true. ¬†I’ve gained back a bit of what I lost last year and I’ve let emotions (see above) rule me for far too long this year. ¬†Today started a new attack. ¬†I’ve got 113 days until Kauai. ¬†That, my friends, is a challenge I’m ready to pounce on. ¬†I think I’ve finally regained the inner motivation and discipline I had the entirety of last year. ¬†It is the only way this is going to work; no one can do it for me. ¬†I’m goal driven and 113 days is an ending within sight. ¬†I won’t make any promises right now because I’m sure you’re all thinking, “Sarah, you’ve said all these things before.” ¬†True. ¬†Just watch and see. ¬†If Kauai wasn’t enough motivation I’m moving in with my friend and that means ANOTHER CLOSET OF CLOTHES. ¬†I’m going to fit into her clothes if it kills me.

Happies.  Goals.  New environments.  Smiles.  Sunny weather.  Pretty flowers.

Someone has turned on the lights.

TODAY I LOVE: the color they painted on my toes last week…it’s called cerulean sea

the flash drive

Be softer with you.
You are a breathing thing.
A memory to someone.
A home to a life.

-Nayyirah Waheed

Today has been hard. ¬†I guess if I’m being honest, the moment the calendar rolled over to April it has been one tough day after another. ¬†April is the month that my ex-husband remarries.

While in my logical and present mind I know this shouldn’t bother me so, it does. ¬†And you could all tell me, “But Sarah, you’ve moved on too.” ¬†Yep, that’s also true. ¬†But it doesn’t mean I don’t mourn the good times I had with one person over the course of 17 years of my life. ¬†Almost HALF my life. ¬†It doesn’t mean I’m not sad that I’ve officially and legally been replaced. ¬†It is a very weird scenario that no one prepares you for in this life.

A long time ago I promised him I would give him a copy of all our years worth of photos and videos. ¬†Since our divorce it has either slipped my mind or I just haven’t wanted to deal with it. ¬†I have to meet him on Tuesday to sign one more lingering legal thing that ties us together and decided it would also be a good time to give him our memories. ¬†So today I have filtered through them; thousands of photos and videos are now housed on a tiny flash drive ready to be delivered. ¬†It’s almost like cutting through every scar, opening it up wide, and letting it all flow again. ¬†One of my FAVORITE ARTISTS OF ALL TIME released an album a month or so ago and the first song guts me but it’s so real for me right now. ¬†Here’s the first verse:

A love song was playing on the radio
It made me me kind of sad because it made me think of you
And I wonder how you’re doing ¬†but I wish I didn’t care
Because I gave you all I had and got the worst of you

By the way, I forgive you
After all, maybe I should thank you
For giving me what I’ve found
‘Cause without you around
I’ve been doing just fine
Except for any time I hear that song

I’m trying to tell myself that this is ok. ¬†I need to get it out, let it hurt, feel it, and move on. It doesn’t do me any good to bottle up the pain like it doesn’t exist because it does. ¬†It’s real. ¬†You can’t link yourself intricately with another person and not mourn the extrication, no matter the circumstances. ¬†The key is to not dwell.

So despite me wanting to write this out and let the whole world read it, I’m trying my very best in this moment to be kind to me. ¬†Feeling the hurt, moving through it, not comparing or assuming things, and recognizing I’m a person that deserves love too. ¬†If anyone out there in this world is in the same spot I am, I hope this gives you some encouragement. ¬†Even though it seems as if I’m saying it from a dark place; I see the light. ¬†And that is positive. ¬†Look for the light.

The memories I unearthed today made me laugh as much as cry. ¬†And in “purging” them to that flash drive I’m choosing to visualize it as emptying my tank. ¬†I’m now all ready for new memories to fill their place.

Bring on the new memories.  Fill up the tank.

TODAY I LOVE: the smell of Earl Grey tea

Choosing joy.

 I’m gonna be candid.  It’s been a hell of a few days.  I know I go into a lot of things here but all the details that sent me off the deep end are going to remain in my secret journal not my public one.  When there are other people involved it gets tricky and I don’t want to cause more drama.  

At any rate,  I got the news at the end of last week that my ex-husband was engaged.  You wouldn’t think something like that would send me off the rails as we have been divorced for over a year now.  But it did.  It just made me so sad.  And, like I said, I’m going to leave a bunch of my thoughts and reasonings private, but hello sadness and depression.  And ugly thoughts of myself and self worth.  

I wallowed in it for a day and then out of the blue my mom called me and asked me if I wanted to go to the lake with her and my brother.  And completely out of character for me, I said yes.  I got up off the couch, put on my bikini, and hit the road.  An hour and 15 minutes later, I was on the water and soaking up the sun.  It was 95 degrees outside, the water temp was 86 degrees and PERFECT.   

My brother was his typical silly, fun-loving, people-person self.  He played “photographer” and held his own photoshoot with my phone (the picture above.). It was so stinking funny.  And you know what, I kind of value all those stupid pictures on my phone.  Because that is a genuine, free, and willing smile.  I was laughing so hard at that moment.  And I’m so thankful I have record of it to go back on. Even looking at it now it makes me smile.  I wasn’t thinking about my past life.   I wasn’t thinking about my current life.  I wasn’t thinking about all the things I have OR don’t have.  I wasn’t thinking about who loves me and who doesn’t.  I had JOY.  

So I’m going to keep staring at this photo and remembering to choose joy.  Because the rest of the crap that is lingering in my psyche is just literally just crap.  It’s jaded thoughts, it’s distorted memories, and it’s the past.  Choose.  Joy.  This is my reminder that I CAN set it all aside and be happy.  Happiness can creep up and overtake the crap.  This picture is evidence.  I’m so, so thankful for it.  So thankful.  

I’m not normally spontaneous, but this one little trip gave me a hard-shift to my perspective and thoughts. 

TODAY I LOVE:  pool floaties 

really moving on

You guys, I really debated if I was going to post this one or not. ¬†It’s likely too personal, too raw, and too real. ¬†(It’s been sitting in my drafts for days and days.) ¬†But you know what? ¬†I decided to hit publish. ¬†Because like I said several posts ago, not every day is bright and shiny. ¬†Some days are hamburger meat: raw, smelly, and squishy.

This past week I found out my ex-husband has been in a relationship for quite some time now. ¬†First things first, let me get this out of the way and be very clear about it: I’m happy for him. ¬†I’m in a relationship with someone too, so none of what I’m saying should be clouded or construed incorrectly under the guise that I’m bitter. ¬†That is so, so, so not the point of this.

I’ve honestly been hoping and praying for quite some time that the right gal would come along for him. ¬†We had our problems in our marriage (obviously, or we wouldn’t be divorced) but he’s a great guy and he deserves to be happy. ¬†It’s just…the reality of actually seeing him with someone else…it’s just weird. ¬†I don’t think you can be with someone, love someone, for 17 years of your life and it not feel strange. ¬†It’s not something your emotions are conditioned to understand at first. ¬†It’s would be like me seeing the same blue sky for years, but then all of the sudden waking up and looking outside and it’s orange. ¬†lol. ¬†It takes some getting used to. ¬†It’s…finality. ¬†I’m sure I’ve made a mess of explaining this, but it sure does feel good to let it out. ¬†That doesn’t stop the slight sting that I feel of finally knowing I’ve been replaced, but at least I know it’s with a good girl.

At any rate, I am really glad that we’ve both moved on and are repairing the damage that we caused each other. ¬†It really does make my heart happy, and I mean that sincerely, that he appears to be happy. ¬†He and I talk a bit, but we haven’t talked about this. ¬†In some ways I’m thankful. ¬†We still care about each other and maybe tiptoe around some stuff¬†so the other doesn’t get hurt. ¬†I appreciate that.

So…how do you wrap up something like this? ¬†ūüôā Life moves on and things are definitely changing. ¬†And as I like to say, that’s ok too.

And guess what?! ¬†I actually did the RIGHT thing this time. ¬†I didn’t eat my feelings! ¬†No stress eating macaroni and cheese and pizza and cake for me!

TODAY I LOVE: feeling sunshine on my face

you know what? not everyday is great.

It’s really easy to only write about happy things. ¬†I like writing about accomplishments. ¬†I get downright giddy sharing a life hack that helped me. ¬†It is not fun, however, exposing the underbelly of emotion. ¬†The emotions that bubble up and catch you unawares. ¬†The emotions that make you crawl into yourself and hide until it’s all better. ¬†Sadly, I’m not being a very authentic person if you only get the good side.

Yesterday was just rough. ¬†For the first time in 3 diligent months I just did NOT care about my macros. ¬†I did fine all day but by the time dinner rolled around I was in such a mood that pretty much said, “Screw it” and ate whatever I wanted. ¬†(Thankfully I don’t really keep much in my apartment.) ¬†I had cleaned my office earlier in the day and in doing so it brought up a lot of emotions and memories. ¬†Other than a few items, I hadn’t changed anything since the divorce. ¬†All in all, I was lonely and sad. ¬†And apparently ate my feelings (they taste like macaroni and cheese among other things.)

Afterwards I felt like such a failure. ¬†That is not a great place to be, nor is it at all healthy mentally. ¬†It was one day; one meal. ¬†Lucky for me, my best girl called me out on these unhealthy thoughts and brought me around. ¬†These days are going to happen. ¬†I’ve got to manage my emotions, anticipate how I need to handle things, and not revert to my old way of stress/emotion management. ¬†Life isn’t going to be easy and these moments are going to happen again. ¬†And that’s ok.

Today, my friend, is a new day. ¬†And that’s ok too.

TODAY I LOVE:¬†opening a new tube of toothpaste (it’s evenly distributed!)