oh right, i have a blog …

As you may have noticed, I have been an absentee blogger, as of late. Why, you may ask? I’m not sure that I can begin to answer that question, but it’s due, in large part to the fact that I started my own business last October (right after finishing the web design program at BCIT) and I just haven’t had the head space to blog as much lately.

Last year was just plain hard. Deciding to go back to school fairly impulsively, makes finances and time, really tight. (It’s not that going back to school was impulsive, it’s just that the timing was impulsive.) But now, I’m doing what I’ve wanted to do for years: run my own business. The funny thing about getting what you want, is that it never looks exactly like you’d imagined! I now totally understand why people say, when you start a business, you won’t actually be working on the paying work eight hours a day. Ha! There is all the other stuff that you don’t bill for that you don’t remember about when you work a salary job. Then, there’s the work/life balance. That balance was my main reason for going into business for myself. I wanted more flexibility with my time and more power over the projects I was working on. All of those things have happened, but let me tell you, it is HARD to morph into the relaxed, life part of your day when your desk is two metres from the couch! There is always something to do.

That said, I love what I’m doing now. The people that I get to work with are fantastic and fun, and the work has exceeded my expectations. I’m now working for myself, but also teaching in the program that I just graduated from. It feels great to be teaching and has given me a new-found respect for every teacher that I’ve ever had (including the bad ones) and for my parents and family members (my sister, N’s sister etc.) who teach or have taught.

I’m hoping to be back here a little bit more, but I’m not going to make any promises. I love this little blog. It was the creative outlet that I needed when I was deciding what my next career move would be. And fiddling with it gave me the taste of coding that only whetted my appetite to learn about coding and programming. I’m forever grateful to this blog and the support that I’ve had for it. I hope to be back here soon. xoxo

{Photo from our magical trip to Hawaii over New Years. Another post for another time …}

a month’s sabbatical from alcohol.

{Photo via Flickr user Xipe Totec39.}

I mentioned at the beginning of January that I wasn’t going to drink that month. Well, six weeks later, I thought I would let you know how it went. I decided to quit because late last year I read a couple of articles that encouraged me to try not drinking for a month (one of which you can read here). I also had my own reasons. I few too many times last fall, I’d wake up hungover after a night of having a couple of drinks, something that didn’t used to make me hungover. I certainly have never thought that I was in trouble with alcohol, but I did look forward to a drink more than I wanted to. (Especially on Friday after work.) So I decided it was time to re-calibrate myself, so to speak.

Once I really committed to it, it wasn’t too hard not to drink all month. There were challenging points though: when I first arrived at a party and everyone else was opening a beer or pouring a glass of wine, I really wanted to join them. I would fill a glass of water though, so that I had something in my hands, and by the time they were having their second drink, I was fine. It helped that I told most of my close friends and family what was going on so that they didn’t offer to pour me a drink during the month.

In the end, giving up alcohol for a month wasn’t some sort of epiphany or life changing experience for me. I did notice some interesting things during my month off from alcohol though. For the most part, my mood was more even and after a few weeks of not drinking, I noticed that I felt much more well-rested in the mornings. But I didn’t really find anything that could melt away the end-of-week stress like a glass of Malbec.

Lots of good has come out of it though. I’m back to where I was when I started drinking at 18, which is a total light-weight (I was one of those nerdy people who was the designated driver all through high school, something I definitely don’t regret). One drink now makes me very cheerful and I now probably won’t have more than two (I tried three last Saturday and it made me much more tipsy than I’d like). I feel like I’m in control of what I drink and feel a lot more confident about saying no to drink offers at gatherings and dinners.

All in all, I’m really glad that I gave up drinking for a month. It gave me lots of time to think about it, saved me a little cash and re-calibrated my body a little bit. It’s something that I think I’d like to do once a year or so.

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If you’re interested in taking a break from drinking, here are a few things that helped me:
• Tell the people around you what you’re up to because they’ll be less likely to rib you about not drinking and won’t offer to pour you a glass of wine on your arrival to their house.
• When everyone around you is drinking, get a glass of water, a cup of tea or anything non-alcoholic in your hand to sip on. It gives you something to do with your hands and helps prevent ever-so-kind party-goers from saying: ‘Oh, do you need a drink? I’m up, I’ll get you one.’
• Hold yourself accountable by being accountable to someone else. It really helped me that Nick was in support of what I was doing. I think it meant that he drank less in January too, but I knew that if I did drink in January, I wouldn’t be the only one who knew about it! Also, though I’m sure very few of you noticed the note on my blog about my intentions, having it out there really helped hold me accountable.

on my way to …

… nowhere really! On Saturday, we wandered up into Gastown to try out a new-to-us coffee shop. It was a beautiful day, so I snapped far too many pictures. It was one of those perfect mornings when you couldn’t ask for better weather, company or food.

Another thing: The secret to happiness

And, if girls were guys at the bar … and vice versa. This made me laugh.

apartment progress.

{Living room.}

It’s been three weeks since we moved into our new place but it’s taken a while to unpack! We’ve been very busy this month (who hasn’t!) but in the last few days I feel like we’ve made real progress with the apartment. The walls are still lacking a lot of, well, anything but at least most of our stuff has found a home. I’m planning on really making our house a home in January and February so stay tuned for updates!

{Opposite wall of the living room.}
{My desk, in the living room.}

{The dining room, with foreshortened cat.}

{Hallway, home of future picture wall.}

{Kitchen.}

P.S. I didn’t photograph our bedroom because it wasn’t photo ready yet! When I’ve put it together a little more, you’ll be the first to know. The other wall of our living room is also not photo worthy yet but you’ll see it soon.

on balance.

The simple phrase above is something that I read a few weeks ago that has really stuck with me. It’s such a simple thought but to live that way, is not so easy.

I’m one of those people who wants to get through every day’s to do list (work, freelance work, volunteer work, yoga, swimming, blogging, friends, family, love etc.) and still have spontaneity in my life. That just isn’t possible! I’m working all the time to accept that fact and to make the latter part my priority. It’s so easy for me to get in a cycle of trying to get through everything and worse, to stress about getting through it! I’ve been realizing lately, that it just isn’t worth the effort to worry so much about things. If you think about what the worst case scenario is for not getting something done, usually that scenario is enough to make you realize how silly it is to worry about much of anything.

This period in my life is a good time to learn this lesson since Nick and I are moving next week. Incorporating the idea that not everything in life is an emergency has left me feeling much more calm about moving than other moves in my life. Not worrying so much left space for me to really enjoy my visit with my mom and to savour the last few days in our current apartment. After all, enjoying oneself and savouring certain things, is what is really important.

{Easier said than done though, so wish me luck! And, please, share your thoughts. How do you maintain balance in your life? Is it possible? Are you a worrier like me? Perhaps we should start a new group: Worriers Anonymous? Any takers?}