Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Show Your Real: Sarah

I "met" (in the creepy-internet sense) Sarah a few months ago when she asked if I would be willing to join her as a guest on her podcast series. (You can check out my episode, or read my recap.) I had so much fun chatting with her, and I love the focus of her blog- stories from a "recovering perfectionist in pursuit of living a B+ life." She's a fan of the Show Your Real thing we have going on here, so I'm delighted that she's returned the favor, and will be sharing with you guys today as a part of that series. 
How does the idea of "Show Your Real" resonate with you..why did you want to participate and share?

As a recovering perfectionist attempting to be B+, I’m all about real. My one little word for this year? Real. I spent years of my life chasing perfection and trying to be the perfect daughter, the perfect friend, the perfect employee, and the perfect mom, the perfect wife. But the closer I got to turning 30, I decided chasing perfection is no longer a worthy goal. I realized that trying to be perfect was putting up barriers between me and other people. I’d much rather be me, imperfections and all, and really connect with other people, on a real level.

What misconceptions might people have about your life at first glance?

Ha! I’m pretty transparent. So I hope no one thinks I’ve got it all together. When my friends ask me how I am at preschool drop off, I answer with how I really am. And some days, it’s not so good!
Sometimes when I read blogs and scroll through Instagram, I think, wow, that person has the perfect life. She’s beautiful, has lovely children who always seem to be clean and in matching clothes, lives in an amazing home, and man, I wish I had that designer handbag she has!

I hope no one thinks my life is perfect based on my blog or Instagram feed. Because it’s definitely not. Dan and I snap at each other. I’ve raised my voice at my kids. I’m definitely not perfect. I probably have some stuff going on that I’m not going to share because some of it’s not my story to tell. And I think that’s the key, remembering that you’re only seeing a fraction of someone, whether it’s a blogger you love or a mom at preschool pick up.  We’re all just doing our best.

What are some of your patterns and routines for a “typical” day?

I get up early!  The early morning is the only time when I’m guaranteed some time alone. I get up around 5:30 a.m. to either teach a group fitness class or train/practice for another class.  I get so much energy from exercise, which I desperately need to make it through the day.

I finish up around 7 a.m. and the kids are waking up at this point. Dan, the kids, and I walk the dog right when they get up. I often feed the kids breakfast in the stroller. They always seem to eat more in the stroller than they do at the table!

Dan and I love walking together. It’s one of my favorite parts of the day. We chat about what’s on our minds, our schedule for the day/week, what we want for dinner that night, etc…

When we get back, I jump in the shower while Dan manages the kids. Then he gets in the shower, and I take over. I drink my coffee (over the summer I transitioned to drinking my coffee black, and I’m loving it.) and eat breakfast while I check on that day’s blog post, check in on Twitter and Facebook, flip through some blogs. I usually have to hurry through this since I’ve got to get Kate ready for school, which could take 5 minutes or 55 minutes, depending on her mood. During the school year, Michael and I get Kate off to school by 9 a.m. then Michael and I either run errands or we head to one of his music classes, or a combination of errands and playdates.

After we pick up Kate from school, we play at the park for a bit before heading home for lunch and Michael’s nap. While Michael naps, I work at a frantic pace, writing posts, taking pictures, responding to email, checking comments, do some work for my part-time job, etc…Since I know I’ve only got a few short hours, I try to stay as productive as possible.

While I try to work, Kate tries to interrupt me as many times as possible ;) Sometimes I’m playing the Princess Cupcake Matching Game while also on a conference call. Or I’m playing beauty salon while editing photos or writing blog posts.It’s definitely not preferable to work like this, but right now, it’s what I’ve got to work with. And something done is better than nothing!

What does the balance/mix of work/chores/family time/rest/etc look like in your home?

This is huge struggle for us right now since we don’t have our own space. In our new house, I’ll have an office, so I won’t have my work scattered on the kitchen table along with preschool crafts and the remnants from our latest meal. Right now our life is pretty stressful as we finish up our house.
We will move in right before the holiday season, so I’m hoping to make our home a peaceful place with more time for fun and rest to make up for how crazy it’s been for the past eight months. 

What are the hardest parts of your current season of life? And the best parts?

Right now, I’m all about the toggle. Toggle, toggle, toggle. From one thing to the next. I very much dislike flying by the seat of my pants. I never used to be this type of person! Never! I used to be punctual (on time was late for me!), put together, organized, etc…

My husband and I are about a month away from moving into our new home. We’ve been in the building process for just about a year now and out of our home for eight months. We’re very fortunate to be living with my parents while our house is being built. But, seven people and two large dogs sharing one home is…a bit overwhelming for everyone involved!

I’m working part-time (from home mostly, some meetings, some things I need to do outside the home), teach group fitness classes about four times a week, and put my all into my blog. Trying to do those things 100% while still being the primary caretaker of our small children and not living in our own space is challenging. Extremely challenging. My car has become my mobile office.

But there are bright spots – like how sweet it is that my parents and my kids have this time together. My kids are my parent’s only grandchildren, and they’ve been able to watch them grow up, daily!  That’s pretty cool. I love listening in as my Dad reads Kate bedtime stories or when my Mom and Kate have a spa night and paint their nails. And it’s so sweet to watch Michael sit on my Dad’s lap and eat ice cream.  It makes all the stress of this situation melt away.


Show Your Real is a series of guest posts centered around the concept of authenticity. The goal is to encourage each other to expose the reality of our lives- good and bad- and to foster a sense of community that goes beyond the often surface-y interactions of social media. And you're all invited to participate! Please write, caption, comment, link, and hashtag to spread the #showyourreal love. And if you would like to contribute a guest post to the series, please email me (cjsbowden@gmail.com).

1 comment :

  1. Love this series, and I'm a fan of Sarah and how authentic she is!