Hello Strangers

Hello friends!  I’m here!  I popped back in on Instagram yesterday to say howdy, and offer a peek at where my head is these days.  What I shared there is below.  I feel it applies here as well, and in case you missed it…well, here it is:

I took a few months off social media (save for a few business obligations) because I felt like it wasn’t serving me. Honestly, instead of feeling inspired I felt envious. Instead of feeling connected, I felt lonely. Instead of happy it made me anxious. If you’re in the same boat I highly recommend taking time away and reflecting.

Connecting more offline helped me re-center myself. Still, when I thought about re-joining the online world all I could think about was what it had to offer me- and given how negative my perception had become I didn’t really see a reason to return. So I sat with it some more. And then it hit me like a “wake up you jerk” slap in the face.

I’ve loved this space in the moments when I felt I had something to give, when I felt I’d shared something really true, when I hoped I might have served someone in a positive way. I was focusing on the wrong shit!!  DUH, me. 🤦🏽‍♀️  I’m here to brighten YOUR day, not mine. I’m here to serve YOU, not myself. That’s a really beautiful thing!!! That changed EVERYTHING for me. And so, a fresh start. And no better way to start than to apologize.

I’ve taken you for granted. It’s fucking AMAZING that you choose to follow me. ME! I mean, trust me when I tell you there are so many times (basically 2015-2017) when I couldn’t even begin to wonder why. But you do. And that’s a huge gift!!! I have the chance every single day to possibly bring some happiness to you, or say something you needed to hear, or encourage you in some small way. I have the gift (as we all do) to use my voice to make this place a better space to be in. I won’t let that slip past me again, you have my word. Thank you. Truly, thank you. I will do better.

PS- I thought about deleting all of my past posts because I lurve the idea of a blank slate but let’s be honest I’m not Taylor Swift, that takes so much time, and I have a baby to chase. So my past and shortcomings are staying right where they are. It’s better that way I think. Every moment is a chance for a fresh start, to do better. And that’s a gift too.

OK! So that was it. And how it applies here is a little different, but really the message is the same. I lost track of showing up in this space for YOU. It started long before this and I’ll write more about that another time. But for now, please know that I have such deep gratitude for what you’ve given me over the years. You’ve showed up here even when I was barely around and you’ve offered me your support. The messages and comments you’ve sent have been nothing but kind and generous, checking in on me to make sure I’m ok.  And before that you were my cheerleaders through some heavy times, you shared your stories and hearts with me, you were beyond what I could hope for in an online community.  I feel so lucky and like such a jackass for taking it for granted and losing sight of my purpose.  Like I wrote above, I will do better.  And I’m excited to make it up to you!  xx- Sarah

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Reader Comments

  1. Lynne|

    I’m so glad you’re back! You were missed. You are one of the few blogs that I have always felt your sincerity. You deserved your time off though. I can’t wait to see what you have to say in the future!

    Reply
  2. Kisha @kishagiannidesigns|

    That was so well said. I have been in a similar social-media “What is the point?” state. When those who have gazillions of followers share their stories about how you can lose followers by veering off topic from strictly design posts (i.e., when you post a kid pic even if said kid did look darn adorable) or if the lighting and mise en scene wasn’t just so, was kind of depressing and made me want to throw in the “Look at me!” towel (and put some, figurative, clothes on rather than expose myself and risk not being “liked”). I agree it feels good to share something that could help others (likes be damned), but social media is this funny beast where you are supposed to keep the sharing machine going (standards remaining sky high, of course) and, man, that $%#@ is exhausting. It was really good to hear/read someone else admit to to it feeling like kind of a grind–at times. Thanks for being so open and I do hope you are back in the game as your content is so good! 🙂

    Reply
  3. susan|

    HI Sarah,
    How refreshing! Though I follow several blogs, I do not participate in social media, though I will admit to having my eyes a-poppin over Instagram. I rarely comment, tho once your parenting ?s elicited a diatribe from me. I wanted to let you know that so many of your posts have moved me or given me a new idea, for which I am always grateful, but there has to be pleasure in it for you, which I imagine can come & go. You should absolutely feel justified in living your life, knowing there are so many ways you can give as a person, with or without a blogging audience. I am guessing you light it up anyplace you happen to be. There have to be times (years?) in which you feel a need for privacy, at least that has been true for me. Now that my offspring are adults I sometimes think about what might have been (“I always thought we’d live in Europe ..”) but mostly I only wish I had been paying even more attention. And I know that (most) days I gave them all I could. You know “the days are long” (especially when your child is sick) but the years are short!”
    You have already contributed so much–if I had Crohn’s I would have been given so much hope from just that part of your online self. Trust yourself! Your dear men and your own well-being surely must be your priority for the foreseeable future, so I say do what you like when you like & we will all be grateful!
    x0XO, Susan

    Reply
  4. Karina|

    I’m glad you took a break to reconnect with yourself. I firmly believe that one has to feel secure and happy to be able to share the happiness and inspiration with others. I hope you manage to find and maintain the balance between what you give and what you get back.

    Reply
  5. Salma|

    Hi Sarah,
    It’s good to see you back in this space…(silent reader & follower).
    I say start anywhere. Life has its ups and downs. You have a great space here. But I bet you are a very busy mom & wife just trying to live life. Take care of you, as things always seem to fall into place.

    Reply
  6. jana|

    i’m so glad you’re back as long as YOU’RE glad you’re back! i know we’ve all missed you!

    Reply
  7. Spy Garden|

    I don’t know how I originally came across your blog but it is one that I have always checked every month or so; so was pleased to see a new post! When I first read it I thought “well I am an a-hole, I pretty much blog for myself; to have a collection of my photographs/painting/art/etc. for my own/my family’s perusal!” but you are right blogging is about SHARING with others. When I don’t have time (school/work/kids!) to paint or write I can at least post some beautiful photos and feel I am expressing myself creatively and spread some joy/beauty in blog-world. I only follow a handful of blogs (a few people I know from real life, yours, designmom.com and a couple of my loyal followers’ blogs) but I wish I knew of more good blogs to follow. I enjoy seeing that “slice of life” from another’s perspective and it is especially fun when it is someone around my age! Glad you have found a new perspective on blogging. I was inspired to re-read my own About page (written a few years ago) to see what I said about my own purpose of blogging and think it was a good reminder to myself!…Here are some excerpts below I thought you might like!!

    “Spy Garden is all about learning new things, investigating the unknown. Taking a closer look at things. Lots of things…Unique plants, funny things kids write, nontraditional sculpture mediums (i.e. dirt), “great” art, “bad” art, music: they may all be subjects for posts, but the Spy Garden mission is not about plants or art or food or objects at all.

    The Spy Garden perspective is meant to be child-like in a sponge-for-knowledge sort of way. The thirst to learn new things or see things you already know about in a new perspective, when done well, induces the reader to reflect far beyond whatever topic is being discussed…

    Spy Garden is always PG and is meant to be enjoyed by children and exceedingly immature adults. Immaturity here not referring to irresponsibility or crudeness. But immaturity as silliness, inexperience (because isn’t every moment we live “new”?!) and being “green” (literally and figuratively)…

    I want [it] to be about the readers. To convey that I actually don’t know too much at all about gardening, but I’m just doing it because I like it. I am not an expert on art, literature or parenting. Well actually, in the book Outliers, it says (with good proof) that if you do something for 10,000 hours you are an expert, so that does make me an expert in parenting, but nothing will annoy (or perhaps enrage) people more than saying, “I am a parenting expert.” HAHAHAhaha…

    If at any time I appear to be conveying grace, wisdom or sophistication, I assure you… I usually have no idea what I am doing and make everything up as I go along and do not mean to posit that I am graceful, wise or sophisticated at any time….

    I want to convey total and absolutely humility. I am not special. I am just a regular-normal-person who just likes to dabble in a bunch of random activities, and you can do these activities along with Spy Garden and if you mess up and take a blurry picture or burn a loaf of bread or baby destroys all your marigolds, it’s ok. In the name of glorious thirsty-sponge learning, it’s never for naught. You can do it. “It” not necessarily being gardening, but whatever “it” is important to each individual reader.”

    Reply