Don’t Forget To Feel Alive


Sunrise over Arrowtown

What a week it was. Partner-in-crime’s birthday was Wednesday. Tuesday night, friends gathered for dinner & drinks. I had a lovely Skype catch-up with an editor friend before joining the crowd. On the one hand, I was designated-drivering but, on the other, I had fried chicken, so overall I was winning. Fun times. Then a new arrival said something that spun me about a bit. “Wow, Sara doesn’t look stressed!”

Now, I’d had a haircut. And this party-time – Tue night & Wed day – had been locked in the diary as un-negotiably non-work time, so I was pretty relaxed. But this gave me pause.

I’ve been trying for a while now to cultivate a blog full of hope & happiness, living a life full of the same. Obviously, all sorts of anti-fun things happen – but it’s generally possible to put a positive spin on them and find the silver-lining. At the same time, I’ve been building up an editing business, going through the publishing process (don’t talk to me about rewrites right now), holding down an accounting job while freelance accounting for a fish&chip shop and a charitable trust on the side, and participating in two writers’ groups. And moving house several times. I’ve had to forgo the badminton season this year but am still hoping to get some snowboarding in before a trip back to the UK in August.

In summary, I’ve been busy. And, even though I know that I procrastinate, and I know that there are days I’m not as productive as I should be, and that there are days when I’m not creative in the slightest, and that I’m envious of about a hundred other people who seem to be perfectly simultaneously juggling and balancing a hundred successful plates at the same time (as well as having a family to feed for gad’s sake!)… I find myself thinking about work/WIP. all. the. time. I fear that I’m getting a reputation as ‘the one who only works.’ This is distressing to someone once known as ‘the one who is always out.’ I suffered enduring FOMO back in my city days and never missed anything that might be remotely *fun* (or even a second cousin to fun. Twice removed).

I’m definitely living a more staid life. Apart from anything else, I lost the ability to cope with a hangover somewhere between Asia & Australia. But, however much work I’m doing, however ambitious I’m being – I’m still having fun.

Last weekend, I went up to Auckland for a reunion with some school-mates and we watched England lose to the All Blacks at Eden Park. I got to have the teeny-tiny donuts I’ve missed since the world cup.

On Wednesday, I skydived from 15,000 feet, free falling for 60 glorious seconds that felt like forever. It was beautiful up there. I sprung the jump on partner-in-crime as a surprise birthday present with great success, getting right to the drop zone before he suspected.

We then went to the birdlife conservation park and met kiwis for the first time. I’ve been desperate to see them in the wild, but it’s not that easy. Fun fact – they are the only bird that have evolved to have their nostrils at the tip of their beak rather than the base. They also mate for life, which pleases me.

On Saturday, I got up at a quarter to five. In the *morning* (it actually wasn’t my idea). We hiked up a mountain in the dark with our housemate to watch the sun rise (it did). And it was heart-stoppingly stunning. It made me happy to be exactly where I am, doing everything I’m doing. Like all of the above, it made me feel alive. And happy to be so.

Are you a recovering FOMO-fiend? Do you find work / your current projects overwhelming your life sometimes? Don’t forget to feel alive. No time is wasted time if you’re doing something that brings a smile to your or someone else’s face. 

10 thoughts on “Don’t Forget To Feel Alive

  1. Kat

    I hear you, although these days I feel as though I’m in the opposite place. 🙂 Having way too much fun, being super chilled & peaceful & not doing enough work of fear of burnout. 🙂

    My entire life seems to revolve around yoga, meditation, hanging out with friends & eating delicious food and ‘work’ just seems to be something that gets in the way of that . . .

    At the moment I’m struggling to find the hard work ethic that I had a couple of years ago, but don’t want to give up any if the fun & relaxation to get it back (which includes not having finished my book). Thoughts? 🙂

    X x x

    1. Sara Litchfield Post author

      That sounds wonderful 🙂 you know what hard work is – you’ve been there. And you’ve been at burnout too. You deserve to chill out without feeling the ‘I should be working / working harder’ guilt. I worry I’ll burn myself out sometimes – financial year-end for example, in March, was a tough time, spending energy on all the wrong things… If you’re at peace and enjoying yourself then don’t force anything (including the book). If you force anything, you won’t be as happy with the outcome, and I love how happy you sound right now. As for the book, you’ll probably wake up one day, set the intention and smash it out – when you feel like it! xxx

  2. Deborah Makarios

    I am a kiwi – I mate for life 🙂 Although, mercifully, if I ever sprog, my progeny will not emerge at a whopping third of my body-weight. (How do they do it? How??)

    More seriously: I tend to do very little and then worry that I “ought” to be doing more, or that I am missing out on something. But then when I do go out and do more, it isn’t always worth it. And of course, you can never tell which it’ll be until you do it…

    1. Sara Litchfield Post author

      Haha I should hope not – it’s ridiculous! And amazing – I really don’t understand how they fit dinosaur eggs inside them…

      It would be cool if there was a way to tell… If you could just put a finger to the wind and have a word with your future self about whether to bother 🙂

  3. Aussa Lorens

    I definitely let my work and projects take over my life more than I ought. I’m pretty good about keeping the weekends as relaxing/relationship time but throughout the week I feel like I’m constantly at the bottom of an eternally long to do list. I’m trying to practice a bit more “self-care” though– starting tonight! I’m unplugging electronics at 10PM so I can wind down– as opposed to my usual Zero Dark Thirty routine, ha.

    1. Sara Litchfield Post author

      Enjoy self-care time – you deserve it! I know the horror of the never-ending / self-populating to do list – it has a strange multiplying life of its own… It’s so good to switch-off / unplug sometimes and just say no. Me time now. The list never goes anywhere so it’s good to train oneself to tell it to pipe down!

  4. Rachael Crewe

    Hey Sara. This is your pal from the formative years of your “the one who is always out” days.

    Thanks for the inspiration, keep having fun, keep climbing.

    Love Crewe x x

    1. Sara Litchfield Post author

      Ah lovely to see you here, My Crewe! Thanks for stopping by 🙂 Keep on climbing yourself!! xxx


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