A letter to myself at 37 — a self analysis by stepping outside of myself (+ tips on how to do this)

by Sara Drawwater in


Dear Sara,

You turned 37 today. You see 40 looming and you are scared. It feels like time is running out. You had (have) such big dreams and it seems like they are eluding you. You are tossed between feeling dissatisfied with life, to feeling ungrateful for all the good in your life. Life is so full and yet so empty. So, what can you do about this?

Shine your light and fear less

Sara, stop hiding your light. You fear no one will notice and yet you fear judgement. What a conundrum. Because the world is overloaded with content you dodge creating more. But you love writing. You don’t have to have it all figured out to make a start.

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” — Joseph Campbell

You worry about content, word counts, time limits, fonts, visuals and technical ability. These worries and fears are stopping you from taking action. And it is action that will teach you what you need to know. You will win and fail. Both will hold valuable lessons. The faster you act, the faster you will learn, and the faster you will succeed.

Be thankful — thank and you will be full

Sara, give thanks for the love that encircles you. You often think you are lonely, but you have more quality friendships than you realise. You have a husband that loves you deeply and a son that calls for you. You have family. It is big and scattered, but you have special family members who always have your back. You have in-laws that you actually get on with. This can be quite a rare thing.

“Be grateful for what you already have while you pursue your goals. If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more.” – Roy T. Bennett

Value what you have achieved. You may not be where you want to be, but you sure are a long way off from where you started. Appreciate your body and your mind. You are healthy. So is your family (mostly).

Look at the word ‘thankful’. ‘Thank-ful’. Maybe, if you thank, you will be full.

Let people be

Sara, what other people say, do and believe, is absolutely beyond your control. What you do have control over is how you respond.

“The older I get, the more I believe that the greatest kindness is acceptance.” ― Christina Baker Kline

It will help if you stop expecting people to treat you a certain way. Accept people for where they are on their journey. This can be very difficult to do with people you love, but you will be less disappointed and more able to celebrate the good in them.

Reach the finish line

Sara, you are now aware that you tend not to finish things. This awareness will serve you well.

Count your unfinished projects, books, notebooks — eek! This decade long writing project that hasn’t got off the ground. The 3 year old unfinished e-book course. The fab at 30 project. Fab at 37 hasn’t got the same ring to it, has it? You love ‘shiny new things’. But the art is in the application, the doing, the completing.

“To get to your finish line, you’ll have to try lots of different paths.” ― Amby Burfoot

There are two types of finish lines. 1. Completing the things that are important. 2. Knowing what and when to finish and leave something behind. Deciphering what is important and what you must leave behind is your biggest challenge right now. You do not have the answers yet. Let yourself sit with the fear, turmoil and unknown. The answers will come. You will come through a significantly better version of yourself. Keep trying until you find the right path for you.

Believe in making it through

Every day that you experience is another set of achievements and lessons. Minutes. Hours. Days. In time you will find that you have made it through the things that seemed impossible.

“No one can tell what goes on in between the person you were and the person you become. No one can chart that blue and lonely section of hell. There are no maps of the change. You just come out the other side. “ ― Stephen King, The Stand

Somehow, at a place beyond all the gargantuan effort you put in, beyond the overthinking, the crippling fear and debate you have with yourself and others, somehow beyond all that, you will make it through.


Self analysis tips

When I started writing this analysis about myself, I started to feel sorry for myself. That is not what I wanted to achieve. Rather I wanted the outcome to be more like wise words from a teacher, guide or friend.

By stepping outside of myself I was no longer speaking in the first person, like I am now. It felt like I was guiding someone else rather than myself, which is a lot easier to do! By taking a ‘birds eye view’ of myself or being a ‘fly on the wall' of my current state of mind, I was able to be less emotional and significantly more matter of fact.

The experience is like decanting the wild waves of the stormy sea into a neat row of glass bottles. The water is exactly the same. The presentation is completely different. It is calm and more ordered so you can process the contents more easily.

In my silly busy world of juggling toddler, relationship, health, work and home (with its never ending need to be tidied and piles of laundry), there is no time for uninterrupted self reflection. So my thoughts, self talk and inner knowing are like the wild waves of the stormy sea. I bet you can relate! This ‘external’ self analysis helped me unravel, untangle and present the wisdom floating around my head in a way that I can process and revisit again and again.

Key steps

  1. I did this on my laptop. Yup. I think you can do this freehand or whatever technology you desire ― see what works for you.

  2. Write as if you are writing to someone you love and care for deeply.

  3. Write about how this person you love (you) feels right now. This is like setup statement, something that frames the important issues for you right now.

  4. It may help to ask yourself a question. I asked, “What can you do about this?” But it can be any question that is relevant to you.

  5. Don’t feel the need to stop your train of thought or edit what is pouring out of you ― presentation can come later (if needed).

  6. If lots of thoughts are coming at you, just write the keywords down, then come back to them. If they are needed you will easily be able to expand. If you find they fade, let them fade.

  7. You’ll probably feel silly at some point. I felt like the whole thing was pointless and a waste of time, intermittently, throughout the exercise. But having persisted, I have found the direction soothing, calming and powerfully on point.

If you try this, let me know how you get on! Or just share whatever you get out of this (now very public) self analysis. Simply comment or get in touch sara[@]somethingbeckons.co.uk Thank you!


Figuring out this blog — part 2

by Sara Drawwater in


A month ago I wrote how I was inspired to stop making excuses and to write for 10 minutes a day. This all happened because of something I heard Shonda Rhimes say. Four weeks in and this is my review.

Hitting publish (nearly) everyday after just 10 minutes has been a useful challenge to get me to stop worrying about what people think and to stamp on perfectionism which has been a serious limiting factor.

On the flip side, hitting publish so quickly has made me worry that I'm just churning out quantity over quality. I mean who has time to read a daily post anyway? But then I remind myself that my main reason for writing at this stage is to strengthen my writing muscles and not about developing a readership (yet).

I figured a middle ground would be that I don't have to hit publish everyday. So long as I spend at least 10 minutes a day writing, I can write longer posts, series posts and more carefully thought out posts. I could allow myself the time to include imagery that the 10 minute limit has simply not allowed. Publish less often but better quality.

The danger is I will overthink things and end up back in the land of perfectionism that results in never hitting publish at all. 

Building on part 1 of figuring out this blog I need to spend more time clarifying what I will focus my writing on. I need a content plan but the danger of this is that I will overthink it and stop writing in favour of too much planning! 

Clearly, I have a lot of jumbled thoughts and ideas to wade through before I am happy with what I am doing. Maybe I will never be happy. Creative people are after all their own worst critics. I'm proud of myself for getting this far, but between now and happy, I must continue hitting publish.


When are you having another baby?

by Sara Drawwater


Marley is nearly 5 months old! He is big and bouncy and boisterous. And people are already asking, 'So, when are you having another baby?' Seriously?

But here's a scary thought. There really is something to think about here. If we want a small age gap, (like an 18 month gap) between two little ones, I'd need to be pregnant again by October this year! What a horrific thought.

My body has not recovered. My life is still upside down. Our relationship is still adjusting.

But the truth is, we don't want a big gap. We'd rather finish the  phases and be done with them. Who want to finish the nappy phase and then start it again 4 years later? Who wants to get used to blissful uninterrupted sleep only to start the very real nightmare again?

Oh, what to do... 


The silver lining of a rubbish weekend

by Sara Drawwater in


In my last blog, I had a bit of a moan about how rubbish our bank holiday had ended up because hubby crashed and burnt with a migraine. 

After feeling somewhat angry with hubby for working himself into the ground when I really need the weekend time with him like never before, I pulled myself together. This weekend I was reminded that there is a silver lining to many a rubbish situation.

As hubby began to feel better yesterday afternoon we had long interesting talks about priorities, and staying healthy. We're exploring what could possibly change in our lives to achieve more balance.

It reminded me that we are so on the same page, just that life, particularly work, pulls us in different and often very tiring directions that can leave us both quite depleted. But we've realigned ourselves. Onwards we go...


Juggling Mama — baby, dog and sick hubby

by Sara Drawwater


It's not been a great start to the Easter Bank holiday. I didn't do my 10 minutes of writing yesterday and am quickly adding this entry while Marley has his last nap of the day. 

I was so looking forward to hubby having 4 days off. Friday morning, and bang, he landed an almighty migraine. And so day 1 and day 2 of the long weekend have been spent either in bed or on the sofa. 

And so the plans for a DIY push on the house project, family time and shared baby responsibilities were laid to rest. Instead this feels like a 7 day week plus some :-( 24/7 Marley, nurse and dog duties (to avoid the sad dog look or the sock thieving crazy dog) have kept me on my toes.

Hubby is overworked and I am desperate to fit in more work. Oh, the irony. I full to the brim of baby joys (the good and bad joys) and hubby dreams of opening Daddy daycare. Oh, the irony.

(Though, not so secretly now, I'm not entirely sure he would really settle for full time Daddy day care. I think its one of those things that looks good to him until he gets there).

I wonder what day 3 of the bank holiday has in-store? 


Do not judge the Mother's meeting

by Sara Drawwater in


I used to judge groups of Mother's and their offspring. Sipping coffee, delving into sweet treats and using up all the space with their buggies. I would think to myself, "That will not be me. I will not have time for that. Surely, there is more talk about that baby talk anyway."

The tables have turned. I am now a Mother. I take back all the judgy things I thought and said because I need these Mother’s meetings like I need air to breathe.

Here's why:

  • Mother's know what I am going through physically and emotionally
  • Mother's know about the changing dynamics of relationships (with husbands, partners, friends, family and colleagues) as a result of getting used to life with a tiny human that can't help but demand all your attention
  • Mother's have the same dilemmas and challenges about balancing careers with motherhood 
  • Mother's are going through similar challenges - sleep deprivation, growth spurts, brain leaps, development phases like teething, weaning and napping and the to buy or not to buy debates about the million and one things you could get for your little one
  • Mother's understand if I'm totally late, if I arrive with my top inside out (or worse, stained with some kind of unwanted liquid) or if I forget to brush my hair. 

I met a wonderful group of Mother's to be, through NCT. Now, we meet once a week to sip coffee, delve into sweet treats and use up all the space with out buggies. We go for walks, meet at each other's houses and in time, I'm sure we'll hang around in playgrounds.

We laugh and cry together. We have a very busy Whatsapp group. We share worries, wins and whines. It's an essential support group for Mother's going through an almighty life change.


Maybe there is no solution

by Sara Drawwater in


In March I wrote about the things that are important to me. I wrote about how some things are going to have to take a back seat for a season. My challenge was to work out what can take a back seat out of this list?

  1. Take care of Marley
  2. Cultivate my relationship with hubby
  3. Get back into shape post pregnancy— eat well and exercise
  4. Two hours a day minimum on my work
  5. Maintaining and tidy and organised home
  6. Finish the house project
  7. Quiet spiritual time
  8. Time to just live, be and have fun
After much thought, the difficult truth is there is no solution. I’m not prepared to let any of these slip. So what now? The realisation that I’m going to have to spread myself rather thinly across the board.

Some will take more of a priority but life will be a little too empty and incomplete without any one of these things in it.


Turning challenges into positives

by Sara Drawwater


Sleep. It's a simple thing really. Well, its wonderfully complex from a scientific and biological perspective. Whichever way you look at, sleep becomes a very different experience after you have a baby.  

After 14 weeks (yep, that's three and a half months) of hideous nights with Marley, quite a few tearful breakdowns (mine and Marley's) I decided to take on sleep as a challenge. I became a seeker of sleep knowledge. I read books and websites like Precious Little Sleep and Baby Sleep Site.

Marley is now nearly 20 weeks old. For the last week or so we have all been enjoying blocks of three to four hours of sleep. That may sound like a broken night to you, but considering Marley started off waking hourly, this stage is snugly (as night time should be) and absolutely blissful!

How did we get here:

  • Marley is getting older and his sleep cycles are naturally maturing
  • Day time naps, although still a battle, and very short, at 30 to 40 minutes, have become essential ingredients for a good night
  • Stopped automatically feeding Marley every time he woke
I know its not always going to be smooth sailing. But I have learnt that no matter how bleak the situation (and I think this has been one of the bleakest experiences of my life), challenges will usually give way to a lesson, blessing or new beginning. 
— //Sara Drawwater

This ongoing experience has turned out to be all three for me, lessons, blessings and new beginnings.