Location: La Mamounia, Marrakesh
It has now been three whole weeks since I hung up my corporate hat and made the life-changing move to the self-employed life. Since it’s already been almost a month, I thought I would check in to talk a little about how I’m getting on. It has been possibly the craziest July of my life – not only did I leave employed life behind, but I also moved from the suburbs back to Central London, with all the adjustments that come with it. It’s safe to say I am absolutely LOVING it and although it may be a little too soon to say, so far there are no regrets. Here’s what’s been going on in Sarahland!
The Career Change
Possibly the best decision I have made for my life in general. I was run down and tired of the stress that came with the corporate life. I never really had a career break before, moving from one job to another possibly since the age of about 18 – not even whilst studying for my undergraduate degree! Throughout that time I also held down a full-time job! When you are always on the go, you forget to just take stock of your life and at least in my case, I forgot how to enjoy the little things – to wake up in the morning and be excited for the day ahead. To look forward to the unknown. It was always a constant rat race of how am I going to climb this blessed corporate ladder irrelevant of the cost to my personal life and my health. No more. Since jumping off that ladder I’ve definitely sorted my life out a little, simply because I had time to think and re-assess my priorities. I’ve never been an early riser, yet since I now look forward to the day ahead I’ve started waking up earlier than I ever have… without the alarm going off! At first, I thought I would miss putting on a full face of make-up and a suit. I now spend my days in jeans with little to no make-up on and I have to say it’s pretty awesome! I wake up, make myself a juice (since I now have the time to juice!!) and take my dog for a walk.
The House Move
And that brings me to the next major life change. The house move – and all the stress that came with it. We moved from Chiswick back to Central London for a number of reasons. This was not the initial plan. We really thought we had found our dream apartment but in the end it turned out a little like that Drew Barrymore movie Duplex. The one where they thought they found their dream apartment and in reality it turned out to be a nightmare? That was us. It was also the longer commute and stresses that just come with having a large place that tipped us over the edge. We scaled everything back down to what we actually needed rather than what we thought we needed to make us happy. Our place is now much smaller, more manageable and getting around is just so much easier. At first, I admit I regretted it. I was overwhelmed with all the furniture we had bought that didn’t fit in the new place, the worry that my dog Luna just wouldn’t settle with a much smaller outdoor area and just the change to a busier area. After three weeks, that feeling has now passed. We have since sold off or gotten rid of a lot of the furniture, my dog has now settled into her new routine and the new house has now started to feel like a home.
Lesson learned – when you have a larger place you fill it with things you don’t actually need. We’ve now realised that having all that doesn’t actually bring the happiness that we had thought it would. The constant pressure to keep it clean and tidy, to maintain the garden, the long commute, the multiple attempted break-ins, a difficult property manager (Duplex-style) … all extra stresses that we didn’t want to deal with anymore. Getting rid of the place feels like a huge weight has been lifted off our shoulders.
When you live a busy life with a lot going on, health kind of takes a back seat. The stress really took its toll on me both physically and mentally. Anyone who knows me well will know that I suffer from an autoimmune illness and stress is probably the worst thing for it. Since being at home and prioritising home life, I’ve felt so much calmer. I no longer get home late, I now have time to prepare food myself and not have to rely on those take-aways at least three or four times a week. Now a homemade dinner is ready for when my husband gets home and we are cleared and ready to relax by 7:30pm. That time used to be 9pm or 10pm at the very earliest. The days just seem to last so much longer now! It also means I have the time to do a proper grocery order and meal plan, rather than buying too much food that ends up going off and being thrown away. Less waste, less money, less stress. Other things I do for myself? I now make myself a celery juice every morning, go for long walks with the dog in the park, have time for face masks and at last I have watched Season 2 of Killing Eve!! Big Little Lies is up next!
Luna the Frenchie
One person that is delighted with the me staying at home all day is our Frenchie, Luna. It took a couple of days (amazingly not weeks!!) for her to adjust to both her new routine and her new toilet being Hyde Park rather than the back garden! I am so happy that now it is me looking after her on a daily basis, rather than her going off to doggy day care. She now also has a bit more discipline and routine, with her being fed and walked at set times, rather than how it was before.
Last but not least. The one good thing that came about from my previous apartment was that I got the name for my start-up. It was the street I lived on and therefore the street where I started this whole adventure. There may have been a little laziness on my part to just take my street name, but now I think it just works so well!
I will be honest – when my time at home began, I thought I would be doing a lot more writing than I actually am. I thought I would wake up, take Luna for a walk and then spend the rest of the day at the computer. Wrong. I definitely have so much respect for those who work from home as it is so easy to get stuck doing other things. Like that pile of laundry, or ironing, or cooking or all the hundreds of other things that need doing around the house. In fact, this post was meant to be up at 8am yesterday and it’s going live this morning. Not because I have been sitting on the couch all day, but because I have just been trying to get us settled in. It was only the other day when my husband had said to me ‘organising the house was all you, I haven’t really done much’ that it dawned on me how much I had sorted in such a short time! This will only continue to improve, and I feel as though once I have that done, I can dedicate even more of my time to growing my little business. In these short three weeks, I’ve already managed to secure some really amazing collaborations for the next few months and I am just so so excited for what the rest of the year will bring!
Follow my story on Instagram
Shop the look here!