it’s the peonies.  the peony season.  they are the culprit.  Lately i’ve been feeling such a strong sense of nostalgia for last year, and the year before.  I remember writing a friend late july and saying one of the things i know i’ll miss – seeing the change of seasons, even the little ones throughout summer.  all of a sudden there were no more peonies and pompenella roses and I’d be sad, but then i’d turn around and see God was now onto lavender and sunflowers.  here, flowers still bloom.  all around me.  i just don’t have as much time take the time to notice them like i should.  I start to rationalize…  I had so many less distractions over there!  for one, i had a cell phone but i rarely turned it on.  it had snake on it and was the exact same model as my first ever cellular device 12 long years ago.  another thing, i rode my bike everywhere.  now biking is the way to take in the world.  you can’t ignore the beauty of your surroundings on a bike.  at least, not at my slow turtle like pace.  the biggest thing – JB worked, at most, four hour days.   it was a dream to me… all of that time together.   Now i’ve been back for quite a while… and it sort of hit me like a ton of bricks lately.  being busy is exhausting.   particularly when i’m not being mindful of the moment.  and i can’t place blame on my iphone, no bike paths at present, or our long work hours… when it comes to time together, i need to focus.  the more i get caught up in answering every email, tweet, fb message, formspring, instagram … well the social media shame spiral attacks. and it ain’t pre-tay.

A couple of times I’ve shown JB my inbox for a day, he has only ever been horrified.  I get emails on travel, birth control (i’m still not sure why i’m an expert on this!), aspiring planners, life questions, personal emails, and now most are work related.  I want to provide the best service to my clients during work hours. Which made me think – is emailing a response on my phone really serving them?  no.  not in my case, it doesn’t work for me.  it just gives me a weird sense of control.  Plus, sending something that says “sent from my iphone” causes me to cringe.  Providing the best possible service to my clients means sitting down at specific times to just answer emails.  So as hard as this is for me, I’m taking mail off of my phone. iGASP.

most importantly – my family (which include my closest friends too).  I want to be mindful when I’m with them.  present.  the kind i felt in basel.  few things mattered but who I was with.  enjoying their company!  truly, it is company to be enjoyed.  and for that i am/was/will be grateful.  i don’t want to take my time with loved ones for granted.  i’ve sort of realized that not every moment must be documented to be enjoyed.  that’s a tough one for me.

and a last bit that’s pretty random: going along with the theme for this whole post:  
have you ever read “gift from the sea” ?  the author goes away for a while to the beach (a girl after my own heart).  she discovers all of these amazing things about life.  herself.  she’s finds contentment.  she feels peaceful.  and though it’s been ages since I’ve read the book… the main gist is that you can keep that contentment alive long after you’ve left a place of peace.  it doesn’t come easy.  you have to be conscious about your decision.  protect it even.

::: winner of the Hattie Sparks giveaway is: megan of pearls & petticoats.  congrats!! :::

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  • Reply Nicole Gentile

    It's so true Sarah. Live over here just makes you so much more present. Good for you taking gmail off your phone. I don't get quite as many emails as you do I'm sure but I bet you'll be even more productive in your "emailing time" while sitting at the computer and having that time blocked just for emails. 

    May 18, 2012 at 12:43 pm
  • Reply Sheila Sheridan

    Sarah – what a beautiful post..both in photos and wisdom!  I wish I could take my email off my phone, maybe one day soon!  Thanks for the little reminder to be present…a little note I needed today.  Also, I will have to give that little book a read.  Also – I just found out about Boxcar app – it puts all your social media in one place, so you only have to check one place…once or twice a day!!  Have a great weekend!

    May 18, 2012 at 12:56 pm
  • Reply brittany

    i mean, it is so hard to prioritize the right things and find balance in our culture!! i have felt so strongly about that lately. it's not always easy to just be "present" and really savor. we have to make a point of sitting together without our phones and things like that, but it feels so good to do it! and i took facebook off my phone. i'm so over that ole fb it's not even funny. guess the college days are really over, waa!

    May 18, 2012 at 1:10 pm
  • Reply Freya Hammond

    Every so often, I have these same feelings. I get so caught up in the e-mails, the FB messages, the texts the phone calls…that i forget to enjoy life! What I think is interesting is that life has led us down this path of social media worship but we try to push it away at times to go back to what it was all about.
    I find this particularly the issue for me because I live somewhere where I know nobody and come to Facebook, texts, Twitter etc to feel closer to ANYONE at that moment. I have a very serious relationship with my Facebook.

    May 18, 2012 at 1:52 pm
  • Reply angie

    you can only do what you can, everyone will know you try your best!  seeing those pictures of those beautiful flowers has put a smile on my face this Friday 🙂

    May 18, 2012 at 2:56 pm
  • Reply Elizabeth

    YAY! I love it when someone balks the company of their phone for the company of (gasp) live people. Well done; I know it's not easy, but life is about connecting with others and savoring each moment as much as you can. I wish everyone made decisions regarding this like you have! Happy Friday 🙂

    May 18, 2012 at 3:34 pm
  • Reply lbk

    great choice! i totally support you protecting your life… a healthy/happy life is way better than a well-documented one. 🙂

    May 18, 2012 at 3:37 pm
  • Reply Lyndsay

    I agree with everything you've said. I feel like I'm glued to my iPhone but it's so important to spend time in the present. Ive found that I hardly use my phone on the weekends these days. Whenever I'm with my boyfriend I practically ditch it entirely unless we are lost snd need google maps, or music 🙂

    Your pictures are so beautiful. I especially love the one of the flowers against the wall.

    May 18, 2012 at 4:11 pm
  • Reply Lottie

    I know how you feel and my blog is tiny compared to yours–sometimes you can't switch your brain off properly. So have taken a massive step back to get some inspiration and just enjoy the present.

    I was going to email you about if you've been to lake garda but i feel bad, maybe i will leave you to enjoy the weekend.

    May 18, 2012 at 4:37 pm
  • Reply Marshall

    Beautifully said. I deleted all of my social media apps the other day just short of insta and already it has made life sweeter. Couldnt agree w/ everything you said more!
    Hope you and your honey have an amazing weekend together. (:

    May 18, 2012 at 4:48 pm
  • Reply Marshall

    Ps. Your peony photos? You are a girl after my own heart.

    May 18, 2012 at 4:51 pm
  • Reply Lauren

    It's all about balance, isn't it.  I've taken to putting my phone away when we're together.  It's surprisingly hard at first, but then kind of freeing 🙂

    For me, the nostalgia of living abroad comes in waves.  Sometimes it helps reading blogs that have gorgeous travel photos! 😉  Or just sorting through my own.  xo

    May 18, 2012 at 5:04 pm
  • Reply Amy

    Lovely thoughts. I keep my phone tucked away when with company–it feels so good to be away from all the media every once in awhile!

    May 18, 2012 at 5:57 pm
  • Reply Kelsey Nelson

    So true about riding a bike, I did it all last year for school and work since they were both so close and I really came to appreciate the beauty in the area in which I lived and now I work out of our home and I really miss all of my bike rides/walks.

    May 18, 2012 at 9:07 pm
  • Reply Shannon

    Wow, truer words have never been written. And you're not alone, my dear. Thanks for writing this – it was just what I needed to read today. (;

    May 18, 2012 at 11:42 pm
  • Reply Megan Salters

    I am so excited! Thank you SO much! 🙂

    Those flowers are all so gorgeous 😀 And I am definitely putting that book on my summer reading list; it sounds like exactly what I need right now.


    May 20, 2012 at 4:17 am
  • Reply Sara Louise

    I'm laughing at the cell phone you had when you lived over here… because mine is old, super simple, barely ever turned on, and like two people text me on it. 

    May 21, 2012 at 5:34 am
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