Goodbye 2019. Welcome 2020!

 

Happy New Year! May you have an amazing year…one filled with joy, good health, love and prosperity! 📅🎉

Well, a new decade is upon us and I have neglected updating my blog/website. The fact is, I just haven’t had much time to do so…until now.

I initially hesitated writing this post because I thought I’d be perceived as complaining. Recently, three people I know advised me that I should share more of my experiences here because I could perhaps help someone; maybe they’re also going through something similar. You see, in July 2015, my life was ‘turned upside down’ when my parents and brother each dealt with their own health crisis. At the time, I was two semesters away from completing my university studies. Thankfully, in May 2016, I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies as scheduled and believed I would find my ‘dream’ career, and that my parents and brother would be healthy again. Sadly, none of that happened. 😟

 

Applying for multiple jobs quickly became a ‘full-time’ job. Then came the numerous rejection emails I received for these jobs, which then became very taxing. I didn’t know what my next step would be. Since I wasn’t getting hired, the dutiful daughter and sister in me stepped in and became their caregiver. Honestly, I had NO idea what to expect in my new role. There were some days I’d find myself taking my brother to an appointment in the morning and then taking my father to his appointment in the afternoon. Add in running errands for them and then alternating between my father and brother in taking them grocery shopping because 1) it gives them personal autonomy and 2) it also gives them an opportunity to get out of the house for a bit. However, the going back and forth has made me feel like a ping pong ball and has worn me out. 😣

I’m extremely close to my parents and older brother, and I’ll do just about anything for them. But there have been several occasions where I just can’t keep up with everything because I’m tired–tired to the point that my own ‘to do’ lists never get done. 😔 Sometimes I don’t think they realize that I need MY own time and space to recharge, and to take care of myself. For four years now, I’ve placed my life on hold so I can be available to them. However, trying to juggle my own needs and problems (yes, we all have them), well, it’s taken a toll on me…emotionally, mentally and physically. I try to find time for myself, such as going for a walk or treating myself to something I enjoy doing, but it can be difficult sometimes. This reminds me of the quote by Eleanor Brownn, “Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” It’s also difficult asking my older sister for help because she work full-time. If I let her know ahead of time, she can usually take my father or brother to their appointments. I’ll continue to ask my sister for assistance in the hopes that I can take more breaks. Another solution is having someone else come in and help my parents and brother a few times a week for a few hours. This will give me some respite so I can pursue other things.

I’m constantly thinking about the goals I haven’t accomplished. In 2020, I plan to develop more content and work on some writing projects, which I’ve had to put off. I pray this new decade will provide me with new opportunities (yes, a career is still at the top of my list) so that I don’t have to worry (much) about my future. ✍🏽

I’m grateful that my parents and brother are doing fine right now (thank goodness). 🙏🏽 They know I’ll always be there for them. But from this day forward, I need to put myself first and work on the life I was intended for.

These two quotes will be my constant reminder to live MY life and to take care of myself.

 

 

 

A classic song to welcome 2020. 🎩🙂

A Day Out in Sebastopol


 

My brother and I have always been really close. There was a time when I was younger (e.g. in my teens) that if I wanted to go somewhere, such as to a concert in another city, I wasn’t allowed to go unless my brother drove me. Now the roles are reversed and I’m his chauffeur (he is no longer able to drive). Last Friday, I drove us in to the town of Sebastopol, which is about a 30 minute drive east of Bodega Bay.


 

One of my brother’s friends, DeAnna Batdorff, is the owner of the dhyana Center. In fact, he has been friends with her for over 20 years, having helped her before she actually opened up her business in downtown Sebastopol. We’re both happy to see her business thriving because she has placed her heart and soul into the Center, which has created a space for those wanting to learn about Ayurveda and it also provides a self-care sanctuary for people who desire a ‘time-out’ day for themselves.

The dhyana Center is a Ayurvedic school, a self-care studio and community center. It offers the following services: Yoga classes; a treatment center where you can receive a deep tissue massage or a pulse consultation from one of the Center’s knowledgeable practitioners; and you can treat yourself to a non-alcoholic drink in the Apothecary Bar. There is also a retail store located in the Center, which carries an array of items, like nourishing teas, essential oils and salt scrubs.

 

The Apothecary Bar at the dhyana Center. They have a variety of cooling and hot drinks to choose from.

 

Within about five minutes after arriving at the Dhyana Center, my brother asked if I wanted a drink. I replied, “Yes.” He ordered a Margarita drink for himself, which looked a little too familiar. 🍸😆

 

The cooling, Margarita drink.

 

The Margarita consisted of cucumber, coriander, umeboshi, lemon juice and zest, honey harlequin, house-made celery tincture, sumac and salt rim. I took a sip of it and found it rather tasty and refreshing.

 

My brother, enjoying his drink.

 

As I quickly glossed over the drink menu, I chose the Mayan Elixir. This drink consisted of local, organic rose water, coconut milk, cocoa powder, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla, pink salt and brown rice.  ☕

The hot drink I chose, the Mayan Elixir.

My brother looked at me with some skepticism because I had ordered a hot drink on a warm, sunny day. I stated I wasn’t going to change my mind. After taking a few sips of the Mayan Elixir, I’m glad I chose it because it certainly reminded me of drinking hot chocolate–a favorite of mine.

After being at the dhyana Center for about an hour, we planned to have lunch at a restaurant I had been wanting to try for quite some time. The restaurant is called Slice of Life. My brother told me it had been quite a few years since he last ate there, so he was looking forward to it.

 

Slice of Life is a vegetarian restaurant located in downtown Sebastopol.

 

Sweet Potato Fries, which our waitress brought to us by mistake.

 

There are so many menu choices! Deciding what to order proved to be difficult. Do I order a hamburger, taco or pizza? My brother also contemplated the same thing…until he finally chose the Sampler Plate, which consists of organic brown rice and steamed vegetables with their sauce of the day, organic beans, guacamole and salsa on a bed of crispy corn tortilla chips, with two choices from tempeh, tofu and seitan.

 

My brother chose Slice of Life’s Sampler Plate.

 

I enjoy tacos, so I opted for a healthier choice–sans a few things it normally comes with. 😉

 

I ordered the Street Tacos, which consists of a corn tortilla, guacamole, cilantro, onions, a drizzle of chipotle queso and your choice of raja peppers, beans & rice, roasted cauliflower or marinated tempeh–when available. I asked the waitress if they provide one or two tacos with the order; she stated just one. Because I forgot to ask what size tortillas they use, I ordered two, along with rice, pinto beans and cilantro. The tacos were good, but I wish I would have given the roasted cauliflower or marinated tempeh a try. Okay, maybe next time. 🌮

Nevertheless, we had a great time in Sebastopol and we will be returning soon! 😃

The dhyana Center is located at 186 North Main St., Ste. 250, Sebastopol, California. The Center is open daily, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, call 707-823-8818 or go to: https://www.dhyanacenter.com/

Slice of Life is located at 6970 McKinley Ave., Sebastopol, California. For more information about the restaurant or its hours, call 707-829-6627 or go to: https://www.thesliceoflife.com/