If We Were on a Coffee Date…

It has been a m-i-n-u-t-e since I visited this space, so I thought it would be a good idea to start with another coffee date! A lot has happened since I updated you last, so grab that cup of coffee, change into a fresh pair of yoga pants (because you know you wear them all day), and get settled in.

I would tell you that I’ve finally moved!! That’s right. I’m no longer in the ‘big smoke’ of Auckland. I’m officially a ‘small-town girl.’ Ew. As a city girl at heart, writing that down makes me feel nauseated. I had been feeling a bit meh about Auckland for a while now. The relentless lockdowns were the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak. I handed in my notice, drove over the border many times, and now live in a small town just minutes from the beach.

I would tell you that I am running every day. And having an ocean dip. I’ve found running is a great way to get to know my new neighbourhood(s) and helps to clear my head. I’m currently doing interval runs to build up to running five kilometres in one go. I swore up and down that I hated running, but here we are. I love it. I hate it. It’s becoming a solid part of my new routine. I also signed up to the local gym and have my first PT session soon! Who would have thought that I’d be the one to be excited about running and the gym? Not me, that’s for sure.

I would tell you that I have finished my university year! I submitted my final assignments and sat my one and only exam at the end of October. I’m an online student, so the dreaded ‘final exam’ felt a bit anti-climatic as it was online (and open book!). However, some of my final grades have been released, and I am very, very happy to announce that I passed two of my classes with an overall grade of A. My goal was to pass a class with a high mark, and I am so, so happy to say that I accomplished it! A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into this semester, so I’m glad my efforts paid off.

I would tell you that I have ticked off a few of my 101 in 1001 goals! I get immense satisfaction from crossing something off a list, which is a massive driving force behind the achievements. However, I need to remind myself that this is some ‘life stuff’ that I want to do and not just something to cross of a list. I need to slow down and enjoy the moment. Some of the goals are easy, some of them are hard. Some of them will require saving money, and others will require consistent effort on my behalf. So. That being said, I have introduced a secondary goal to some of the ones I have crossed off. Because the first part was so damn fun that I decided I needed to build on it. I’m excited to see where this energy takes me.

I would tell you that I have become a wine drinker. Again, I love a good gin, so I never thought this would happen. Ha. How strange is life? I was at the supermarket one day – looking for mixes for my gin – and I wandered into the wine section. I walked around for a minute and stumbled upon a bottle of Roaring Meg and haven’t looked back. I have since purchased the riesling, pinot gris, and the rosé, and both are d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s. Do we have five bottles open in the fridge right now? Yes. Am I mad about it? Hell no. Bring on summer!

If we were on a coffee date, what would you tell me?

xo, Carena

October Goals 2021

Over my twenty-seven years, I have figured out that I am incredibly extrinsically motivated. I love doing stuff to cross it off a list, get a good grade, get a prize, or be praised. (Helloooo operant conditioning.) I’m also highly competitive, which means I have to do the thing if I mention it to someone else.

I’ve heard mixed opinions on whether you should share your goals with other people or keep them close to your chest. I sit on the fence. I don’t have any worries about sharing my monthly goals (clearly) or my short-term goals, but I have some big, audacious goals that I’m keeping pretty close to my heart. I have lots of little goals that are building to the big goal, so you could definitely piece it together…if you pay attention over the next few years.

So, with all this being said, I will be starting a goal feature on the blog! It will be a mix of month-to-month goals, university goals, reading goals, new years resolutions (because I’m a sucker for them!), and reviews of everything in between. I love being able to reflect on things, so this is perfect!

Goals for October 2021

  1. 16 workouts!
  2. Read one book.
  3. Write four blog posts.
  4. Start a vision board (probably on Pinterest).
  5. Send a love letter.
  6. Start buying/organising Christmas presents.
  7. Clean out/collate C’s unused toys.
  8. Start working with my tarot deck(s) more.
  9. Meditate (open goal).
  10. Try one new recipe each week.
  11. Get my screen time to under five hours per day/weekly average.

Wow, I love a good list! It helps me stay grounded and focused on my goals. I used to have a bad habit of looking around at what other people were achieving and constantly beating myself up over it. I’ve found that having a clear set of goals helps me stay focused on myself and celebrate the wins for other people.

And, you know what? I might be stuck in lockdown (thanks, COVID-19!), but I’m feeling a lot more optimistic about the rest of the month.

Do you have any goals for October? What do you think about making goals and sharing them with other people?

xo, Carena

If We Were on a Coffee Date…

Once upon a time, I was a blogger. I would drink coffee and write until my heart was content. I would even pretend that we were on a coffee date and I’d update you on my life because – if you’re reading this – I consider you to be a friend. As it turns out, I’m not the only one who wrote these posts. So, thanks to a little inspiration from Neely and Catherine, I have decided to bring it back!

I would be the one sipping on a triple shot flat white with a pump of caramel because it was just one of those mornings. In a takeaway cup because I have a four-year-old son, and everyone knows they are a ticking timebomb. I would also have a date scone smothered in butter because I am an old woman at heart.

I would tell you that I am one month away from finishing the first semester of my new degree. It took a lot of soul searching and pro/con lists to return to university, but it is the best thing I could have done. I am learning so much, not just about my future career but also about myself (and my son). My values, ethics, and core beliefs align with social work. I’m not trying to fit myself into a box or reduce anything about myself. It all just works, and it feels as easy as breathing. I know I’m at the beginning of this journey, but it just feels right.

I would tell you that my baby is four and a half years old…so, he’s not really a ‘baby’ anymore. That being said, I’m sure every parent will agree that they will always think of their children as babies, no matter how old they are. He’s starting primary school next year, and my heart just bursts when I think about dropping him off at the school gate with the new entrants’ class. It feels like so much time, yet no time at all has passed. It’s one of those ‘blink, and you’ll miss it’ moments. I laughed when I first heard, “the days are long, but the years are short.” Truer words have never been spoken. My baby is growing up.

I would tell you that I’m falling out of love with Auckland. I have lived here for three years, and it has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride (thank you, Covid-19). I came here as a twenty-four-year-old single parent with an eighteen-month-old baby. It was hard going for a long, long time. I lived alone and had to juggle working, parenting, and having some semblance of a social life. There were many times where I have doubted myself. Cried. Fallen apart. Picked myself up and dusted myself off. Started again. Now, as a twenty-seven-year-old, I think I have done my dash with the city. For now.

I would tell you that I have missed being able to sit down and write for fun. I can’t remember the last time I have written just to write. I have written letters and essays, sent emails, and typed up notes for over three years. This is the first time – in a long time – that I can just relax and be. And you know what? It feels like taking a full breath. It feels like a cold beer on a summer’s day and a hot cup of coffee in the morning. It feels good. It feels right. And, more importantly, I can’t wait to do it again.

If we were on a coffee date, what would you tell me?

xo, Carena