What I Have Been Doing When I Haven’t Been Blogging

I have been blogging for a little over 3 years now.  Somewhere along the way I lost a little bit of my mojo.  One day while mentally beating myself up about my lack of posts, I realized how different my life is now from when I started blogging. 3 years ago, I was still reeling from being laid off from a design job where I had been told I was “indispensable” and was living my life as such (nice car, big clothing budget, etc.)  Unemployment didn’t treat me well.  Resilient isn’t a word I would use to describe that time in my life.  I started a blog as somewhere to keep my creative inspiration and to augment the little design company I started, Jamie Foley Interiors.  I have loved having my own design firm, but decided to take very small consultation projects for the time being because I once again have a full time job.  The job isn’t in an area of interior design that I am particularly passionate about but it is a regular paycheck and a regular schedule, which I desperately needed.  You can’t imagine the crazy hours I kept when I was working for myself!  I would be wake up inspired suddenly at 3am, work for a couple of hours and then my schedule would be wonky for the rest of the day.  Another time, another place, I will work for myself full time again.  What I am getting at is that since I am not doing a whole lot of designing, I don’t have a whole lot to blog about without endless regurgitation of photos well all see on other blogs, interest and e-magazines.  What have I been doing instead of blogging?

1) Career Counseling – About 5 months ago, I realized I was frustrated with where things were heading for me professionally.  I had an aquantance (now friend) who is a super star career counselor.  She asks all the right questions to get you to distill all the dreams in your head and professional experience into a really great resume and plan for the future.  I haven’t been the best counselee and I am far from where I want to be, but at least I feel like I a clearer path.  If you live in Denver and have a need for a career counselor, comment or contact me and I will be happy to pass on her information.  Heck, if you DON’T live in Denver and need a career counselor, I bet she could do nearly the same for you via email and perhaps Skype.

2) Full Time Job – I mentioned above my current full time job.  For the first time in my professional career, I work with nearly all men (straight ones!).  It has been an interesting cultural adjustment.  There is virtually no drama or gossip.  Sometimes I feel like I enter a different country and don’t speak the language when I walk in the door at work.

3) Fitness – 9 weeks ago my husband and I rejoined a gym and recommitted to a healthy lifestyle.  We had considered starting a CrossFit program, but ultimately we did some introspection and decided to put together a frankenstein workout/fitness program based on what has worked for us before. In short:

– the “Body For Life” workout program of 3 days a week of cardio and 3 days a week of strength training, and 1 (WONDERFUL) day off a week. One modification we made is that the Body for Life program recommends working out first thing in the morning.  That just isn’t going to happen in our lives.  When we tried it before, it made us miserable.  While there are great benefits to working out before you start your day, this is one part we compromised to ensure we stuck with it.  After a few weeks, we have started doing more cardio than required.  We generally hop on a treadmill or elliptical for 30 minutes or so after strength training.

– I downloaded the “myfitnesspal” app for my phone.  It is, by far, the easiest calorie counter I have used.  It is similar to many programs I have used before, but this is free and pretty flexible.  There are parts of it that are very informative.  It offers a breakdown of your protein, carb and fat intake for each day.  I have learned that I eat significantly more sugar each day than recommended.  The solution to that seems to be to not have a sugary breakfast.  Instead a bagel thin with low fat cream cheese or some turkey starts me  on track for the day

– Because we want this to be a long term life change and we are realists, we have one “splurge day” each week.  This usually coincides with our day off from working out.  This day includes a lazy day and eating out somewhere special.  Like most modern families, we tend to eat out a lot, this program has changed where we eat and what we eat.  Splurge day has made eating out special again, we have tried 4 or 5 new restaurants in the past 9 weeks which makes me really happy.

I feel pretty spectacular.  Far from the finish line, but better than I have in years.  We eat well, sleep well and I actually crave exercise.  I could write more about this subject, but this isn’t a fitness blog, nor am I particularly an expert.  This girl has been particularly inspirational.

4) Friends/Networking – I have some spectacular friends and professional connections.  One of my assignments from the career counselor is to network like crazy.  This has been one area where I haven’t achieved my goals.  I have spent some time with pretty awesome colleagues, but need to focus on this more.  When do I find the time?  I am not sure.

5) A Big Move – About 2 weeks ago, we got and unexpected opportunity to sell our house.  Like a ton of people in this country, we bought at the height of the market and have been upside-down in our equity for the majority of our homeownership.  I can’t really go into details, but lets just say this is an amazing opportunity.  I also can’t convey how bittersweet this is.  As you can read in many previous posts, I am a bit of a real estate junkie, so the thought of moving to somewhere new is exciting.  Unfortunately, we aren’t leaving this current house with enough profit to go straight into purchasing a new home.  We will be renting for a year or year and a half.  I’m not thrilled with that.  The other bitter part of this move is that our current home is our first home, where we had the rehearsal dinner for our wedding.  So many happy memories, some great times, some not so great times.  The hardest part is that I am leaving this house unfinished.  There are so many plans, an entryway makeover that won’t be completed.  A great landscaping project that was planned for this summer that I will never get to finish or share.  I was all set to start a long overdue little bathroom refresh.  I am moving forward with the faith that the right rental house is out there.  Perhaps a landlord that will be open to letting an interior designer do her thing in their house, someone that loves two sweet old dogs in their rental house.  Yep, I need a miracle.

So that is where I have been and what I have been up to.  My life has been a lot more about self improvement than home improvement this year.  I am not sure how this will affect the blog, I’m still here, I will still write.  I just wanted to share.


About sanctuaryhome

The Sanctuary Home blog was created in May 2009 to augment my interior design business, Jamie Foley Interiors. Below is the design philosophy that guides my business and this blog. A beautiful house isn’t a home unless it speaks to its occupants and fits their lifestyle in appropriate and unique ways. I believe that design can be approached in two ways. The first is from the gut, what feels right. The second is from a logical methodical perspective. I design using the second approach. I feel that having a reason why a piece is selected, having similar elements in the room or throughout the home makes it feel unified even if the similarities are not obvious to the casual observer. It makes a home feel special and contemplative. Building the interior of a home is a process. I create a plan for investment pieces that will last a lifetime, filling in with less expensive, less important pieces that can be replaced when they wear out or look dated with additional investment pieces or of the moment trendy items that update the home. Using vintage or antique pieces with new grounds a home. If everything in a home is new, it feels like a model home, it has no soul. If you use all old pieces, if feels like you live in a garage sale. The beauty is in the mix. Creating timeless interiors involves using pieces from all design styles. It gives the home a layered look and allows a home to look as if the pieces have been acquired over time. Using furniture from all one style or period makes a home look fussy and intimidating. I look forward to working with clients with all budgets and design aesthetics to create a home that special to their family. I encourage clients to express their individuality throughout the entire design process, this ensures your home fits your needs and will delight you every time you walk through the door.
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6 Responses to What I Have Been Doing When I Haven’t Been Blogging

  1. Rhonda says:

    Jamie, I have enjoyed your blog with your Craig List postings, your projects and mainly your wonderful open personality and authenticity. You are an amazing person for what you are putting out in the world. Thank You for your sharing. You are truly inspiring. Rhonda Hiatt a big Fan of yours

    • sanctuaryhome says:

      I will still do Craigslist posts, it is just hard to be motivated to look through listings when I have NO business buying anything. Thank you for your comment.

  2. Oh my gosh! So much is going on for you. You’ll have to catch me up Saturday.

  3. Kelly says:

    Great post….It’s very uplifting to me to read these kinds of posts so I hope you’ll continue as your journey unfolds…I’d love to hear how it all turns out. I too work in a job that I’m very satisfied most of the time although I’m kind of good at it…my house is barely above water and many projects loom…nice to hear I’m not alone…thanks.

  4. Lesley says:

    Jamie, I’m so glad we met! I swear that those “just hanging in there” phases can be the most maddening, but can give you the best time for reflection and connection. I’m keeping my eyes out for rental properties for you!

  5. Tami McCall says:

    Sounds like quit the adventure Jamie…. Glad you are making a choice to enjoy the ride…. Happy House Hunting!

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