Sarah Grace McCandless

Teller of Stories. Yours. Mine. Ours.

Digital Strategist. Social Media Expert. Brand Marketing Guru. Seasoned Writer. Published Author.

Poor Man's Tina Fey. Dog Mom to Nancy Drew.

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Filtering by Tag: creative writing

The Mistakes We Made

Today, we celebrate the art of public declarations.

Sometimes, just saying what you're going to do is all it takes to actually do it.

I don't know who is going to publish it. I don't know if I will self-print 50 copies and sell them out of the back of my RAV4 in Safeway parking lots.


These details do not matter right now.

What matters is I love this project. What matters is I am embracing the idea, and making the commitment to see it through and finish the collection.

Because what I do know is this: I. Am. A. Writer. And this is happening. 

I'm not writing this book to fill a spot in some publisher's marketing program, or a line on a P&L statement. And I'm not writing this book to become a household name...though I certainly wouldn't kick that outcome out of bed, should it happen.

This month marks 10 years since my first book came out, and 8 years since my second book hit the shelves.

And now it's time for my third, but this time, I am writing for one simple, true reason: I have stories to tell. And I think I'm pretty good at telling them. And maybe you will want read some of them, or even all of them, and find something worthwhile in my words.

I hope you'll come along for the ride. 

The Original Tumbler

When a three and a half hour drive, north and alone, turns into five, it's the perfect time to examine all the heavy rocks in your head - the anxious ones, the insulted ones, the angry ones, the fearful ones. Tumble them back and forth. Back and forth. A few more times. And once again. And by the time you hit the ferry to Whidbey Island, your car will be first in line to enter. Your view will be this. And in just 12 minutes or so, you will have reached the other side of the water, and you will realize that your rocks have indeed transformed, and turned into #Project15 gems.


Welcome to #Project15.

When you're headed into turn three on the final lap towards hitting the 40-year-old finish line, you best be armed with a strategy - and a good sense of humor.

With just three months to go until I blow out my candles, I recently started thinking about the same 15 pounds I gained over the course of a year or so, starting when I moved back to Oregon in Fall 2010 - and have been trying to lose for, oh, three years now. Not a daunting amount of weight to lose, and certainly not a goal that should take more than a few months at most. But it was just high enough of a number to annoy me, gnaw at me, beat me up, hold me back, knock me down, and hold me hostage. 

Why? Because I let it. 

I've also recently officially become the stepmother of a fabulous 13-year-old girl, and that changes the game. Significantly. I had to think about what kind of example I would be setting for her by obsessing over these 15 pounds. And not to sound like a Special K ad, but what was I really trying to lose. And gain.

I had to ask myself if this gnawing was truly about the physical weight. My acupuncturist told me a few months ago that weight, physical and emotional, is about protection and safety. So what exactly was I trying to protect myself from? 

Maybe myself.

15 pounds also got me thinking about 15 minutes, and how so few of us even take that small slice of time every day to make sure we are doing something that makes us fit and well, versus sick and feeble (and thanks to On Your Feet for introducing me to this concept).

Which is what led to the "A-ha," and that is this: it's not about the 15 pounds. It's about the 15. It's about a starting point, a marker of time, a commitment to myself to do at least 15 minutes of something that supports the overall concept of wellness, daily. For myself, or for someone else (as the latter is just another way of taking care of myself). 

I started listing the possibilities out into categories:

Movement: Something, anything, every day, for at least 15 minutes. Every damn day. 5K training run. Actual 5K (Starlight, I've got my eye on you). barre3 or Pound class at Pulse PDX.  And those Hip Hop Abs and Brazilian Butt Lift DVDs I so eagerly ordered after watching the infomercials aren't going to do themselves.

Connection: Sitting at the dining room table to have my dinner, TV/laptops/smartphones OFF. Focus on actual conversation. Listening. Volunteering with Girls, Inc. of NW Oregon. Making a juice, tea, brunch, happy hour or dinner date with my friends, my chosen family, and my blood family. Going for a walk with my stepdaughter to hear about her day.  Hitting the snooze button twice more in favor of extra spoon time.  

Creating: Working on my new book. Reading. Going to a reading or book signing. Finding opportunities like the Writers Workshoppe weekend in Port Townsend to remind me of who I am.

Nourishing: Planning my meals. Sticking to the plan. Trying new recipes. Revisiting Foodtrainers LBT and 4-Hour Body for guidance, because they make the most sense without going to extremes. Indulging occasionally. And not feeling guilty about it. And maybe a facial, mani/pedi, and deep conditioning treatment or two.   

So the goal is this: commit to seeing how many of these buckets I can hit every day from now until the birthday bash. Record and share my progress - the good, bad, and ugly. And most important, pay attention to what I'm learning, and have learned.

Today's #Project15 wins included a long overdue, follow up acupuncture appointment, making my first batch of antioxidant-fighting black rice as part of my dinner, and stringing together a series of barre3 online workouts as featured on Dr. Oz to hit that minimum minutes of movement I've promised myself daily. 

Day one? Check. Now let's see where this goes.