My Nightly Routine to Attract Abundance, Joy + Productivity

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Nightly routines.  Yep.  I'm going there, here on the blog and on the podcast, too.  Did you catch this week's episode?

I know I have not been a fan of routines in the past, and that's still true.  I even made a podcast about it, where I talked about ditching my morning routine (right here!).  I'm a person who finds most structure restricting & excessive, and I definitely don't like a lot of it in my downtime.  A lot of structure doesn't feel restful to me, it feels like my work day is just continuing.  I definitely need time to "do nothing," but that doesn't mean that all structure is useless to me.

Lately, I've been craving the comfort of a little consistency.  Since I can set my schedule however I'd like, sometimes that means that my days look drastically different from each other, and I've been feeling a little scattered about it - trouble sleeping, higher anxiety, more irritable.  I felt that bringing in a little more routine to my nighttimes might help wind me down after a day full of creativity, vulnerability & showing up.  So far, I was right. 

But, I knew I couldn't just fill my night with arbitrary things that I felt pressured to check off every night.  I knew that a long routine like that would only wind me up more, and that's the last thing I wanted.  I knew I needed to create a routine that both wound me down & kept my emotional energy and vibration high, so I got to work constructing a very simple, minimal routine.

Since I'm the type of person who needs to turn their brain off at the end of the day, I decided to pick only the most integral parts of a good night, and make the routine from there.  I looked at the steps in my routine as Pillars, leaving lots of room between them to breathe & flow as you wish, while still taking care of myself and my vibration.

This left me with a super minimal routine of 4 things that really help move the needle when it comes to improving my night & feeling my joy.  None of these things are overly complex or taxing, and I really love how easy it is to go through this routine while still staying present & enjoying my night with my boyfriend, who works out of the house during the day. 

Here's how my super minimal, framework-style nighttime routine works:

eat a good dinner

I'm not the best about eating regularly during the day.  I'm notorious for either completely forgetting to eat, or just grazing mindlessly through the day, one leaves me exhausted & shaky, the other empties my fridge & makes me bloated.   Neither is a super sexy option, but ultimately, during the day, I don't think to eat.  My body doesn't respond well to eating first thing, and I like to work a little bit in the morning on an empty stomach, it helps keep me sharp.

As much as I'm working on it, I knew that since I tend to forget to eat properly, I needed to include a good dinner that leaves me feeling full & satisfied.  This way, I can be sure I'm eating at least ONE good meal a day, so if I ate like crap (or not at all), my body isn't running on fumes & I have a nice full belly when I'm trying to sleep.

80% of the time, this meal is pretty healthy, with lots of veggies, but it doesn't HAVE to be - my priority is just to feel full, because that really helps me sleep.  If I'm in the mood for something more indulgent (or even fast food) I definitely work this in once-in-a-while, but I generally try to keep it balanced & at least incorporate some veggies and hummus or a healthy snack if I need something later on.

decide on my clothes the night before

I'm not someone who's very productive working in my pyjamas from the couch.  Sometimes that's how it is, but generally, I'm most productive when I'm looking cute, wearing a little makeup + bra, and I even have a pair of inside shoes I wear.  

Mind you, these outfits are not business casual, they're simple + comfy.  For instance, yoga pants + a comfy, cute top is pretty much my uniform, no jewelry and just a little makeup.  Since my outfit is so simple, with only a few main pieces, I don't need to lay it out or make a big show of it.  This step is as simple as having an idea of what I want to wear & making sure it isn't dirty.  If I have to get it from the dryer in the morning, that's totally fine.


For me, my favourite act of self-love is making sure to carve out time for myself.  Most nights, this looks like netflix & snacks with my honey.  Making myself a priority without putting adding any pressure to "perform" is a game-changer for me.

Since I like to leave lots of time for myself within my nighttime routine, I sometimes work in other nice things.  A minimal routine like this really leaves room for me to flow to whatever feels good without feeling rushed or exhausted.  Sometimes, when I'm feeling it, I'll work in other, more self-care style things like a DIY facial, taking a bath or sauna, going for a walk, exercising, or doing something creative (like painting, drawing, writing, or playing music).

plan the next day

This probably isn't news to you, but planning out your priorities in advance really helps to level up your productivity AND it saves your mental energy.  It helps give me the reassurance that I can hit the ground running the next day, it gets my distracting, end-of-the-day thoughts out of my brain and on paper, and I don't have to keep going through my list all night so I don't forget anything.

This is something you can keep really simple.  If you like apps, you can even just use the reminders tool on your phone to do this, if you're a pen-and-paper kind of person, then a post-it on your desk could even do the job.  If you want to get a little more functionality, you could use project planning software like Asana or Trello, or a paper day planner works great too.

In the past, I've mainly used Asana + a bullet journal to stay on top of my day-to-day, but I recently found a tool I wanted to share with you called the Productivity Planner.  I still use Asana to manage the moving parts of my business projects, but I'm really loving the productivity Planner for two reasons:  It's a non-digital way to plan my life (I love apps, but too much screen time can leave me a little overstimulated, so a paper planner is ideal) and it does seem to be boosting my productivity.  It's a planning system as well as a planner, and if you're into it, I'd highly suggest you check it out, because here I am: giving them a free promo without a sponsorship.  Needless to say, I'm a big fan & I've been sharing a peek into my planner over on  my Instagram.

So, that's my super minimal, pillar/framework style night time routine.  I'm so, so thrilled that I finally figured out a way to make nighttime routines work for me + my life, and on top of that, I'm so excited that I get to share it with you, now that I've worked out the kinks.  I hope you try it out for yourself! If you do, leave a comment on the podcast or the here on the blog & let me know!

PS:  If you loved this post, it's also a podcast!  You can hear me go more in-depth on the topic by playing it in the players on this post OR listening on iTunes or Spotify!

PPS:  You know I'm obsessed with Instagram, right?  On my podcast, I always like to share a little about my week + what's new with me, but Instagram's really where the party's at for me.  GO give me a follow!  More of a Facebook kinda person?  I have a page you can check out AND a private group for sensitive creatives (you can sign up here!)

How I Saved My Life.

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Today, I want to get personal with you.  I want to share EXACTLY WHY clarity is the name of my game, so you get it.  I don’t want to see people struggling the way I did, with no idea how to transform their life.

I was 22 & divorced, broke & aimless.  The life I thought I wanted had dissolved away, slowly at first, then (seemingly) overnight.  At 22, I couldn’t believe I’d fallen so far, I’d stood strong by my truth and put myself on the line multiple times, but the idea that my wants and needs would change as I grew was something I never took into account.  

I tried to help myself out of the hole I was in.  I talked kindly to myself & about myself whenever I could. I got a job at a little restaurant, and I rented an apartment across the street so I could live on my own for the first time ever.  I was meeting interesting people, I finally thought I found a good group of friends, my boss seemed to like me well enough (I remember him telling me: “We love you, Andrea. You’re going through so much right now and we have your back.”)  This, I thought, will be how I center myself in this swirling storm around me.  

It didn’t work, even though I thought it should have.  It didn’t matter that my best friend came to see me everyday, it didn’t matter that my family was worried, it didn’t matter that my boss had no idea what happened to the sparkly, vibrant waitress he hired & quickly promoted months before.  I was coming home after partying early in the morning, a few hours before my 8 hour day shift, so I could feed my cat and sleep, which I could barely afford to do. What little I had was slipping away, and only I had the tools to stop it.

I knew, deep down, that it was me and me alone who could pull myself out of this, but the loneliness I felt through this time was as though inside my ribs was a canyon, empty, but with sharp edges that reminded me of my pain when I would move.  It truly was one of the most difficult times in my life. I filled this canyon with smoke, junk food, sloth & empty promises from people who would forget me in a few hours, and couldn’t figure out why it was still so painful. Every moment of my life was filled with something that I craved, why wasn’t that enough?  It must have meant that I needed more, but meeting my immediate needs were difficult enough, so I didn’t even entertain the idea to get clear on what really made me happy. When you struggle everyday to make your life even come close to bearable, the idea that a little extra effort could change everything was something I didn’t even let myself think.

I was there about 6 months.  In that apartment, in that mental space, in that constant pain, before I reached my threshold.  I realized that the strangers, the drinking, the pain, that the making JUST enough money to pay my rent & party wasn’t my dream life and I was finally ready to admit to myself that I needed to figure something else out.  It wasn’t about improving my life at this point, it was about simply surviving, but my day-to-day life was so painful yet enthralling that it held all of my focus.

Clarity came to me first as an escape.  Sitting on my couch, stoned out of my mind, dreaming of what a less painful life would look like, was where I started.  I wasn’t even letting myself imagine a life of my dreams at this point, but simply dreaming of a life where I could afford my apartment & groceries with $200 extra at the end of the month was all I ventured into.  No fancy clothes, no owning a home, I started with something I felt safe in wishing for.

Then, a few weeks later, in a car ride with my Mom, I confided:  “I’m so unhappy. This has been the hardest year of my life.” This wasn’t a truth I’d ever said sober, at most it was a tearful whisper between bars around 1:30 on a Tuesday night with people that I knew weren’t listening.  But my Mom was listening. “I know my life could be something so beautiful, but I don’t have any idea how to do it. I want my life to be so beautiful, that people couldn’t resist sharing it with me. I want a real partner.”

So, for the first time in months, I wanted something real.  I said it out loud to my mom, who held space for me & squeezed my hand.  We drove home in silence… but not the bad kind. The kind where the air between you is drinking up the words you both needed said out loud.  She might have given me some wisdom on that ride, but not a lot. We both knew that the next move was on me, and the confidence I felt in wanting something out loud and being heard was what really brought me forward.

So, I went home, hopeful for the first time in months.  Not the fleeting kind, either, but the kind that seems to suck the sunlight in from outside & illuminate my dirty, dusty apartment.  I deserved to want something better than this, so that’s what I did.  I envisioned a house full of plants, a cat who meows because she’s playful (not hungry), a partner with a great beard & a dishwasher.  I envisioned a life that would survive whether I tried or not, surrounded by nature, with a group of close friends & lots of laughter. I didn’t worry about how I’d get it, I just revelled in the fact that no matter what decisions I’ve made in the past, this was available to me, no matter how hard I’d failed in the past.

So, this is why clarity is my jam, especially if you’re feeling stuck in a life you hate.  It was something I didn’t even know I needed, and when I realized I needed it, I didn’t think I deserved it.  It presented itself to me simply as the freedom of possibility (not a strict 5 year plan) but here I am, 2 years later and further ahead than any plan I would have dared to make.

Clarity didn’t come to me as a timeline with goals to check off.  It came to me as the clear entitlement to happiness, and while I had some things in mind that I thought could get me to that feeling, the means ultimately weren’t important.  I became clear on the bliss I deserved, and that was the key.

It’s been two years since my life shifted for the better, and I’m grateful for the clarity I stumbled upon every single day.  But, the thing is, I know that I could have easily not found that clarity that fell into my lap one day while I was high, and I could have struggled for much longer.  I could have stayed in the vulnerable position I was in, surrounded by people in the same boat, not knowing I could do more & be more. We’re all doing our best with the tools we have, except my tools were in a pillowcase in the back of the closet because I forgot I could use them.  

Now, I’m holding a challenge to help people gain clarity on their dreamiest life.  This clarity has truly been transformative in how I look at myself & my past, and it’s really empowered me to move forward and claim the things in my life I really didn’t feel that I deserved.  I’d love to hold your hand & get you started on the journey I’d learned so much from, so if you’re into it, I’d love it if you signed up for my FREE 5 day challenge starting on June 25th to help you change your life.  You can sign up right here, I’d really really love for you to join me.

So much love,



BWYP EP 05: How I work when i want + get more done than ever.


On todays podcast episode, I'm sharing a little about how I've achieved consistent productivity by focusing on making my to-do list as enjoyable as possible.  Since productivity naturally tends to ebb and flow, making my list as enjoyable as possible has made my productive days incredibly productive, and has left my slower days restful without being a write-off.  

I talk a lot about mindset in this episode, because it's the most transformational part of this whole method, but I also share the steps I take to make my to-do list more enjoyable, while still getting all of it done.  

Here are some of the ways I shift my mindset around my to-do list to maintain my energy and get it all done


1.  brain dump your entire to do list

  • This might take a few tries, try the triple ten method:  write for ten minutes, walk away for ten minutes, then come back to write for ten more minutes

2.  Highlight the things on your list you'll love doing (take a minute to get excited about these things!!)

  • For me, this might look like:
    • Walking the dog
    • Chores you like or find satisfying
    • Rewarding work at your job

3.  Put a star next to things you'll have difficulty enjoying

  • For me, this might look like:
    • Going to work at my other job
    • Taxes
    • Social obligation I felt pressured into

4.  Give yourself permission to cancel whatever you can.

  • You have a limited amount of energy
  • You have a right to enjoy yourself as much as possible
  • You can't do this with everything on your list, but if you're a people-pleaser to a fault, then you probably have some things you can let go of
    • Commitments that aren't serving you are draining your energy & it'd probably be best to try and redistribute the task
    • If you can't, there are ways you 

5.  Brainstorm ways to make your WHOLE to-do list more enjoyable

  • brainstorm some easy things to inject into your day-to-day life that easily add enjoyment to everything
    • I love incorporating essential oils into my day, it makes my life more generally enjoyable
    • Any answer is good if it blends with your productivity goals
      • think of things you can enjoy WHILE you crush your day, like a good podcast, album. drink, candle etc

I've got to emphasize, though, that the mindset work I talk about in my podcast really compliments this beautifully.  Through this shift, I've finally ditched my past of yo-yo productivity (just as bad as yo-yo dieting, tbh) and have reached consistent output & results.  

I've never taught this type of thing before, so I just want to make sure I'm not leaving anyone behind.  While this is super clear in my own mind, I'm not totally confident that I'm going to get my message across successfully (even though I really tried my best!) so please, whether you love it or you're a little lost, post your feedback in the comments!  I read it all and I really want to be giving you the clearest info possible.

Lots of love!

BWYP EP 04: Creating a Donation Routine to Attract Abundance


Hello, World!

Hey!  I made this blog post especially for Episode 5 of my podcast, Bloom Where You're Planted.  You can also find it in your podcast provider or on my podcast page.

Whether you agree with me or not, you probably won't change my mind: I think there are laws & principles in place that bring the universe to flow things into our lives.  It doesn't happen all the time, and its definitely not a "get-rich-quick" scheme, but think of the last happy coincidence you had!  Did it feel like you tapped into a little bit of magic, or did this little coincidence maybe make you believe in fate? That's what I'm talking about.

I love that feeling of magic and I'm all about chasing it, but putting yourself into a position to receive is a really big part of that.  I've recently realized that if you're filling your space with stuff you don't need, you're making it clear that you don't have the space in your life for better things to flow in. 

If that seems like a little bit of a stretch to you, maybe think about it like this:  Why am I surrounding myself with excess and things I don't love when I could donate them and let them really improve someone's life?

I'm interesting in starting a habit.  A monthly donation date with myself.  I know I have tons of excess, and no, I don't want to do it all in one day.  I just don't work that way. 

Instead, I'm doing it every month, and making it the most wonderful, blissful experience I can.  It's tempting to turn organization into a task to hate, but in an effort to love myself even through tasks I don't like as much, I'm making my favourite tea, getting comfy af, and listening to my favourite music.  I'll also be taking my time, to really leave myself time to reflect on the impact on my actions.  Not only will I be cleaning and organizing my house, but i'll be donating to people in need while making room for abundance in my life.

So here's what my day's going to look like:  Wake up, have my morning routine, get started with my donating and sorting around, and when I'm feeling "done," I'll head into town and make the donation at my recipient of choice.  

There are a few things I'm going to do to help me out with this task, though.  Luckily, I'm someone who already finds purging and decluttering easy, but if you're someone who dreads going through old things and donating them, this is for you.  Especially if you've been feeling stuck lately. 

My first strategy is to have a small donation pile going in my room at all times so I can throw something in there if the mood strikes (sometimes, folding laundry, I'll come across something so worn that I refuse to fold it and put it away. Into the bin it goes!) And I also have a pile going in our spare room for larger donations if I see them on a day that isn't donation day.  

My second strategy is perfect if you're really feeling stuck.  My free download with this podcast episode is a printable checklist of 20 no-brainer things you can declutter right away!  You don't have to follow this to a t, but look it over if you're really feeling stuck.  This list shouldn't lead you to throw away beloved possessions, but it might make you look at your linen closet a little different.  You can download the list below!

Here are some things I'm going to do to make this as enjoyable as possible, because peaceful productivity is all about getting things done as you love your life as much as possible.  I'm going to make sure I'm comfy in my favourite comfy outfit (which is luckily, my favourite sushi eating outfit as well), I'll make a pot of my favourite tea so my cup runneth over, and I'll listen to whatever I feel like (my favourite music, a funny podcast, whatever tickles my fancy).  When I'm done, I'm going to go into town and make the donation, then treat myself to a solo, unplugged sushi date.  My favourite.  Also, this is important:  the whole time, I'm going to make an effort to focus on how good it all feels.

By making this experience as enjoyable as possible, I'm going to fill my brain with good memories that make me subconsciously want to repeat the experience.  I'll also make an effort to make myself actively excited as I approach my second date to try to kickstart that mental momentum.

Are you going to try out a donation routine?  Tell me all about it in the comments, I'm really curious to see how this impacts the lives around me.  You can also get in touch with me on facebook or instagram.  If you're a fan of the podcast, please let me know!  It's such a new project and its so special to me that this early support feels like 1,000 warm hugs.

Lots of love!


BWYP EP 3: Leaning Into Comfort through the Winter + Wintertime Favourites


If you're new, check out the official Bloom Where You're Planted podcast page to check out my Lifestyle Strategy + Peaceful Productivity podcast!

This podcast was meant to be something fun, but honestly left me feeling kind of… off.  Winter is a hard subject for me, and it feels really vulnerable to share something so silly sounding with my listeners.  Winter has always been a hard thing for me; I love to be outside but when it's below freezing, the uncomfort that comes along with it just puts me off.  It means I'm staying inside, not being in nature or with plants, and I generally just hibernate and wait until spring comes along.  If I could just hide in bed all winter long, I probably would, but there's a lot I'd be missing out on, so it's definitely not a perfect solution.

The thing is, I exist on this planet and on this planet, expectations don't fluctuate with the seasons (nor should they).  But, equally important, the sun is giving less energy to the earth right now, and that means less energy for me to live my life.  The sun is farther away, and it shines on us a lot less.  Its cloudy, it's dark by 5, it's not like I'm going outside to ground myself or be in the sun's energy, so not only are we expected to keep performing, but we have less resources to pull energy from.

Winters in the past have meant depression, especially when I was in school.  My winter semesters often left me out of control, especially when I was busy.  I thought I was the only one who could be experiencing seasonal depression like this, and as deadlines slipped away and teachers' disappointment grew, I became more and more out of control, while grasping at straws to get my shit together.

In an effort to move past this cycle in my life, I've decided that winter must mean comfort, at least for me.  I can't completely eliminate responsibility in my life for this time (I wish though, right?) but I do my best to minimize my obligations.  Do I have a crazy work week coming up?  Can I take a few social events off the table to leave myself more time to recoup?  Do I happen to have a quieter week ahead? How can I take time to really fill my tank and feel comfort for this season?

Leaning into comfort seems super basic, and I'd be lying if I said that this winter has been easy for me, but it is a simple habit I've implemented that feels helpful.  This has been the easiest winter I've had in a long time, I've gotten a lot more done, I don't feel a strain on any of my relationships, and I've even implemented some really nice habits into my life.  All in all, it's been a banner winter so far, and I think it's because winter gives me the permission I need to set clear boundaries and listen to my body when evaluating my life.

Implementing comfort mainly means actively checking in with my self and my energy levels and doing my best to a) prioritizing only the necessary and b) taking as much time as you can to comfort yourself or refill your tank.  Your body needs a different kind of care during this harsh season, so be aware of that moving forward. 

Here are some of the little indulgences I've made room for this winter:

  • Davids tea strawberry matcha
  • Soup + Comfort Food
  • Warm Socks
  • Hot Showers
  • Body Shop Banana Shampoo + Conditioner
  • Planning my garden for spring
  • Getting out of my house/going outside
  • My cuddly cats warming me up on the couch
  • Chillin with a heating pad
  • Coconut oil for extra moisture in my skincare

My podcast, Bloom Where You're Planted, is turning into something that I really feel that I’m sharing important things on.  I feel so good whenever I do it, and often times I feel like I can't stop smiling when I'm done recording.  I really hope that comes across in my recordings!  As always, so much love for all of my readers and listeners, and I'm so so happy to get to connect with you in this way.  I love hearing from you guys, so if you're feeling it, please leave a rating or review on iTunes (even if that's not the way you tune in).  It's such a good way to give back to the podcast if you're looking for a way to do so.

Lots of love!


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Bloom Where You're Planted EP 01 - I Guess I Started A Podcast!


This last year has been a little overwhelming for me.  I started this blog in October and already I feel that it's growing faster than I can imagine, so I took some time in January to really hone in on my direction and to see what new and challenging things I would take on in 2018.

And here we are.

I've started a podcast, and I'm sooooo excited about it!  I started out with a little trailer for now but expect podcast episodes on Tuesdays and Thursdays that centre all around self-love, mindset magic and life overhauling.  I'm bringing my sparkly self over to the microphone as often as I can, because this is something I really want to be good at.  I like helping y'all out with helpful content, and so far this seems to be the most natural way to do it, so bear with me as I figure out the logistics of this whole podcasting & talking to myself in an empty room thing.


Since this is just the trailer, I'll keep this brief.  I mainly touched on

  • The importance of mindset work
  • My brain tumour removal story
  • Going from blah to bliss in my everyday life
  • Embracing your truth, even when it's hard

Be sure to hit subscribe on the iTunes store to make sure you get the second episode on Tuesday, we're talking morning routines!

PS: If you want this goodness all in your inbox, sign up below!  I'll roll out the red carpet for you, and its the best place to stay up to date with all my schemes.

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Returning to Yoga after Brain Surgery

I've been practicing yoga for 15 years, since I was about 10.  It's one of my favourite things, I've leaned on it through hard times, and in general, it's kept me pretty healthy.  A couple of times a week, I'd make a point to get on my mat, clear my mind and move and stretch.  It's been so valuable to me and central to my life that years ago, I decided that becoming a yoga teacher had to be on my bucket list.  I haven't checked it off yet, but it's there and ready for me whenever I am.  It's really nice to have this lifelong practice on my side when things get hard or uncomfortable, and I know that as I need it, it'll continue to support me.

I'm not going to lie, though, things do not feel the same on my yoga mat as they did before my brain surgery 6 months ago.

I waited about 5 months to go back to a class, and I picked a very gentle hatha practice.  I spoke to the teacher before hand, and let her know my situation.  Of course, like a sweet angel, she told me that if something didn't feel right, to move back to a pose that felt more comfortable, and that if I needed to rest, that was okay too.  The class that I picked was very slow and gentle, and while I totally blundered through any balance based poses, for the most part I felt pretty good.

Even though it felt good, though, I wasn't really ready for how foreign everything felt.  For most of my life, downward dog felt comfy and cozy, like slipping on my favourite pair of jeans.  Not in that class.  I was very aware of exactly how and where my body was struggling through poses that I'd done since puberty, and while a part of me wishes I could just look at it as a way to stay "present," I miss how comfortable yoga feels.

It's been two months since I went back to a yoga class, and for the most part, I've kept my practise at home.  It's been way less frequent than it probably should be, even though it feels easier every time I do it.  I guess I'm impatient; I want it to feel good and amazing now, not 6 months from now.  But, at least at home, I'm not tempted to try to keep up with the poses in a class when another flow might feel better.  A flow for me and my sometimes weird body.  I can hang out in poses that feel good, I can challenge myself in the ways I feel comfortable, and I never wonder if someone thinks I'm weird for hanging out in child's pose for a few extra breaths.

Recovery Update: 7 Months Later

If you missed my 5 month recovery update and want to catch up, you can check it out here.

I still don't feel like myself.  I wish I could say that sometimes, I forget about this big surgery that swept up my life and turned it into something unrecognizable, but I can't.  It catches me in quiet moments as well as loud, when I'm struggling to think or when I'm next to someone talking on their cell phone too loud.  It catches me with things that get my attention right away, like physical pain, or a limp, or the question "why do I still feel this way?"  I wish it didn't happen so often, and its not even really that bad, but it does take me out of some pretty great moments I'd rather be present in.  It's not really enough to complain, but in those moments when I feel like a guest in my own body, I wonder will it always feel like this?

My tumour was growing in the part of the brain that controls fine motor skills.  Specifically, the motor skills on the left side of your body.  Luckily, I still have movement in my left side… I’m aware that it could have been much worse.  But the type of fine motor skills that I've taken for granted are still gone.  They improve gradually, but my fully functioning right side seems to say "keep up" as it effortlessly moves forward with my left side struggles to keep up.  Playing piano? Laughable.  Typing?  I went from 70 wpm to 25.  That's with months of practice.  Even tying my shoes seems to catch me up; my right hand, swooping around my left hand with just muscle memory, and my left hand fumbling for something that feels familiar.  It's uncomfortable, but I try not to dwell on it.

My swallowing also hasn't caught up, and I'm not sure why.  Here's what I know:  After my surgery, when I woke up, I was told I'd need soft food only for a while, because my swallowing will take a while to come back.  This is pretty normal, I think.  When I was in the hospital, it took lots of work for me to eat.  I'd chew, move the food to the back of my throat, and it just wouldn't go down.  7 months later, it still doesn't.  Water, juice and things like that are totally fine for me, but anything with substance, anything that needs to be chewed, doesn't really work for me unless I have water to wash it down with.  If I’m not sitting, focused, and quiet when I'm eating, it's easy for me to forget to chew and make sure my food is going down properly, and I'll straight up choke.  Some foods, as you can imagine, are easier than others, but I'm getting frustrated with withdrawing myself every time I eat, in case I get called on to chime in when my mouth is full. 

I'm starting to run out of patience, especially with my swallowing.  My mind is often buzzing, wondering what the problem could be.  Is there some type of damage or scar tissue from when I was intubated?  Could my surgeon have hit a nerve in surgery that caused some type of damage to my swallowing reflex?  Is my throat chakra blocked?  I wish I had the answer, especially because neither me nor my surgeon have any idea what's going on.  I really hope that something I'm doing isn't inadvertently making it worse, but it never causes me pain.  If I was really doing something wrong, I think my body would tell me by being in pain more often.

I'm pretty torn between whether I should be ignoring my difficulties and pushing through or coddling myself and taking it easy.  So far, I'm doing my best to push through and try and do all the things I normally would, I just make sure I have lots of rest.  The only exception I can think of right now would be the gym; I’m not even able to jog 20 feet, so I think that the gym would be a little more than I'm able to take on right now.  Besides, my job keeps me moving and active, so I think that for the short term, I'm being active enough.  As long as I get enough rest.

As much as recovery's weird feeling and sometimes uncomfortable, the last few months have felt really stable and secure, which isn't something I'm used to.  In the past, I've dealt with really extreme mood swings, often feeling sky high one day and crashing the next, or even just on a moment-to-moment basis.  It was something I was learning to deal with, but it was still a pretty big challenge for me.  But, for whatever reason, removing the tumour seems to have made it stop.  I'm not sure if maybe the tumour was pushing on a part of my brain that just really knocked me off balance, or if the gratefulness I've felt through this process has permeated so deeply that it changed a part of myself that I was really struggling with.  I've especially noticed that even as the weather gets more grim, my mood seems unaffected; something I haven't experienced since elementary school.  Maybe it's temporary, maybe it's all in my head.  At this point, who cares?  I'm riding this wave as far as it'll take me.