We had the good fortune of connecting with Sara Beaudoin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sara, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Work life balance in my opinion is like riding a bicycle, you must keep moving to stay balanced, or your bike will fall. Life is always changing and we are continually growing, so balance to me is not necessarily something to achieve, but more something to continually strive for and maintain. The younger me would get frustrated if I didn’t have my schedule perfectly organized or my list of to do’s always fully completed and crossed off by the end of the day, at that time under the impression that I wasn’t ‘there yet’ with life balance. The present me understands and provides room that life is going to present things that weren’t in the plan or on the list of things to do to begin with. So for me, as long as I keep moving and don’t fall over while I’m riding the bicycle of life I know I AM balanced. I know now that balance is not a thing per say, but rather an action that is held day to day like breathing. Constantly in every moment I’m making sure I’m going the right speed on my bicycle with my head and body actively balancing and my mind knowing where I’m headed.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I don’t fit into the standard work experience ‘box’. When I was 16 I started working at The Power of One Self-Defense Institute, a martial arts studio where I trained and went on to work there for the next 10 years as well as to earn my Black Belt. It took 7 years to reach that goal, and it is one of my accomplishments that I am most proud of because of the time and dedication it took and what it taught me from its achievement: success does not happen overnight. Success happens in the years beforehand from your time, effort and determination that lead up to accomplishing that goal. It does not happen in the moment you are presented with that physical representation of whatever your goal is. Now around 25 years young (but feeling old), after getting married young and then divorced young, life took me off to dip my feet in the corporate world, at desks inside of offices for about 5 years and I learned very quickly that the 9-5 work life was not for me. They say that the fastest way to figure out if if you’re going in the right direction is to get on a road and start going down it. So I went down a few roads, tried different industries, but knew that whole time that I wasn’t on the road I belonged. Fast forward to my 30th birthday, where I have now in the last 10 years learned all the things I should have been taught in highschool to actually get through life, and I finally feel like I’m starting to become an adult. I was currently at a desk job I did not enjoy, with no office window an almost 1.5 hour commute each way and a toxic manager. My gluteus maximus hurts just thinking about all the sitting I was doing at the time! I was back to a much healthier mindset from listening to podcasts, knowing where I wanted to go and keeping my mind on that 5-10 year goal but my physical health had suffered. See, I was diagnosed with Endometriosis when I was 18 which was a health challenge that intertwined into every aspect of my life up to that point. But the over-exhaustion and stress from long commutes, unhealthy work relationships and being so sedentary sent my health on a downward spiral. I was diagnosed with SIBO at that time as well, which is often a companion of Endometriosis which is a whole body disease that causes poor gut health. I found myself realizing I had been suffering from burnout for almost 2 years and I needed to re-focus and re-balance. So I started asking myself how I could raise money for Deep Excision surgery with an Endometriosis specialist to repair damage done from a laparoscopic ablation surgery I had done in 2008 for my Endo and finally get a gold standard of treatment. Something that appallingly, health insurance does not cover so the out of pocket cost is $15,000. So I thought, I could sell t-shirts! I started googling…endometriosis t-shirts…period t-shirts…nothing. Nothing that was close to what I was looking for, or period wear in general besides period underwear. And why? We have gym clothes, sleepwear, lingerie, swim clothes…but for the 7-10 years over the course of our lives that we spend menstruating we don’t have any type of comfortable period clothes? From there, Dot Period Clothes was born in my brain and in a way that had never happened before with any of my other so thought brilliant ideas, I started executing. And just little by little, next step after next step when I was able I fell in love with this vision that would not only help me get surgery, but then go on to fund other women like me who do not have $15K for surgery. And at the same time, having the confidence to wear our periods on our sleeves and spread awareness will help the generations of girls to come to end period shame so that they are not embarrassed about talking about their periods, and so that the average time it takes to get diagnosed (7-10 years) can change. And most recently? The #coronapocalypse happened and I was laid off from that last 9-5 job, which while devastating and scary at the time was actually a blessing in disguise as I would then find out a few weeks later that I was pregnant with my first baby. Being at home afforded me the time to rest and recover, get my health in order and focus on my pregnancy which is now 6 months along. Moving forward, all I can do is expect nothing and try and prepare for everything because the world is doing it’s own thing right now and I can’t control it. But I am hopeful and I have a mindset that things WILL work out how they are supposed to even if I can’t see HOW that will happen right now. You just have to know you will be okay. Was it easy getting to where I am today now 32 and pregnant? No. What happens in your life intertwines closely with your health and work life, I could easily write a book beginning from childhood. But I’ve just kept going. I kept getting out of bed everyday and I never stopped striving for health and happiness. I intentionally focused on that and surrounded myself with a wonderful village and community of people that would keep me on that path, I am very fortunate and grateful to have such a circle. And so getting out of bed every day is what I’m still doing as I keep moving forward to keep balance on this bike of mine so that I don’t fall off!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If you had a week to visit Long Beach and you wanted to have the best time ever I would first take you to SteelCraft in Bixby Knolls for dinner, where you could choose between Ramen, Burgers, Pizza, Waffles & more from their outdoor industrial shipping container restaurants all under one set of stars and twinkly lights. It’s a super fun vibe, and then if you had room we would go across the street to Long Beach Creamery for some specialty ice cream. I would spend another day driving out to Laguna Beach and eating at Las Brisas in the sun to have the higher end tacos ever or seafood as you overlook the ocean. Maybe spend a little money and visits the shops too! Downtown Long Beach and the Pike I would do on another night to walk around where you can find whatever makes you happy from dancing to dining to shopping or a big ferris wheel. Malibu has a wonderful local old surf town vibe if you want to drive up the coast on PCH and see if you get all the way down to El Matador Beach for some beautiful seashore cave exploring, just make sure you go in the late afternoon after the tide goes out or you won’t be able to get to those cool caves. My other two favorite restaurants is Orange Hill, which is literally a restaurant on top of a hill which is very romantic to drive up to for dinner at night so you cant a 360 degree view of the surrounding cities and a yummy menu that won’t overwhelm you. I went for 4th of July one year and and it was one of the best. Make sure yous top at Kobe Steakhouse too in Seal Beach to sit around the chef as he cooks you the best food and shows you some tricks – it’s a super cool experience and a great way to close the evening after walking Main Street or relaxing at Seal Beach.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to give a shoutout to Rachel Hollis, I was reading her book Girl, Wash Your Face at the time I was inspired and came up with my idea of Dot Period Clothes. And also, Tom Bilyeu and his shows Health Theory and Impact Theory on YouTube. I was driving an hour to work each way at the time and I would listen to his podcasts the whole way!
All pictures were taken myself, I don’t think it uploaded however so I will attach images to the email itself.