Great to meet you! I am Sarah. I am a thinker, tea drinker and bike-riding hipster wannabe currently living San Francisco, USA.
The Happy Rat is a cartoon blog exploring how to live a wise and creative life.
The Happy Rat
Many people ask me – why ‘the Happy Rat’? Do you own a rat? Quite possibly: the house we live in is old and our cat is a big softy.
Actually, The Happy Rat is more of a metaphor (and I love multi-layered metaphors). When I was growing up my mother would come home from the office and tell me she’d had another day in the ‘rat race’. To my child mind, I couldn’t quite get the connection with her work in sales and what I thought should’ve been more of a veterinarian sports role, but I did think it sounded scary.
As I grew up, I realised that being in the ‘rat race’ is in some ways true for all of us. We are all a part of the world we live in (unless you are keen to go and live in a cave) and part of thriving in our life is transforming, creating, and re-imagining things within the ‘race’ of life.
Happy Rats live in the real world and make it a little bit better every day.
The Happy Rat mission
Life is a big adventure and I believe changing our world begins with imagining it in a different way. I love looking at our everyday life situations and finding ways to think creativity about them.
I am obsessed with how we can transform ordinary and sometimes dull aspects of life into fun mini-adventures. Those mini-adventures, over time, become much bigger and important thematic changes in our lives.
The Happy Rat cartoon themes
You’re probably noticing that there are a bunch of ideas that come up again and again in my work. The big themes that drive the The Happy Rat are:
- minimalism – life’s joys are not about how much ‘stuff’ you have (stuff can be time, busyness, status, an oversized cactus cushion you bought on Etsy), they’re about the relationships and experiences you have.
- fun – succeeding and finding our truth means taking things a bit less seriously.
- creativity and experimentation – our biggest learning tool (as any two-year-old can tell you confidently) is to get our hands dirty and just try things. Think of me as your personal lab rat.
- simplicity and small steps – declaration alert: I get way too freaked out by the prospect of huge things and big change. So I take all the things I do in manageable projectable sized chunks, so my reptilian mind remains in ‘keep calm and carry on’ mode.
Right now, I’m focusing on creative experiments, writing, and running workshops. I live in San Francisco and pop up on the grid in many different places. Get in touch via my contact page here.
Also, if you’d like to support the work of The Happy Rat I would be %121 grateful. Please consider making a donation and I’ll try to draw you into one of the cartoons.
The Happy Rat beginnings
A few years ago, I was living and working in my home city of Melbourne, Australia. I had a safe, comfortable life with lovely friends and family, but something felt out of place.
It was like there was a tiny grain of sand in the back of my mind saying, “something isn’t quite right here.” But what? Everything looked great on the outside.
One day I found myself one day making a goals list for the coming year. Then, just for fun, I made another list of all the things I would do if time, money, and logistics weren’t a factor.
To my surprise, I found that almost nothing from the second list corresponded to what I had planned for the coming year!
I began to realise that my life was governed by an invisible set of rules, mostly in my own head, about how life ‘should’ be. Those rules were things I had learnt from my family, my friends, and the world around me while I was growing up.
I thought I needed to be realistic, work hard, be sensible, not stand out too much, put others needs before my own, be ‘nice’ and acceptable to other people. I accepted those rules as reality but felt so uncomfortable in my own skin.
So at the start of 2015 I took a big plunge and left everything in Australia – house, job, and life. I traveled half way around the world – through an earthquake, half a dozen yoga retreats, hitchhiked across Europe – to find my truth wasn’t so far from when I began. Almost.
I came full circle back to the things I had always loved – living a simple, highly creative life based on the principles of fun, experimentation, and adventure.
Now I create The Happy Rat from my home in San Francisco, accompanied by a cat, a mug of tea, and occasionally my wonderful partner looking over my shoulder.