Hello! I am back after a longer than anticipated blog break. I bet you thought I wasn’t blogging any longer and I don’t blame you. There were times over the last couple of months I didn’t think I would return to the blog myself.
Starting with last fall’s devastating wine country fires, life has changed so much. From becoming empty nesters when Tori moved to Oregon, gaining not one but two kids-in-law when both Ryan and Kayla married their sweethearts, to losing my husband’s father – our patriarch – to a terminal illness, there has been a lot to adjust to.
In addition to those life changes, my husband retired after 34 years in the fire service. I mentioned his earlier than planned retirement in my last post and made some predictions about what life would be like.
I expected the bliss of not having the alarm go off at 5:15 am each morning, taking long walks whenever we liked, not dealing the stress and worry that plagued me when Bill went off to fight wild land fires, and no more middle of the night fire calls. And wouldn’t you know, I was 100% right about all of that. It is wonderful to leave that stress behind!
I capitalized on this low-key lifestyle and took a long break from blogging to see what life minus the blog would be like. Would I miss the blog? How else would I spend my time? Will I return to blogging? If so, will it be different than before?
After not publishing a regular blog post since March 31st, I have some insight for those questions.
So as my entree back into blogging, I would like to first share a bit about life without the blog then tell you a little about my new life as a 50-year-old wife of a retiree, stepmother to three great adult kids, stepmother-in-law to two wonderful people, empty-nester and lifestyle blogger.
During the Blog Break
Did I miss the blog?
Yes and no. I missed the interaction with readers and fellow bloggers. I missed having “my place” and creative outlet which is also part of my identity. I missed writing and missed using that part of my brain. I missed the feeling of clicking the publish button on a post I worked hard on and am proud of.
I did not miss sitting on my arse many hours a week writing and linking and editing photos and posting on social media. I also didn’t miss having lots of blog post obligations to companies that I wasn’t that thrilled about. Not doing that anymore.
How did I spend my time?
I spend a lot less time on my butt and a lot more time on the move in nature. Bill and I hike whenever we can which means sometimes 3 or 4 times a week. I love it!
I also read more, cook more, exercise more and am pretty social but with a smaller group of close friends and family. I want to devote time to deepening valued friendships and certain family relationships and less time on Facebook.
I took up crochet, I make my own photo cards, and think a lot about how we can spruce up our home a bit now that Bill is around. If you’ve been to our house, you know the backyard is a wide open space of nothingness (dirt and a chicken coop) and it needs to be landscaped. I spend more time on Pinterest looking for backyard ideas than I do on other social media.
Will I return to blogging?
Will it be different than before?
Yes, I think it will. It’s not time for me to move away from blogging but it is time to go about it differently. How? I guess I don’t have as much insight on this as I thought. And to be transparent, I don’t have a plan. I’m just gonna blog and see what happens.
Retired life for us is weird and wonderful and sometimes even funny. The other day Bill and I were sitting on the back patio and during our conversation, we both realized we didn’t have a clue what day of the week it was. It took looking at a phone to figure it out.
I am sure we will evolve into a routine at some point that will include knowing what day of the week it is, but for now it’s sort of nice not being that tuned into a schedule.
Not having lots of obligations is strange. I know it’s much more foreign for Bill given his 34 year career in fire, especially this time of year. Oddly, not having obligations can create a level of anxiety (who knew?) and we both miss not contributing in some way.
I really miss having Tori around. Even though she was an adult when she moved, I still felt I had purpose in caring for and helping guide her to an extent.
Bill and I do a lot of dreaming about the future which is so fun. We fantasize about buying a big RV and traveling the country, mostly to visit (or bug) the kids who live in Oregon and California’s Central Coast. We also dream about making home improvements, and having a do over of my 50th birthday trip that as canceled last October due to the fires. We also look forward to hopefully being blessed with some grandbabies at some point.
I am excited and interested to see how the blog will fit into our new lifestyle and what kind of content will come from it. Part of me has the urge to plan and over-commit and structure and stress about it like I used to. But I’m not going to let that happen because the new me doesn’t do those sorts of things 😉
It’s good to be back and I look forward to writing about my new Rich Life in Wine Country! I hope you’ve all been well.