Last year, one of my New Year resolutions was to kick 2012's butt. I wasn't going to sit around and let all the stuff that was happening bring me down, but rather live with intention and face it all with the most positive attitude I could.
On Twitter, some were inspired by my outlook and a fellow blogger even started a blog to chronicle our year where we could collectively kick 2012's ass, on which I was supposed to contribute but somehow that never happened. It didn't matter, though; most of you knew my intention and encouraged me or reminded me all year to stay strong and forge ahead, which in the darkest moments helped give me the strength to do exactly that.
2012 was a lot harder than I thought it would be. Part way through, when she was in the middle of a particularly brutal round of chemo, I remember Anne telling me,
"Cancer isn't something you beat. It's something you survive."
In a lot of ways, I feel like that is how 2012 was. It was impossible to change the things that happened, and a lot of the time the only way to really get through it seemed to just forge ahead and make the best of the situation. From Anne moving away to watching her die, John clawing his way through Hepatitis C treatment, being forced to move and find new jobs, and through living apart for 4 months, all I've been able to really do is make sure everyone was okay and keep going. Pay the bills. Do the laundry, make sure we're all fed, that Kevin is in school, clean the house. One foot in the front of the other, day after day.
We Moms and wives do that, don't we? When life becomes one crisis after another we make sure that everyone else is taken care of before we take care of ourselves. During 2012, that's pretty much what I did. There was just one thing I completely forgot about this year, and now that the dust has settled, I've finally realized what it is.
Oh sure, there were some blogger trips this year that provided some escapism and I swear were the only things that kept me sane but now that things have settled back to a predictable routine, I'm finding that all the stress, all the heartache and pain that I stuffed down all year, has come crashing right on top of me. I'd be lying if I told you that 2012 didn't completely change my world both literally and figuratively, and as a result, I've changed too. My priorities have shifted. I realized that while I had wanted to make a career out of my online connections, that it's not practical. I have a job that gives us benefits, pension, life insurance and more; giving that up would be really foolhardy at this point.
I'm not sure I would've been able to make it through the last year without the support of all of you. Blogging not only has brought me a great community and lots of friendships, but a way to connect with fantastic brands and causes as well. I've been blessed with some success that I didn't expect at all, and have been grateful for. The thing is, over the last few months as I've struggled to put our life back together, I've become downright unreliable-which is completely unacceptable to me. I'm the kind of person who is a perfectionist and loves to do things the best I can, but currently even my best isn't that great at all. It's bothered me for the past few months, until finally the solution came to me the other day.
I'm taking a break from blogging. Not just a week or two, but a good, long break.
2012 may have been about survival, but 2013 is going to be all about re-building and getting our life back. It's time to take care of myself for a change, and get my family all living under one roof. Kevin is going back to public school in February, and needs support. I want to cook in my kitchen and enjoy it again without the pressure of having to produce a photo or blog a recipe. There's a whole new community out there for us to explore, and I want to do that just for fun, not because I need content. I have a gym just minutes from my house, which I'd like to begin visiting so I can take charge of my health again.
I want to be able to sit down and write, not sit and stare at a screen because I have nothing left.
You'll still find me writing recipes and articles for Yummy Mummy Club. I'll still be on Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr. I want to stay in touch and be part of the community, but for awhile, have the extra time to re-fill my own well and get my writing groove back. In August I'll re-evaluate whether I want to continue the blogs, start a new one, or shut them down altogether. It may even be sooner, if I feel like it.
You've all been so good to me, and I would never have made it through the last two years without all of you. Thank you so much for reading, for the messages, the emails, the cards, and all the love.
I love you, too.
So this isn't goodbye, but rather, I'll see you when I'm back. Who knows what I'll find while I'm on sabbatical?
Honestly, I really can't wait to find out.