Hey friends, Happy New Year to you!
I’m writing today with a fresh perspective on health, and how I often take my good health for granted. A couple weeks ago I was hit with another round of Mastitis, and my symptoms were especially terrible compared to my first round. How is that even possible??? Zack stayed home for two days to take care of the kids. I had such terrible aches/chills/nausea that I could hardly walk or keep my eyes open. I saw my doctor right away, started a round of antibiotics, and felt so much better after a bit — although it took a few days for my body to fully heal. Feeling that miserable reminded me of how wonderful I typically feel, and not being able to take care of my family was so discouraging. There is much to be joyful about, even when we’re in the shadow, and I held on to that tightly while I was feeling sick.
abstract canvas by Hayley Morgan
Don’t laugh, but I’m STILL reading through the feedback left from my reader survey since there were hundreds of responses (I was hoping for 100, but received over 650). The feedback left is very similar: many of you want more blog posts, many of you want more in-depth & personal blog posts, and many of you have been reading for an average of five years. (WOW!)
Can I share honestly with you? I felt a little tinge of defeat knowing so many of you want to be reading more of my writing, because I really want to be writing more often. It’s been a strong desire for so long, and it’s something I’m constantly thinking about and wanting to pursue. But, it also comes with a personal struggle of knowing when to write, because I need to be present with my children when I’m home with them. Their close-together birthdays makes it hard to produce quality writing ;) And like I said, this is a struggle for me because I enjoy writing — it helps me process life and I value being able to document our moments. Some of you may be thinking, “Oh Maggie, you’ll be able to write once the kids are older,” and I understand where you’re coming from. But I think it’s important to be taking care of myself (through writing) even while the kids are young.
Furthermore, I feel protective of our children, including what I share about them on my blog, and I can’t be photographing them constantly, day after day, for blog content. During this season of life, writing about my journey as a mother is the most common content I have to write about. And to produce other content? ;) Well, I don’t always have the energy or creativity for that. But I’m trying, because I know not all are interested in the minute details. We are in a busy season where if the kids are awake, it’s a “hands on” kind of day. They need my help and guidance and physical contact, and often both hands are needed to care for my little tribe. I’m sort of processing all of this as I type, so thank you for your grace and patience.
All that to say, I hear you, and your interest in wanting to read more of my writing is also my interest :)
Recently, I’ve made one small change that’s helped in a big (BIG!) way…
About a week ago, I deleted three social media apps from my phone.
If you’ve been reading for a bit, you’ll remember I did this exact thing about three years ago. AND GOLLY, THE BENEFITS… they positively overflow and I’m beyond thrilled with the results :) One example is I don’t feel so mentally tired at the end of the day. Instead of processing information about things that really add no value to my life, I’m processing less things that add unlimited value to my life. Interestingly, I think that’s why I’ve struggled to blog: I don’t want to add any more “noise” to your life.
I shared this update on Instagram last week,
“Turns out: if you reduce your distractions (aka, unnecessary apps), it’s way easier to have fun and be happy with your kids. When my priorities are out of alignment, so is my parenting.”
This one change helped me finish out 2016 feeling very satisfied with how I spend my time. I find a lot of happiness being home with our tribe of littles, but I also know the value of being able to pursue my creative passions. There isn’t an abundance of free time, but if I’m applying wisdom with how I spend my time, then I’ve found there’s plenty of time.
As the year wraps up I can’t help but think how we’ve been in Michigan nearly a full year. Golly, that went by fast. In December 2015, we flew from California to Michigan with what was supposed to be our Christmas airfare. When we bought the tickets, we hadn’t talked about moving back to Michigan. But as the months went on, we knew we wanted to get out of debt, have some more space for our growing family, and be able to take care of Marigold (her kidneys show some concern). So we called our parents early December of last year and threw out the idea, basically asking if we could live with them for a month while we figured out our new housing and Zack’s new job. Our Christmas airfare turned into our “move to Michigan” airfare, ha!
At our many family Christmas parties, we announced our family was moving! Our poor parents, we made them promise to keep our exciting secret for about three weeks! The expressions on their family’s faces were a true highlight :) Throughout January 2016, the kids and I stayed with either my or Zack’s parents. Zack had flown back to Los Angeles after Christmas to finish his work, and towards the end of February he flew back to Detroit and was home for good. We were so happy to see him. He continued to work for his LA employer while in Detroit, and then in March he started a new job locally as a post-production Producer (managing artists and clients through the commercial film production process). I really can’t believe it’s been nearly a full year.
Some things I’m looking forward to in 2017:
- continuing to document the simple moments
- new recipes
- an early bedtime (ha, ha)
- making even more progress with our debt payoff
- writing a book
- a few Gussy Sews pop-up shops
- decorating our home (my lifelong passion)
- starting a new project: 52 letters
We have set big goals, we will continue to grow in big (and small) ways, and we are looking forward to a prosperous year. Cheers!
What awesome goals for your new year! You are going to do great, I just know it will be a special year for your family! I deactivated my facebook a few weeks ago, and it’s amazing how much better I feel without it! I don’t miss it at all, and I know I’m not wasting a ridiculous amount of time mindlessly scrolling! I hope to implement similar changes throughout the year! Happy New Year!
This thrills me to read, and I’m so glad we’re doing similar things and are of the same mindset. Happy New Year, Laura! xx
Maggie, the protectiveness you’re feeling towards your kids is totally normal for this stage of motherhood. I also felt it when my kids were very small. Here’s a tip/suggestion: your readers love reading whatever you choose to write about, whether it’s your kids, debt management, or decorating. And even short posts are great. I especially love seeing how you decorate your home, while doing so without breaking the bank. That’s definitely a creative talent. :-) Happy new year, Maggie. Thanks for all your thoughts. They always inspire me. xo
Thanks for all the wisdom shared! And the compliments :)
Happy New Year Maggie and family!!
I don’t know if you read Katie the Scrapbook Lady’s blog, but she does a monthly round-up. I love it so much, I do one also. I start a new document at the beginning of the month and write things every few days – my memory is shot! Anyway it’s a great way to document our lives and that of our grandchildren who spend time with us. It might be something you would like since you have little ones. Love your blog. Happy New Year
This is a wonderful idea! I’ll have to consider this! I’m always looking for new blogs to read, so many of my favorites have stopped. Any others you’d like to share? ;)
Stone Soup for Five, Ali Edwards – especially her December Daily are two I like.
Hey Paula — thanks for the suggestions!!! :)
Dear Maggie, Firstly, Happy New Year to you and your lovely family. I love your blog and it seems like so many here do. Even if you only write short posts, I think we all love to hear from you and be inspired. I feel like I am struggling with the same even though I only have two kids (8 and 3). One of your sentences resonates with me so much…about not wanting to add so much more noise. I have been wanting to blog about conscious parenting and my experience with it but I feel there are so many blogs out there…who needs another one? But then when I read your post just now I thought to myself that I tell you how unique you are and then I thought but so am I. And whoever is meant to find and read what I have to share will find me. And your blog is unique and I love to read anything you share and I am convinced so do many others. It is so creative as it is. Thank you from the bottom of my heart as this post inspired me especially to follow my desire to write and share, Wiebke
Wiebke, your comment is washing over me like a wave of gratitude. Your words are especially kind, thanks for sharing them with me :) I have really loved hearing from you over the years! And you’re totally right, there is always room for each of us to share our talents and dreams. What would the world be like if none of us did this? It surely would look and feel different. Please write your blog, and please send me the link. I’m really excited for you. xx
[…] year. And then I taped it on the wall near my desk so I can remind myself of them. And each day, I continue to not have a few social apps on my phone, ones that were taking me away from my priorities by encouraging me to misuse my free time. And you […]
[…] the beginning of January, I wrote out my priorities. I shared them here, but I also physically wrote them out and taped them to the wall above my writing desk. Zack shares […]