Adventuring into a New Year – Wordlessly
Today, Zara turned three. That means it has been almost three years since we moved off Nantucket. It means that we have now lived off island post Nantucket for the same amount of time that we called ourselves Nantucketers. Everyday the percent of our family life that we spent living 30 miles out to sea is getting small and smaller; soon it will a blip in our history. A lot has changes in the three years since Zara’s birth – our location, our finances, our family life and, perhaps most notably, my work status.
I started this blog nearly five years ago. Nora was an infant and I was working full-time, traveling, and feeling immense new mom guilt. Not much more than a month later, Chris was offered a job on the island and the focus of my writing became sharing joys from our idyllic life. There were always money worries and little normal “life” things here and there, but for the most part it was all like a vacation.
For the first year, I babysat to help us make ends meet. Then, I discovered WordPress as a career possibility and started to realize that I had found my new calling. In the beginning, it was very part-time – I always said I wouldn’t take on clients who couldn’t understand that sometimes I was just wanted to be at the beach with my daughter. I worked on my own time and I enjoyed it, but I was still very much in stay-at-home mommy mode: focused on babies, baking bread, canning, sewing, and more, all of which I gleefully blogged about here.
When Chris lost his job days before Zara’s birth and we were forced to move off island, I felt like the world was ending. I cried as ferry took us away from Nantucket, and the year we spent in Gillette was sheer misery. I found a few friends, but mostly felt that I did not belong in rural Wyoming. Chris worked literally all the time and there wasn’t a preschool option we liked so I cared for the girls alone pretty much 24/7. Near the end, when Chris’ employers had started to show their true colors but before we realized nothing was worth the treatment he was experiencing, there were weeks of days when I was physically ill due to stress. I was such an emotional wreak that it took months after we moved to Fort Collins for me to fully disentangle myself, and there were reverberations within our marriage for more than a year. During that time I blogged less, though I still tried to stick to my stay-at-home mom finding joy theme when I could. I didn’t really work at all, only taking on two new website clients in the year.
When we moved to Fort Collins we said things were going to be different. We were again in a precarious financial situation where I needed to bring in some money to supplement Chris’ income. I built a website for a client, remembered how much I loved it, and told Chris, “I want to get serious about this.” 2014 was the year I re-found my footing as a developer. In 2015 we finally managed cut the last tie binding us to “the year we’d like to forget” and found ourselves for the first time in a place of true financial freedom, just as my business really began to take off. As we built a new life in our newest city, with new routines, and as Au Coeur Design grew I found myself coming here less and less to blog. I often blamed the business, but in reality I think some of the magic was lost. There were times I could have blogged but didn’t make an effort to find the motivation.
Life has changed so much. Since last June I have been working full-time, often more than 40 hour weeks. I’ve started hiring others to do work for me and last year my business made more than I ever made when I was working for someone else. Being a business owner is amazing. I love that it gives me the flexibility to go to a mid-day birthday celebration at school and that I pick the girls up every day at 3. I love that I choose what to do and when to do it, and that I am the driver of my success. But it can also be incredibly exhausting, like last week when I was horribly sick and it was the holidays but I still worked 58 hours.
On January 1st, the name of our business changed from Au Coeur Design to Road Warrior Creative. It’s no longer just my side project, but is equally Chris’ and my agency. Along with the name change came big changes in our purpose and philosophy, services, and more. We have long term plans for growth and returns that will benefit not just us but our entire family. It’s an exciting future, but one that would not be possible without a clear division from the business that was and the business that will be.
Over the past few months, I have been thinking a lot about this blog and how it can best serve me. In the final days of launching our rebrand, I realized that this blog, too, needs that sort of division. I also finally allowed myself to acknowledge what has been a nagging thought in the back of my mind for months now: I need to officially put this blog on hold. I don’t like having a blog that I post on incredibly infrequently – lately less than once a month – but I have to be realistic about the fact that I am not superwoman. I need to be able to focus on growing Road Warrior Creative to what we know it can be. I need to have time for the girls and time for myself and time for my nonprofit. I need to do all these things – work, family, volunteering, relaxing – without feeling guilty about the fact that I’m not blogging enough.
On New Years Day, I made a decision to take down my blog. If I let it sit here, I can’t stop myself from thinking about the fact that it’s here not being updated. I also believe that with the inevitable shift in my writing, it only makes sense to wipe the slate clean a little. My solution is to take the entire site down for at least the next six months so I can fully focus my energies elsewhere.
Between now and June, this is the only page that will be accessible and I will not be writing any new posts. In June, I will reassess.
I want to thank everyone who has read and commented on my posts over the past years, and who has shown love for our family. I’ll still be posting occasionally on Instagram and Facebook, so feel free to reach out to me there. I’ll also be blogging and posting on social media for the business as well, so if you’re interested in following our new Road Warrior Creative adventures, visit our website or find us on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook/Pinterest as @roadwarriorwp.
Until we meet again,