If you and I were to sit down to coffee today, I’d start off by apologizing. I’m sorry I’ve been so M.I.A. lately. It’s not that I don’t like you (I do, you’re super awesomesauce), it’s that I like my family even more. I’ve been so focused on lifting them up and keeping them sacred that I’ve kinda neglected my friends a little bit. I’ve also just been enjoying the heck out of this summer and loving this crazy career of mine. But, I heard you. I really did. And, I’m all yours for the next few minutes.
We’d then hug it out, and you’d tell me that you totally understand that it must be a struggle to find the balance between enjoying a private life while running a public/social-driven business. I’d start to tear up, because, hi, I’m a crier. And then I’d tell you that it feels really good that you get it. I’d tell you that I know I don’t always get it right, but I hope folks know I’m always trying my best.
Anywho. Enough of that blubbery. Let’s get something yummy to drink.
I’d order an Arnold Palmer, because it’s July and 2934982349283° outside right now. I love coffee, but I don’t want anything to do with that—even cold brew—in this kind of heat. Gimme something refreshing, yo! We’d then sit down, and you’d ask me how my summer has been. I’d probably do a smile/sigh combo, because it’s been amazing and celebratory and awesome—but also SUPER EXHAUSTING.
There was one week in June where we celebrated Father’s Day, my birthday, Craig took his citizenship oath—yup, he’s ‘merican now!—and Juniper’s birthday. And then we took the longest nap ever.
That would remind you that you brought both me and Juniper belated birthday gifts (gosh, you are just the sweetest—you absolutely didn’t have to do that), and you’d tell me to open mine.
Oh my gosh, how did you know that a Target gift card is exactly what I wanted? Like, I literally asked for them for my birthday—not because I wanted to buy something specific, but because I wanted to be able to go to Target by myself, get a coffee (or tea, depending on how blasted hot it is), and browse and buy things that I think are fun without an ounce of guilt. Best. Birthday. Gift. Ever. Thank you!
You’d then ask me about Juniper’s birthday party, and I’d tell you it was AWESOME. We hadn’t really planned on doing a “real” party (her only request was to have a “chocolate Percy cake”), but then Craig’s citizenship oath was scheduled the day before her birthday (which is also my birthday) in Indianapolis—which just happens to be where my sister lives, so we made a whole middle-of-the-week weekend out of it. We celebrated and put up decorations and swam and ate yummy food and took Juni to the largest children’s museum in the world and she got to play with her cousins and, yes, ate chocolate Percy cake. She was a very happy three-year-old.
You’d then ask me if I’d lost some weight, and I’d tell you that I had! I’ve been carrying around a few dozen extra pounds since I gave birth three years ago, and they just haven’t been making me feel great physically. My genetically not-so-great knees and hips and ankles just DO NOT like the extra weight. Too often I was telling Juni I couldn’t run or jump or play because “Mama’s knees hurt” and, gosh, I just don’t like that.
So back in May, I did something I never in a million years thought I’d do—I joined Weight Watchers. I lost 50 pounds back in the day calorie counting, and I tried and tried to make it work again to drop the baby weight, but I could never “get into it”. It used to be that Weight Watchers was so focused on prepackaged foods and artificial sweeteners and low-fat this and nasty-chemical that—and that so isn’t my thing (unless I’m baking a chocolate Percy cake—hellloooooo all the artificial food coloring ever).
But I guess Weight Watchers put out a new system a few years back that focuses more on rewarding you for eating fruits, veggies, whole grains, and just generally more nourishing foods. I figured it didn’t hurt anything to try it. And it’s totally worked for me. It’s still calorie counting—but simplified and modified, which I’m digging.
I’m still eating the way I always have, Weight Watchers has just helped me adjust the ratios a bit. Instead of eating a giant bowl of pasta salad for lunch—I’ll have a regular serving and then fill out the rest of the meal with fruits and veggies. Or instead of having beer and a dozen brownies, I’ll split a beer with Craig and have one brownie. Like a normal person. Weight Watchers is basically helping me re-learn moderation—which I completely forgot how to do at some point while I was trying to figure out this whole parenthood thing.
And, well, I’m back down to about 10 pounds lower than my pre-pregnancy weight. And my knees feel awesome. And Juniper is stoked to have a Mama who has pain-free dance parties to the Frozen soundtrack on a regular basis. Woohoo!
You’d then ask me about work, and I’d tell you that I have to pinch myself almost daily to make sure I’m not dreaming this. There is just something so obscenely satisfying about being able to make a living not only doing something you love but also doing something that you feel like really helps people.
I get emails and comments and messages all the time about how recipes or ideas or tips I posted changed peoples lives. It’s just…everything. I didn’t know how much I needed that in my career until I had it. Creating a product that empowers people? That’s pretty much my definition of a fulfilling career.
You’d then tell me that you read some article that said blogs are dead, and I’d roll my eyes and laugh, because, lordy, people say that to me all the time. And guess what: I totally agree. Blogs are dead. Or at least, the way they used to be.
The days of logging into a blog to read a chronological recount of what’s up in a person’s life were left back when Google Reader was still around and Snapchat was just a twinkle in some Standford student’s eye. Most folks just don’t do that anymore (there are some of you, and I love you, and thank you!).
The truth is, nowadays, the line between blog and website is almost non-existent. And, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’m embracing the evolution! Trust me, if I was still writing the same stuff I did in 2011, you would be SO BORED and there is no way this would be a full-time career. Folks just don’t tune into blogs in the same voyeuristic way they used to—that’s what other social media channels are for. They want high-quality, useful content with each click, and thankfully, based on my readership numbers, it seems like I’m doing something right!
ANYWHO. I’m sure that’s more than you wanted to hear. But, basically, yes, I agree. The log-into-Google-Reader-first-thing-in-the-morning-so-you-can-read-the-latest-blog-post kind of blog isn’t a sustainable business model. But creating a library of awesome, high-quality, useful content? That’s never gonna be dead, in my opinion. Hopefully. Because I really like this job.
We’d then move onto everyone’s favorite topic: summer vacation! You’d tell me about the awesome trip you have planned to the beach next week (jealous—I haven’t been to the ocean in years!). And then I’d tell you that we’re headed up to see the fam in Canada in August. August on Lake Superior is one of my favorite things on the planet. It’s so obscenely hot in Indiana is August—like, can’t go outside kind of hot—so escaping north to a Great Lake is just perfection.
And like years past, I’ll be taking most of August off from work, too. A break from all things Wholefully is good for my soul and my business. I’ve done it for a few years now, and I always come back so pumped and full of awesome ideas after the break. When you’re a business-owner, it can be scary to take time off, but it’s so vitally important to keeping me from getting burnt out. Vacations are good, kids.
Then I’d glance down at my watch and notice that I have spent way too much time talking about myself—yet again. I’m just the worst. Can we make a date to get back together when I get back from vacation? I promise to talk less about myself. Love you!