2022 has been the best year for me since before Mom died – because that was the worst year of my life and the years since then have been fairly awful as well. This year has been…healing. After May, anyway. Before May was a nightmare.
I took off most of this year – not just from Coffee and Crows, but I quit my job (rather abruptly, but for very good reasons) in early May and took a few months off before searching for another one. I took time for me – to read books, to watch movies, to consider my life. It was the longest period of time off I’ve had since the summer before my freshman year of college and I’m incredibly privileged and lucky that we’ve been able to save up enough money for me to bum around for a few months. Turns out I’m not great at being a stay-at-home cat mom, but I did need the break. I have no regrets.
When I first quit, I was thinking I’d do ALL THE PROJECTS, start the blog again, I’d do so much cleaning, and cooking, and all the “housewife” things I’ve never been able to do because I work.
I did not do most of that.
I’ll give this to myself – the apartment is much cleaner, the linen closets have been organized (and disorganized again), my closet looks amazing, and I’ve made Shane a lunch (almost) every day he works. Oh, and I’ve started waking up at 5am …most days. Other than that – I’ve poured hundreds of hours into a computer game, read a few books, and watched several series of British detective shows. I gave myself the grace to be a slug in a lot of ways.
But I’ve also filled pages and pages in my journal, read about grief and healing, watched YouTube videos on cooking and health, went to my first concert, enjoyed some trips to Atlanta, and other things that I didn’t know I needed. I also decided to volunteer with an organization that is unconnected to my life, but is important to me nonetheless, and join a book club or two. Those are just getting under way as I write this, but I’m so glad I was able to take the time to figure out what I need and workshop ways to get it.
That’s where Coffee & Crows comes in, as well. As I waited for my new job to start, I realized I missed writing something that isn’t in my journal, and while my new gig is going to be content-focused, I want to be able to write about what I want to write about. I like making book lists, I like writing about shows I love and/or hate, and recapping things I’ve done. While some of that is also fodder for my journal – and are included there – blogging is a different experience.
Coffee & Crows will almost certainly never be a money maker. It’s a throwback to old style blogging where people rambled about their lives without hustling for a paycheck. Maybe I’ll get some free book ARCs or a free ticket to an art show one day, but I certainly won’t ever quit my day job to be a full time blogger.
This break hasn’t been what I expected – I only laid by the pool once or twice, and there was only one beach day – but it’s been exactly what I needed. The past 3ish years have been devastating for me. I was very much a different person after professional woes, pandemic woes, a slate of family deaths (in both my family and Shane’s), fairly gnarly illnesses, and being forced to leave a place we thought was forever for a city neither of us had ever wanted to live in.
I know I’m not the only one – the entire world is on the edge of brokenness – and I’m so thankful that I was able to find my way back. This situation isn’t something everyone can do, it’s not something I ever thought I’d be able to do, and I don’t think it’ll ever be an option again. I can only be thankful that when I needed it the most, I was able to opt out of real life for a bit. In an ideal world, I’ll never need it again.