I have never liked when bloggers or “influencers” apologize for or explain their lack of posts. For so many, including me, blogging and social media are side gigs and unless someone is paying you for that content, you don’t owe anyone a post or an explanation. That being said, I’m here to apologize and explain because 2018 kicked my butt and I have mixed feelings about my blogging and social media this year.

2018 Kicked My Butt by The Spirited Thrifter

In retrospect, things started going awry when I moved to Houston, gave up my career and had no idea how to be a house trophy wife. I was just starting to not feel guilty about not working when I unexpectedly came to the end of my Employment Insurance and had to figure out what to do next. That was in January 2018 so I guess you could say my year got off to a tenuous start. There have been many behind-the-scenes road blocks and frustrations in my work journey and I’ve spent a fair bit of time feeling bad about not being a completely different person the kind of person who can just roll with the circumstances. YES I have gone to therapy to deal with my complex feelings about my career and YES I have availed myself of different supports but NO it’s not resolved yet, even months later.

You see, I don’t know yet if we will be staying in the US or returning to Canada. I don’t know if I should let my license go or keep it as long as possible, just in case. I went from being known and respected in my field to being unable to land an interview for a job I’m over qualified for here in good ol’ Texas. It’s hard on a girl, and so I’ve spent emotional energy this year just dealing with work circumstances and figuring out my new identity in the absence of a professional role.

Fast forward to the summer when I jumped with two-feet into my other role as a blogger, trying to monetize my hobby. I enjoyed the new direction and variety in my posts but never really felt comfortable with the business focus. Since the beginning, I have never concerned myself with stats and strategy so I was never certain if that was how I wanted to hustle, if hustling needed to happen…

Fast forward to September, to my cancer scare and surgery… I was thrust into the US health care system and facing insurance deductibles that meant hustling NEEDED to happen. Except that the whole ordeal knocked me off my feet. I had no idea it would be so hard to recover emotionally. I thought I was getting my groove back. I wasn’t. I thought I was the kind of person who would bounce back and carry on. I’m not.

Let me clarify: I am the kind of person to recover and move forward, but it is taking me much longer than I would have ever guessed. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Regardless, when it comes to my blogging, I have felt incredibly guilty about my lack of posts since September but simultaneously justified. After all, it’s my blog and I can pause if I want to.

I am dwelling in the balance, to be honest. The balance between guilty and justified; between wanting to write about everything and not wanting to write at all; between wanting social media success and not caring about followers and stats; between getting used to this new life and pining for the way things were; between being serious and being funny. Between stop and go.

Now, 2018 year is coming to a close and though I couldn’t say I’ve got it all figured out, I have come to a few conclusions:

  1. I’m going back to my blogging roots where I blogged for the fun of it! If more followers come, great. If Patreon pans out, swell. If I can partner with other businesses and bloggers in an organic way that makes sense, awesome. But I won’t be trying to make my hobby into a job.
  2. I’m happier when I’m blogging than when I’m not. To that end, I plan to resume blogging about #thrifteatdrinkrepeat in the New Year. Not every day; that simply isn’t sustainable for me with other things happening in my real life. I can’t promise how often and am hesitant to even set a goal because it just depends. I have a part-time gig with Houston Moms Blog that I adore, I have my entrepreneurial adventure which comes with its own host of fears and learning, and I have my other roles to juggle – wife, mom, friend, sister, daughter. I have pondered whether my blog has an end point and if I’ve reached it. To the former – I’m not sure; to the latter – not yet.
  3. I finally know what peace is and that is my goal this year. For me, peace is when I feel like I’m doing exactly what I should be doing at any given time. Sometimes, I find peace in my established routines. Sometimes, I find it in my hobbies. Sometimes, I find it by trying something new (I’m looking at you, Podcast) or just getting a task done and over with (I’m looking at you, Laundry). This year, 2018, has most definitely not been characterized by peace. I have felt unsettled about everything from my job, to my blogging, to my health, to my home, to my mothering, to my body, to my style. It’s tiring and I’m more than ready for peace to reign. In fact, my pursuit of peace trumps everything else for 2019.

Phew. I am glad to get all that off my chest and I want to add that I have been posting regularly on Instagram; I love it as a quick and easy venue for sharing thrift hauls, thrifted outfits, and other glimpses into my not-very-curated life. I might remind y’all that thrifting IS both hobby and therapy for me. It keeps me sane and connected and thus will remain an important part of my life, of that I am sure. As for 2018, it has not been all bad, but I am ready to say goodbye to it.

16 Comments

  1. Bless you Nicole as you take on 2019 and find peace and contentment in your role in life. Have you considered you may have found it here but just don’t recognize it yet? I think we sometimes get blinded by the “stuff” that life throws at us. Blessings in the new year!

    • Thank you!! Yes, in fact, I was thinking about that the other day while walking around Buc-ees getting Christmas presents. There was so much Texas paraphernalia and like the Grinch, I could feel my Texas heart growing! Truthfully, if we got transferred today, I would be devastated. Yet, it’s an imminent possibility – maybe not today, but we can only extend our visas up to 7 years and then we will have to go. BUT every time I start to get anxious about this, I remind myself that a lot can happen in 7 years. 7 years ago, I had no clue what was headed my way. There’s that dwelling the balance – finding contentment here despite the uncertainty. THANK YOU for always reading and commenting and your support – it means so much!! xoxox

  2. Bless you, Nicole! I pray for you every morning. I’m a retired teacher who babysits my grandkids and am a recent breast cancer survivor. We moved from NY to Florida when we retired.very hard to leave lifelong friends. I know the feeling of losing your professional identity. I know how cancer shakes you to your soul. But I’ve found a new normal and BSF, Bible Study Fellowship has been a huge blessing, helping me to make friends. I love thrifting and outfit many people including myself. You are very talented and I love your blog. Stay true to yourself. Pray for direction, I know things will work out for you!

    • Thank you Pat! Your kind words mean so much to me! I’ve talked about it in some posts but I am actually a long time BSF member. I was a Children’s Leader in Canada and it was the one constant when we moved from Canada to the US. I’m a CL here now and continue to love it, especially since my own 3 kids are in it with me. The “new normal” is a good way to put it! I also believe that God has closed work doors to guide me to this place for 2019 – back to my blogging roots and part-time consulting within my expertise. All things work out for our good, right! Thank you again. I feel very blessed. xoxo

  3. I love your definition of peace. I guess it’s just another way of saying “doing God’s will.”
    It is just so hard sometimes to figure out God’s will for us. May you find it and follow it with joy in 2019!
    I finally got on Instagram :). Love your little posts there, but I still would love to see your blog go back to pre-move fun.♥️
    Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2019!

    • Yes ma’am. For me, peace IS God’s will and presence. I sometimes wish God had a Clarica agent (!) but truly the doors opened and closed and the niggling of what feels right and what doesn’t IS guidance but it seems I’m slow to notice! Thank you for following along on Insta (what’s your user name?) and I agree – I miss the pre-move pre-monetization vibe of my blog and am looking forward to getting back to it. Thank you for your kind words – it means so much to me!! xoxo

  4. Garden Goddess Reply

    You said ” you don’t owe anyone a post or an explanation”, and you are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! Your blog is a service provided gratis to us all and you need only post when you feel like it, in my humble opinion. I appreciate when you post and enjoy you and your blog very much. I am sorry to hear that it’s been such a horrid year for you–but then any year with a cancer scare (with American insurance no less!!! YIKES!) can do that for you… On the plus side, you have a happy and healthy family, have room to provide for those in need, have a POOL, and can still rock a bathing suit to use it! Oh, and you don’t actually have cancer either. So what you’ve got it a lot better than some people, and I know you are grateful for that because you’ve told us so. Since you are going to get back to your basics–your happy place–I fully expect that 2019 will be a happy year for you, and you certainly deserve it as you are a very nice and generous person, a good friend, a loving mother and beautiful trophy wife. Not bad at all.

    Best wishes.

    • Thank you for your kind words and support and for reading! You are absolutely right that I have so many blessings and indeed, I am grateful for them. I am standing at the cusp of 2019, happy and excited, thankful for the real people who follow along on my humble journey. Wishing you all the best too! xoxo

  5. Warm wishes for a new year filled with joy, adventure, and growth. We (your readers) enjoy it best when you are enjoying yourself as well. I wish I could invite you to my neck of the woods (Columbus, OH) to thrift with me, because I think we would have an absolute ball, but I will have to content myself to sending good and thrifty vibes through the inter webs.

    • Thank you so much!! I’m grateful for every last person who reads what I write. I would LOVE to visit OH and when I do, we must thrift together! I would love to do a nationwide thrifting tour!! SO MUCH FUN! #thriftersunite Thank you again! xoxo

    • Thank you!! (always been an over sharer!!) Thank you for reading and your support always!! Much success and blessings to you in 2019!

  6. stephanie tippitt Reply

    Dear Nicole,
    I am grateful for your honest words and hopeful that you will have a better 2019. I was so excited to see you at MAM when you cam in to shop. Thank you for coming in and checking us out. I told my husband that night that I saw you and he laughed when I told him you were like a movie star to me. : )
    Please continue to share your words, heart and humor with us. It makes me smile and I appreciate your humor.
    Next time in MAM, ask for me if I don’t coming running over to you to say HI ( and be a total dork ).

    Happy New Year!
    Stephanie

    • It was a pleasure to meet you Stephanie! MAM is my fave “little thrift” in Houston and you are way too kind! Movie star!! Hee hee! I will definitely find you every time I come to MAM – will be soon since my sister from Canada is set to visit later this month! Plus, I’m fresh out of everything. HAHAHA Thanks for the work YOU do for MAM and for the store in general, for serving our community! xoxoxo

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