Hey, anyone still there?

So, um, yeah…we’re still here. Sorta.

In our last post, I did say that we might be posting a bit less as we entered back into the school year, but I didn’t expect to go more than a month without writing here. Since we began This (sorta) Old Life nearly two years ago (on Oct. 11, 2011), we haven’t gone more than a week between posts. Most weeks we posted twice. For a while we aimed for 3 each week.

thissortaoldlife crazy girls

This shot was in our very first post (can’t believe how young our girls look).

The longer our silence has stretched, the more I’ve felt a need to explain. But where to start?

After drafting a wordy explanatory post that I found tiresome to read, I’ve decided to just cut to the chase: We’ve had a lot of big things going on that aren’t connected to home renovation: new job (for me), new school (for one of the kids), shifting priorities, health challenges.

This (sorta) Old Life:  Cane in doctor's office

Cane waiting to meet with a neurologist back in August. He’s recovering from the Bell’s palsy that came out of nowhere in July, but it is very slow going.

Cane is dealing daily with eye irritation, fatigue, ear-ringing, and impaired speech. And I’m struggling with migraine, a chronic condition that has worsened in the past year.

It was wonderful to go almost the entire summer without one. I had a good 6-week run with no migraine at all. It proved to me that I really don’t need to go on a daily preventative medication (which the last neurologist I saw said was necessary); I just need to manage the sources that trigger it for me:  sleep, exercise, stress. I was determined to do so when we returned to school this fall.

This (sorta) Old Life: tree fort

Summer afternoons like this one helped keep the migraines away.

On Thursday of that first week back, I got slammed by a 3-day migraine. My regular medication didn’t work, and because of the time lapse required between my oral meds and the kind I receive via injection, I got to spend a hellish 16 hours doing nothing but enduring pain before I got to spend another 3 in the abyss known as Urgent Care. And then there was another day of recovery and one healthy day before returning to work–which, of course, was spent mostly on chores that hadn’t been done the previous 3 days.

It felt like hitting bottom.

I suppose it was, because the bottom line for me, right now, is that everything else has to come second to my physical well-being. I cannot afford to lose days every week to illness.

This means I need to eliminate/better manage sources of stress and make time for healthy eating, 7 hours of sleep, and regular exercise–all the things I’d been able to do during the summer.

This (sorta) Old Life:  Rocky

I’ve got to build in time to chill out like Rocky does.

All of which is to say…

I’m not sure how much we’ll be writing here.

When I’m working, time for food shopping and prep, sleep, and exercise means giving up other things. Like writing. Doing one job well–the job I get paid for–is less stressful than trying to do two jobs (the one I get paid for and the one I do here) the best I can. It has become increasingly and painfully clear that I can’t sustain the same level of work here that I have in the past.

As Cane and I have talked about this blog and what it does for us and what we’d miss by not doing it, we’ve wondered if a blog is like a TV show and if our story of home/life renovation has run its course.

It’s not that we think we’ve done/learned/said everything there is to say about creating a healthy, happy, pleasing home in the midst of a full life (kids, work, family, etc.), but we want to be true to what we hope our blog is about. It’s pretty hard to write an authentic blog about home/life renovation if writing the blog is keeping us from building the kind of life we aspire to live.

This (sorta) Old Life: On the computer

I feel such regret when I see this photo from the first winter we were writing the blog. I wish I’d been focused on listening to my son, rather than on the computer screen.

It’s all about seasons, and surrendering to them

I often see the idea that our life is lived in seasons, and that we do well to remember that all seasons pass.

In this season of my life, I have only 3 more years with my children (if all goes as we hope for them), and I want to be as fully present for them as I can be. I want the same for my relationship with Cane. I do not have decades left to set myself up for the time when I physically cannot work as I once did. (Um, hello? I think I might already be at that place.) I need to attend now to things I can no longer afford to put off until later. That’s a large part of why I’ve taken a new job and let go of commitments to do other kinds of creative work on the side. I need to be healthy, or I cannot do any of these things.

This (sorta) Old Life: family

I want more moments like this one with my goofy kid and my mom, who is the best grandma ever.

Yes, it’s important for all of us to have a creative outlet, and this blog has been a big one for both of us. We both want way more of that than we get right now. But we know there will likely be more of that when this particular season of our lives passes.

Right now, we’re acknowledging that everyone in our family is entering into a new season, both literally and figuratively. We can’t stop the metaphorical change any more than we can stop the leaves outside our windows from turning and falling.

This (sorta) Old Life: Fall leaves

Still, Cane and I aren’t planning to shut this blog down. We are hoping that we’ll still continue writing here, and that we can do so in a way that still has value to those of you who read us. We know it’s going to have to be different, though, which is why we’ve revised our About page.

We wanted to explain here why that is–not just because we feel like we know so many of you and owe you some kind of explanation, but because we think the things I’ve written about here are germane to what this whole blog is about. It’s never really been about the house. The true subject has always been about the life lived in the house.

thissortaoldlife cane programming music during chores

We’ve all got to make the kinds of choices Cane and I have been making–ones about what we need to live well, how we will procure what we need, where our resources will be best spent. We think that sharing some of this part of our story might be useful for others who are facing similar questions and having to make their own hard choices.

If a blog is like a TV show, we don’t ever want to be one that jumps the shark. Blogging as we really can, and living a life true to the one we depict here, is our way of not doing that.

We  hope you’ll continue to follow along. (And please click here if you haven’t yet subscribed to get the news when new posts are published.)

Hope you’ve all had a good transition to fall. We hope to be back with more updates soon. Maybe.