Pondering… 2 feet in…

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    The last month has been a month of “normal”…
    ย * Re-establishing routines after a winter of flying by the seat of our pants. * Recouping energy. * A few minor sniffles here and there but finally the ability to stay away from the doctors office and watching the kids start to thrive again. * Time to ease back into my creative space.

    But most of all time to question.
    Re- prioritise.
    Ponder & sketch out the path forward.

    For the first time in a while I’ve been in a position to commit to things again…
    I stretched muscles that hadn’t been stretched in a while and I started to learn what feels comfortable to stretch and what hurts, causing injury.
    What I discovered is that committing to things makes them into obligations.
    As soon as they are obligations that sucks the fun out of it for me and I map my life out intoย one big.fat
    to do list.

    Don’t get me wrong, not all obligations are bad.
    In fact I believe it’s often good to do some things that I don’t want to do.
    It teaches me persistence, patience & self control. All vital fruits of the spirit.
    But there are also seasons to push yourself, strive forward, grow and learn.
    And I’m not in that season right now.
    So I need to find a balance.

    This month I almost committed to 2 November markets, 3 weeks apart.
    Those markets would have added a lot of extra logistics and a LOT of extra stress.
    But I knew I could do it (after all I am super Mum ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and then I’d be able to clear stock I already had.
    It seemed to make great sense.
    I’d committed in my mind but found myself putting off making that final commitment, dragging my feet and was pressuring myself about it.
    So I stopped, asked myself why I was doing them and realised that I was doing them out of a feeling of obligation, not true desire.
    It made good financial sense, but not good sense from a personal level.

    What I learned was bigger than just those markets –
    I no longer want to pursue my business in the *right now*.
    I half knew that already, but yet I was still pressuring myself about it in the back of my mind.
    It felt too much like giving up to say it out loud.
    But I need to say it…
    The future may be there for my business yet, but in the right now it’s too much to take on with everything else going on.

    Oh the relief!!
    I felt so good once I accepted that and took that pressure off myself.

    Before everything hit the fan with Abbie this winter I had loads of ideas and enthusiasm for new pattern releases, business ideas etc etc. I’d also promised you I’d run some posts on photography tips etc etc.
    So since everything has settled with the kids and I have time to do those again I’ve been feeling obligated to get it all done and continue where I left off.

    Then instead of my crafting being fun and a source of energy I feel like it’s been full of pressure to do those things and therefore been draining energy.
    Another obligation.

    So I’ve had to realise that I’m not the same as I was 4 months ago when I had those goals.
    Those aren’t my goals any more and my priorities are different now.
    My family needs me more.
    No one has been putting the pressure there to do those things except for me.
    And I don’t actually *need* to do all that stuff.
    Therefore I can release myself from those obligations and not beat myself up about it.
    I’m ready to make some of the hard decisions – like closing down my Facebook account (I hate Facebook) ย if I want to, not keeping it “just because I need it for my business”…

    I need to accept that I’m a Mum of two small children and my husband works away. Both of these factors mean that my “job” is to be there to support my family for this season, as well as take time out for me to recharge and I need to prioritise these things over making any income.

    So that’s where I’m at.
    I’m officially taking the pressure off myself to run a business.
    For now.

    ***

    Another area I’ve been feeling the pressure is with my blog.
    I’m not even completely sure why.
    Not following through with stuff I promised before Abbie got sick and the pressure to have new stuff to show when I wasn’t feeling very creative I think.
    I guess I also feared that this might become too personal for some readers without that stuff, because it did after all start as as a crafty blog.

    Butย I guess blogging, like anything, is a journey and therefore will go through phases of growth and change over time.
    The changes aren’t necessarily good, or bad. Just inevitable.
    The changes won’t suit everybody
    though the most important thing is that they suit me.

    I’ve learnt over time that I don’t blog for my readers.
    The greatest reward of my blog for me by far is having that diary of my journey.
    A space to air my life.
    And I don’t want that to change.
    So given where I’m at I have a rough path mapped out for what I want the future of my blog to be like now.

    But even though I have my plan, I’m still curious…

    What is it about my blog that keeps you reading it?
    Do you like the fact I keep it personal & write about ย my family etc as well as my craft?
    Do you skip over the personal and just read the crafty?
    Do you just like it for the tutorials?
    What is it that you do or don’t particularly like about it?

    If you’ve never commented on my blog before then maybe you could make an exception this time? I’d love to know who you are, why you read and what keeps you coming back?
    I don’t mind you saying that you don’t like something, but please I just ask that you please don’t be mean about it.

    And that is me.

    Here’s what it comes down to:
    I am moving on from having 1 foot in and 1 foot out.
    It’s 2 feet in and doing this all through love not obligation from here on out…

    34 COMMENTS

    1. Oh I hear you. Some times we do need to take a break to re assess, it is so important to look after you. For with out you so many things start to fall apart. It is great that you have realized this before your heart wasn’t in anything at all. I’m sure that by releasing some pressure it will be more than worth it in the long run. Enjoy your children, enjoy being a mum for they aren’t little forever and there is always plenty of time in the future to chase dreams.

    2. I totally read all your personal stuff – I don’t know why, but I find it interesting! But that’s not generally true, otherwise I would read more blogs that are focused just on writing about life and such. I think having the occasional sewing stuff in there helps, and I also like your writing style. It’s really easy to read. Not huge long essays, but broken down into quick blocks of thoughts. Actually, it’s more like reading your thoughts than reading some carefully crafted paper, which is probably why I like reading it!

    3. Good on you for realizing that you can change your mind & your goals!

      I enjoy reading about your family and your craftiness too – I think they are entertwined. It doesn’t bother me at all if you don’t necessarily post on a “regular” schedule – I don’t read the blogs on my list on a regular schedule either! I feel like we’re friends, even if we haven’t met in person…yet – who knows what the future will bring?
      Enjoy your life, whatever path it takes. ๐Ÿ˜€

    4. Kat, I consider you a friend, especially not that I have met you in person. I will be reading whatever you feel like sharing whenever it suits. No expectations here, do enjoy your family and your creativity first. It sounds like you have a good plan to me.

    5. I love reading abou your crafting and your family. I have two small boys and it seems very “real” to me. I read some blogs that I feel are very sugarcoated, and I like how you tell it how it is. I wish I had the guts to share my personal life more on my blog, then I would actually publish more often. You need to do what is best for you.

    6. Kat, I love to read your blog because you have all this crafty goodness and drive and excitement and it is all wrapped up in your family. If you tried to take the family side out you wouldn’t be being true to who you are and you’re blog wouldn’t be half as interesting. <3

      I think the thing that stood out to me in your post today is this “So I stopped, asked myself why I was doing them and realised that I was doing them out of a feeling of obligation, not true desire” If you are writing because you feel we, the readers, expect it of you, then this isn’t fun and it isn’t helpful and it will not bring you joy. I don’t think you should limit yourself to what people say they want to hear. You should write as you need to and if people don’t like it, they won’t read, or worst case they’ll “unfollow”. But you’ll gain more readers who appreciate the honesty of you being true to who you are and sayong exactly what you need to say. i don’t think you should ever apologise to us for saying what you are thinking or living. And if it is too much at the moment we will all miss you while you are gone – busy being a mummy and a wife and a woman – and welcome you back with open arms when you are ready to come back. And I promise we will never reproach you for your abscence.
      <3 E xx

    7. Hi.
      I started reading your blog for the crafting content and l would be sorry to see that go.
      I don’t usually read blogs about family and l don’t know if its your style of writing but l really enjoy yours.
      I even follow your other natural blog.
      You have to do what feels right for you.
      Blog about craft, family or stay away for a while. I will still keep you on google reader and look forward to reading whenever a post appears.
      You need to take care of yourself and your family before worrying about a blog, good luck.x

    8. I always feel bad reading about people who apologize for their blogs – for not posting, for posting real feelings… for not doing any sewing… and so on. I feel privileged to be allowed to share your ups and downs and what crafting you manage to get done. Write because you want to and never feel like you need to write to keep other people happy.

    9. Simple, I met you through your blog writing and you became a friend. Now I am interested in all aspects – good, bad and down right weird. But if you don’t feel like blogging them that’s okay, I’ll just make you email me.

    10. Hi, I’ve read your blog for about a year I think. I can’t remember how I came to start reading you – probably by following links from other quilty blogs.

      I checked back a few times, liked your creations but liked your writing style even more and so added you to Google reader.

      Although I started reading for the crafty stuff I kept reading because as the mother of two small children I could relate to some of what you were going through (although thankfully we have not had to deal with anything like what you have had to).

      I’ll keep reading regardless of what you post but don’t feel obligated to post – blogging should be fun and not a chore!

    11. Kat, sometimes we simply ‘deflate’… and thats just how it is. Creativity is not an automated process. It can’t be forced, nor should it I think. It sound like your decisin not to persue your business at this point is right. I will still keep reading your blog regardless ๐Ÿ™‚

      So, why do I read your blog? I first found it back when I followed your instruction for the scrappy purse. And I kept up because you make lovely things. And your fabric choices are usually amazing. And well, behind it all you strike me as a wonderful and funny person.

      I guess I comment a lot but blame that my my “chatter box nature”

    12. I like my blog for the same reasons you like yours I think. I love the whole “journal” aspect of it and the record of my life that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I include stuff about my family because that’s part of what I’m doing and I think I expect to read the same things in others’ blogs too. I love to read about other people’s thoughts and motivations. I think people may come initially for the craft, but once they get to know you they are interested in your life too because they have formed a relationship with you.

    13. Be true to yourself, I have been reading you for about 6 months, since I found blog land, and feel that you are almost extended family. I have sat up with you through you hospital visits and worried about your safety through the storms. All this is because your writing is like a conversation, it is you and your feelings and doings. I hope that you carry on but if you do not then I will know that it is for your family and the greater good.

    14. I love reading the good, the bad, the ugly because I feel like we have a lot in common. It doesn’t hurt that you have such a great writing style. I do skip over personal stuff on other blogs because I only read quilting blogs and many times im just not that interested in that person’s life, but I feel like we are friends so I want to know what’s going on. That said, if you need a break, by all means put yourself and your family first.

    15. I cannot remember how I came across your blog. I am sure I saw it somewhere for sewing something or other. But what I look forward to most is your life posts. About your girls and you life across the sea. Its very intriguing to me! Thanks for being real on here.

    16. I read your blog because you inspire me, both as a mother and a quilter. For me both of these roles are interconnected. I struggle with finding time to sew because of wanting to take care of my son but then sewing is also my therapy so I struggle with guilt over taking the time for myself. I love your blog because you share both of those parts of yourself and how you strive to maintain a balance. I think this post just proves that. It is okay to take a step back, re-evalute, and do what feels right for you! I will continue reading no matter what because you are an excellent writer, a relatable person, and a creative soul. Do what feels right for you and everything else will fall into place.

    17. Funny thing this was brought up on Twitter on Tuesday night about getting caught up in the whirlwind of becoming a big blogger and then having no more content for readers to read.

      The answer is this; every once in a while you do need to regroup, recharge, and take a hiatus. If writing about your family right now is all the content you have then there is not much that you can do about it. Also there is that whirlwind again where for some reason, and I have had it bitten me too that we all get caught up in when we start blogging. it’s like a little monster that sucks ya in and even if you are the strongest person in real life, coming online I feel can play with your mind and pressure someone into thinking that they have to do something that is not necessary. You do not need to apologize cause you have not blogged or nor having enough content to write about. Yes, there will be the crowd that will leave because of that reason but there there will be the crowd that will stick around because they genuinely like you for you!

      Oh, I agree I really do not like Facebook at all or even for a fan page either. I have been seriously thinking about shutting mine down but keeping the personal page to keep up with all the crafty/quilting news that goes on beyond blogs.

    18. I read your blog because you write it. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s about your wee girls or your hubby or sewing or the weather – I’ll read it all … and I’ll comment if I have something to say.

      I think we put too much pressure on ourselves to do as much as we can but that usually doesn’t make us happy. Do what *you* want to do because *you* want to do it – not because you feel you have to. If people stop reading, that’s their loss. :oP

    19. I read several quilting/sewing blogs (and almost never comment)– but yours is the first one I check when I log on and is one I never skip. I’ve missed it the past few months.
      I started reading because of your zipper pouch tutorial. I really liked your design taste & enjoyed seeing your latest projects — but over time I feel like I came to know you and your family. And that’s what I check in on mostly these days. Your honesty about your family life, humor, and writing skills are unique on the crafty-web. I would not have started reading without the sewing, but it wouldn’t be my favorite blog without the personal commentary.

      P.S. We just moved back to America; my sewing room is a shambles; I haven’t sewn in 2 months and am beyond cranky about it. It’s actually been a little bit of a relief to read a blog that’s not all about how many stunning works in progress have been completed!

    20. Hi…

      Most of the time I only read blogs because of the quilts on them. However, due to your interesting (and very sad) adventures these past few months I’ve enjoyed reading about your family. You did a nice job being real about what was going on.

      But all that being said, write what you want to write and as much as you want to. It’s easy for people not to read it.

    21. Kat… good for you for saying “no” and following your heart… sometimes it is so hard to do!

      My favorite “crafty” blogs are the ones that are real… real family, real “chaos”, mixed in with projects and ‘brags’ and ideas and inspirations… those are more like my real life and make me feel grounded and empowered – the blogs that are ALL craft and no “behind the scenes” are intimidating -like they are SuperWoman and can do it all. Dizzying.

      Thank you for keeping it real – and for letting us share your journey. You have a fun and engaging writing style – and I love your photos, your projects, and your girls smiling faces!!!

    22. Where so I start?
      I “met” you when your started your great scrappy swap & have really enjoyed keeping up with you & your family.
      I don’t always see all your posts but follow more closely on flickr.
      Of course I love the darling & beautiful things you create, but I’ve also enjoyed following along with you
      & your journey with your baby this past year.
      (I can’t imagine everything you’ve gone through & am happy you all are on the other side now!!)
      I also love how open you are about your life, & you have such a great way of writing!!
      That is something I find very hard to do.(I had fun with my blog as well but my posting is pretty sporadic,
      & I’ve come to realize that’s that’s ok.:))

      I’m here for ya if you need anything, & make sure you keep your family first!

      xxxx

    23. I cant actually remember the when and why I started reading, I know I read for a long time before commenting. I just like you! Simples. And I met you too, and I got all dumbass shy so barely spoke to you, and you still chat to me after that, so you rock ๐Ÿ™‚ Write about whatever, I’ll stick around. I understand not pushing the business, its a massive amount of time for, well, not as much money as your time deserves really. But will you still help us fabric addicts out with the odd DS bundle?!!!

    24. Good for you Kat! I really enjoy reading your blog, no matter the subject. It is one that I never skip. You are funny and honest and I really enjoy the way you write. I feel really priviledged to be able to read about your creativity and your family.

    25. Well said!
      I will read whatever you want to post – you may be on the other side of the world but I do consider you a friend, and I wouldn’t dream of telling someone I like what they can talk to me about face to face and this is no different!
      xxx

    26. Lets see, I can’t remember all your questions but I guess it boils down to this ……… When you don’t post my first thought is “I hope they are ok, hope the girls are not sick”. Then my thoughts go to “are they in the middle of a move from Perth?” So yes, please keep the personal stuff in. I also like to see your projects, and your quilting ideas etc. having said all that, I don’t want this blog to become a “chore” for you.
      Keep blogging just the way you are, when you can, we’re all out here praying for you.

      From an Aussie/American living in Texas, Colleen.

    27. I enjoy reading your blog because it is a nice combination of quilting/sewing info as well as a glimpse into someone else’s life. I think we all know life at times can be a struggle. Sometimes I think it is good to be reminded that we aren’t the only ones struggling.
      I have celebrated your highs as well as participating in your lows. I think if people just want a straight blog about quilting/ sewing they might find it difficult but if you are happy to share your family and your self with us , then I will continue to enjoy reading it.
      Thanks
      Di

    28. Hi Kat

      I started reading your blog after linking from a Nosy Parker response, and continued because I like your style – both of writing, and your photography. I enjoy the craftiness, but really like reading about your family and your journey through the trials of life. I hope you continue to blog.

    29. Hi Kat! I’ve never commented before, but since you asked so nicely…I love your writing style! I also love hearing about your family. Your quilting is what drew me in, but it’s the personal bits that kept me coming back, wanting to know that your girls are okay, hearing that your husband passed his exams, and knowing that you’re handling it all. That’s what has kept me here. So keep posting whatever makes the most sense for you, and we will still be here, reading whatever it is that you’re sharing!

    30. I don’t remember when or why I started reading your blog. Just do. You can share whatever you want because it’s your blog. You can blog as often or as little as you like. I’m just nosy and easily pleased? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    31. I read for many reasons. I feel I know you a little after “going through” your daughters illness with you. I love your quilting and love hearing anything from another country (I live in Seattle). My kids are teenagers and somehow Reading your travails has helped me to re-live their childhood. Those were really the best years. You help me with perspective. Hang in there!

    32. I continue to read your blog because of the ‘personal’ as much as anything.and the fact that you keep it personal, and tend to answer comments ( do not feel obliged to, because I said that, it was a comment not a request!) and so we feel we know you and like you!

      Life changes as we go along, and we have to adapt to it! So you are adapting. It is one of the things you have to be good at as a Mum, and your family MUST be higher proirity than anything else. I suspect we all understand that fundamentally! So, a few things didn’t happen. So what! You finally have an Abbie who is not at emergency every five minutes, feel free to enjoy that, and enjoy the time with both girls and hubbie when he is able to be with you.
      You are doing a fantastic job, with family and crafting, and long distance love is coming your way!

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