Life Lately-Living Through Loss

Life LatelyHello friends! It’s been a long time since I’ve written a new post, much less a personal post. I have taken quite the break from blogging for several reasons. One, I’ve become exhausted fighting the Google algorithm. The amount of work this blog has taken does not reflect the return. To put it simply, bloggers rely on traffic to make an income. For the last 6 years this blog’s traffic has moved in the wrong direction consistently no matter what I do to remedy it. That being said, stepping away was necessary for my sense of worth and well being. 

The second reason I have taken such a long break is because I have lost my father. Some of you might recall that he had a stroke 6 years ago. It left him very permanently challenged on his right side. In October of this year he fell and broke his left hip and left elbow. He ended up in surgery and a hellish month long rehab stay. After all the anesthesia, questionable rehab environment, pharmaceuticals and mental challenges, he passed away on Nov. 20th. 

Losing him is a huge loss for me. He was not my biological father but he is the only father I have ever known. My mother says that when she introduced him to me at the age of 5, it was love at first sight. He was everything a daughter could ever hope for in a father. He has always come to my rescue and I’ve needed rescuing a lot. Everything I have is because of him. Because the stroke left him unable to continue working, he devoted the last 6 years to my daughters and I. He sat on my sofa everyday after bringing the girls home from school. How can he never set on my sofa again? 

We didn’t have a funeral. My dad was very private and internal so my mother allowed me to make the decision on a memorial and what to do with his body. For the first time in our family I felt cremation made perfect sense. His ashes are with me, displayed proudly. Weird I know but I needed his physical remains with me on my land. Funny enough my oldest daughter had a sleepover and introduced her friends to him. Not sure those girls will be back. 😂

Needless to say, the holidays were rough. While I’ve never been a Christmas lover, this year was a new low. I understand why some struggle so deeply during the holidays now. With social media it can be so depressing to watch everyone expressing their excitement and over flowing Christmas spirit while I’m struggling to hang a single strand of lights. I felt so empty and was frustrated with myself that I couldn’t rise above it. I felt like a bad mom. If you struggle, I get it now. 

I felt I needed to address his passing because this blog continues to be an extension of me and his loss alters who I am. I feel that since I’ve shared so much in the past that this loss would be my “elephant in the room” if I didn’t tell you. 

I’m a one woman show. I’m an only child and fiercely independent. I’m also terribly sensitive and other people can effect me deeply. Over the last decade I have moved closer and closer to being reclusive. In that process, I have needed less and less from people. I say that to say, I don’t lean on friends or even a spouse for comfort. It’s 100% internal. However, my dad’s passing has brought up a softening in me. For the first time ever, I have a spouse that I trust. He has welcomed my leaning on him during this time and has providing much comfort. Several people in my life have reached out through flowers, cards and communication and it’s meant the world to me. Those efforts actually provided elements of relief and comfort. 

Because of this great loss, I am moving into 2022 differently than in previous years. I want to get outside of my reclusive self centered world and see where I can be of help or comfort. This year, I want to be thoughtful. Feeling such deep loss and sadness I now have more empathy and awareness of the people around me. I hope I can break out of my hermit shell, rejoin the living and be of service to the people God has placed in my path. I want to take time to look people in the eye and really see them. I want to send cards with heart felt, hand written words. I want to clear my selfish, self gratifying schedule to create time margin so I can say yes to more. 

I just wanted to share that. Despite being so isolated and internal, I’m always secretly looking for a connection so maybe you might connect to my situation and feel the need to reach out to me or maybe my new awarenesses rings a bell in your own life. 

On a happier note, as always, I’m welcoming of a new year. My daughters are healthy and thriving and while my dad is a huge loss for them as well, they are able to shake off the sadness a bit easier then I. My husband is doing well and as I’ve said, been such a help. I think he realized that comforting me is not rocket science. All I need are hugs, a listening ear and grace. He didn’t try to fix me, he just wanted to comfort. My mother is doing well. It’s been an ordeal to figure all the financial business out but she’s taking one day at a time and luckily she has me, the girls and her dogs. I know she’ll thrive very soon. 

We’re still into chickens and planning a new garden. The cats and Yorkie are all intact and definitely living large. 

As for me, I’m continuing to heal daily. If it weren’t for taking walks and reading I don’t know where I’d be. I’m still on the V.C. Andrews kick-I mean, there’s nothing like getting lost in someone else’s family drama. At least I didn’t grow up in a shack with no running water or electricity only to be sold at the age of 13 by my father then abused by my new “parents” only to find out my filthy rich step grandfather got my mother pregnant so he’s actually my father but before I figured that out I fell in love with who is now my uncle. LOL-you can see why my books of choice relieve my own reality!

I can’t map out what will become of this blog in the future. I still adore blogging. It’s my favorite thing to do. I’m not sure if I need more of a break in order to renew and heal but I will continue reposting and revamping older posts and possibly sharing more Life Lately posts. My daughters now read my blog so it’s nice to be more personal. 

My Etsy shop is where I’m focusing my energies on in 2022. It’s definitely the more sustainable income. 

Feel free to comment on this blog post. I love comments. I’d love to know about you, or even what you’d like to see from me this year. I do enjoy sending out 2-3 emails a week highlighting DIYs and letting you know about sales and new posts. If you’d like to keep in touch that way you can leave me your email HERE. 

Hugs, Jenni

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