Writer's block. The curse. I have never had it before.
Until now. Have you noticed how quiet I have been this week?
I simply have not been able to tackle this post. It's weird. Something like a cover feature in a national magazine, followed by a refreshed blog design, is typically shouted to the rooftops. And, yes I did share my feature in This Old House magazine on social media but those were just snippets.
I didn't tell you how I really feel about it.
I would be a complete cad if I didn't say I was honored and thrilled to find myself with a national cover and 12 page spread on my design work.
I am honored and thrilled. From the bottom of my heart.
But the full truth is that seeing my old house in print, looking its very best, is playing major havoc with my heart.
I put so much of myself into that house both professionally and personally. Everything single thing you see, from the molding, to the light fixtures, to the door knobs, I chose. The furniture and wall treatments? Hah! Doesn't even scratch the surface of how much that house bares my imprint. I am not saying I did it alone. I was blessed with a fabulous architect and contractors. But I drove the bus.
My youngest children started kindergarten just days before my house burned down. I was at a cross roads (much like I am now, but more on that in a bit). When we decided to rebuild, I had a secret dream and prayer. I thought maybe, just maybe, if I did a good enough job, people would notice and I could turn my interior design hobby into employment. That dream came true. Yup dreams really truly can come to life.
That's just the professional side of things. Now let's get personal. I raised my family there through good times and bad, and now all of my children have left the nest. That is just one of the many changes I have faced this year. A second is that I don't even own that house anymore. We sold it to another young family so they can make their memories. The sale closed a mere three days before the magazine hit newsstands.
What else has changed?
Most of you know that I currently live in a rental apartment with lovely city views of New York City. It all happened at lightening speed. In a 5 week span, we took our last two children to college, Larry accepted what (as anyone who watches the news must know) has been an extremely demanding position as Deputy Police Commissioner/Legal Matters of the New York City Police Department, I looked at 10 apartments (in one day), picked one and moved us into our new home.
More change followed that you may not know. When Larry wasn't working he was consumed with caring for his dad as his father's health rapidly declined--we all were. I moved his mom into a senior living housing complex next door to our apartment on December 23, so she could be closer to her husband and us. We lost Larry's father in March just weeks after suddenly and unexpectedly losing a dear uncle on my side of the family who also filled the "grandfather" role for my sons, since I lost my dad at 25. I helped my boys cope with death for the first time and it was a double whammy.
Right about now, things are quieting down a bit, which gave me some time to evaluate my website. Boy was I annoyed with Google when they announced they would "punish" those sites who weren't "mobile friendly." I did not feel like changing anything else. I simply did not want to deal with a redesign. I liked my old blog design, thank you very much.
Luckily for me, Susan Reid, who is marvelous at my web maintenance, took the reins and guided me through a revamp. It's live now, and meets the mobile friendly criteria. Everything got a facelift.
Now visitors will see a fancy new slideshow on my home page with much larger pictures than I had before. The pictures in my blog posts got bigger too. I am delighted with my new press page (naturally This Old House is on there--click on the cover to see the actual magazine spread--it is pretty). But my favorite website change is the addition of a freelance writing page where you can see a selection of the articles I have written for others.
Seeing a selection of those freelance articles all together makes me proud. I actually had done more than I realized.
So now we get to the new cross roads part. Let's just say that Larry works ALOT, my kids are well launched in their adult lives and I am left wondering what am I going to do with my future.
I have been focusing on my writing for sometime now and welcome freelance assignments. I know I will continue to post on Decor Arts Now--my blog has been such a positive force in my life. But do I want to devote myself solely to the solitary pursuits of a writer, or is it time for me to seek employment from others? And, if it is the latter, how the heck is that going to happen?? I have been both focused on motherhood and self-employment for a very long time now.
I am hoping that soon the clouds will dissipate and my path will be clear. I pray for that.
Photo credits: clouds ; Mudroom by Ellen McDermott