Life lately

This + that | Life lately

Before we wrap up for the year, I thought I’d let you in on what’s been happening lately because I’ve been promising an update for awhile and hey, sharing is caring right? 😉

(fair warning – this post comes with a good deal of reflection and plenty of unanswered questions!)

Before we get into the tough stuff, let’s start with some of the good things shall we? And yes, for better or for worse much of this is blog related (I know, I’m totally a one-track record; I’ll touch on some life stuff too, I promise).

So. The Blog. Over the last 12 months, it’s grown from being teeny tiny ‘just a hobby’ site to something far more substantial. I wrote my first sponsored posts this year, got a couple of regular paid contributor roles and you, dear readers, have kept coming back, which has meant my pageviews and other stats have increased tenfold. I owe you all so much for giving me the opportunity to do what I love and earn at least a part of my income from it.

I wish I could stop there and just focus on how wonderful these opportunities have been, but lately my weeks have been shrouded by stress that’s been overwhelming. What lurks behind the scenes of this blog that I don’t often share are the 16 hour days, many sacrificed weekends, time I’ve missed out with family and friends, sleepless nights, meltdowns and neglected relationships.

And to add to the craziness of my already hectic schedule, my day job has undergone some dramatic changes. The company I work for got acquired and that’s meant an increased workload, longer hours and big adjustments to people and processes; all things that I can’t really afford to factor in when I’ve also got pressing demands outside of work hours.

They say that good things come to those who hustle and I think that’s true to a point, but this year I’ve learnt that certain types of hustle aren’t sustainable and really, the saying should be ‘good things come to those who hustle smart’. If I’m being completely honest with myself, the hard yards I’ve been putting into my work haven’t always been smart; they’ve often just been hard without necessarily moving me towards my goals. In fact, in some ways, they’ve moved me away from my biggest goal of all which is growing this site. With so many commitments elsewhere and little-to-no time leftover, I haven’t had the energy or hours to devote to sharing things here with you… which is partly why this post (and other posts I’ve been meaning to write) are so long overdue!

While I’d love to wrap things up neatly like I do with my DIY projects, and tell you I’ve found the perfect solution to my problems, sadly all I’ve got are questions and big unknowns for the days ahead. I just wanted to share what’s been on my mind, if for no other reason than to emphasise that although my life might look well put together from the outside, often it’s anything but. In fact, usually I feel like I have it much less together than others my age who’ve built solid careers, started families and are generally moving in an upwards trajectory. My path is more like a yo-yo, going up and down, up and down until I’m not sure whether I’m coming or going anymore!

It’s not all doom and gloom though – this blog is still my greatest passion and joy, and through it amazing opportunities have arisen that I would otherwise never have dreamt of. If I stop to think about all that’s happened so far and how much more I could accomplish in the future, it makes me smile, and that, my friends, is why I keep on keeping on. Whether that’s wise or not, I guess only time will tell!

I truly hope that you’ve experienced a less tumultuous end to the year than I have, but if you find yourself with questions and uncertainty as we head towards 2016, know that you’re not alone. And most of all, thank you for being the one constant source of joy for me throughout my otherwise hectic year – I appreciate your support so much and I’m truly grateful that you keep coming back to read my ramblings. Merry Christmas guys, I’ll see you in 2016!

xx Steph

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  • This sounds all too familiar of me last December 2014. I crossed the line of TOO MUCH on every level and although I LOVED blogging, knew without a doubt that things needed to change. This past year has still been stressful and crazy but so so so much more manageable. I say no to most things now… even paid things. I said no to so many positive blog opportunities, but I’m actually enjoying Christmas this year and last year I couldn’t wait for it to just be over. I have a feeling all of us go through that insane season and learn how to better make decisions for our time, blogs and life. You’ll get through it and be so much stronger because of it, I have no doubts!!

    • I am so glad to have you as a friend through all of this… you have no idea how much of a relief it is to hear it gets better after the ‘taking on too much’ stage. I’ve decided that 2016 is going to be very much about balance, so I guess that means I’ll be saying no to a lot of things too, but if it means I’ll get my sanity back I’m more than okay with that! Thanks so much for sharing lovely lady. xx

  • Sometimes circumstances just seem to go on auto-pilot, where life’s pressures keep adding up and you don’t realise, but then one day, it’s like – what am I doing! For me, taking a breather, even just a few days (mainly talking about my regular job here) really helps me to step outside of this mindset and re-evaluate. I hope you have a lovely holiday break and spend some quality time with your loved ones. Try not to stress (I know it’s hard!) and let your heart (make) and tell 😉 you what it really wants. “Without the rain, there would be no rainbows” xx

    • You my friend are one wise lady – taking some time out over the holiday break was exactly what I needed to clear my head and re-evaluate! Thanks so much for your sweet advice and I hope you had a lovely festive season. xx

  • Steph, I am so sorry to hear you are having such a hard time right now and ending the year on a low note. I hope that 2016 is really good to you and is full of more ups than downs. Seeing the success of others can be intimidating and strike chords within us that tell us we aren’t good enough and should be doing more. But look at how far you’ve come and the bright future ahead of you. You’re such a lovely, creative individual. Keep going and keeping being you! Best wishes, xx

    • Oh you are the sweetest, thank you Raiona! You’re so right, the comparison game can be such an easy trap to fall into but now that I’ve had a little time to get my priorities sorted, I’ll hopefully be much more balanced this year regardless of what everyone else is doing. I hope you had a wonderful festive break and I wish you all the best, most positive vibes for 2016. 🙂 xx

  • I started blogging only this May despite buying my domain & hosting oct 2014. I have had a slow start but I am vey much involved with blogging and social media. And despite pouring my heart out, I am still way behind and don’t always materialize my ideas. I hope 2016 becomes much more stable for you and myself
    Thank you for writing

    • Marwa you are such a champion – I can’t believe all that you’ve accomplished in the space of a few months! Don’t ever sell yourself short, you’ve achieved so much in the short time you’ve been blogging and I know 2016 will bring many wonderful opportunities your way. Here’s to a fantastic year ahead! xx