I've struggled with how to write this particular post or even if I should write it for quite some time now. And, I've been a little hesitant and nervous about having to eventually hit the publish button. But, I feel that you - my readers and followers - deserve to know exactly where my heart is right now and what plans I have for my future with regards to blogging.
One of my main wishes when I started JD was to create a sense of community. It has been my desire to create an environment here and on my corresponding social media outlets that would inspire people in the kitchen. I desired a place to share family recipes from my kitchen to yours and, also, a place for us to inspire one another. In my life, nothing is more important than family and building lifelong memories with those I love. You've listened to the personal stories about my life and family that are often woven throughout my posts. And, you've encouraged me with your comments and messages time and time again. I really cannot thank you enough.
Right now, however, life is busier for me than ever ... and I've been finding it more and more difficult to consistently post without sacrificing my family's needs. Our youngest three children who still live at home are fifteen, twelve and seven. Between numerous sports activities, quiz bowl practices, play rehearsals, driver's training classes, band concerts, field trips, appointments, awards banquets and much more, I've really struggled in recent months to find time to create, develop and produce quality content for the blog without sacrificing the time I am needed with my family.
It takes hours and hours of work to create just one new post. From the shopping, recipe testing, photography, editing, typing, proofing, marketing, promoting and record keeping - it can get a little overwhelming in the midst of running of busy household.
Blogging has allowed me to work from home while doing something I love. But, I've had to evaluate my priorities recently and take a look at the needs of my family.
We just purchased a new home a week ago. We've lived in a very small house for about five years now and have been looking into a bigger space for our family for quite some time. The new house is gorgeous and is located on a picturesque piece of property. But, we'll be renovating quite a bit of the house on the inside as well as having an addition built onto it. I know we're up for a lot of work and time-consuming tasks.
We're, also, leaving for a family vacation this weekend - a road trip across half of the U.S. We'll take possession of the new house just after our return. By then, we'll be about to start up another school year and knee-deep back into our family's busy schedule.
Beyond the craziness that has been and will continue to be ensuing in our lives, I've found myself a bit uninspired recently and have almost had a sense that this thing I've loved for so long - blogging - has become more of a chore than a pleasurable hobby or a passion I must pursue. I don't want cooking and blogging to feel like a burden to me. I adore cooking and serving home-cooked meals to my family ... and I've loved sharing those parts of my life with you.
But, it seems that my passion for cooking has been somewhat overtaken by the business side of my blog. We rarely eat hot meals because I have to stage food and take a zillion photos before my family can sit down at the table together when I'm making something for the blog. They tell me that they miss the "staple" meals that they enjoy and that were once part of our regular recipe rotation because I'm constantly trying out new recipes and experimenting. They've been such understandable little guinea pigs ... but I just feel that I need to spend some time cooking for them because I love to cook for them and not because I'm "working."
I am a firm believer that life is a series of seasons and that our hearts will usually lead us in the right direction. I have to be honest with myself at where I'm at during this particular season of my life. And, I wanted to be honest and upfront with you, as well, instead of simply leaving the blog "hanging" with no new posts and less-frequent interaction.
At this point in time I do plan to return to the blogging world in the future. I don't have a timeframe in mind at this point of when I would return or even when I would make that decision, but I do know that a break is in order. Perhaps I'm committing "blogging suicide" by stepping back for a while. But, I have to make this decision based on what is best for my family and in hopes that I will gain some rejuvenation and inspiration about the future of JD.
A huge part of me is sad to be stepping away because I've worked so hard to build Joyously Domestic into what it has become. But, I would be lying if I said that another part of me wasn't somewhat feeling a sense of freedom and relief that I can devote my time to my family without restriction for the time being.
The blog will not go anywhere. The content will remain. You will still be able to come here for the two years worth of posts that I've shared. I will continue to monitor the site and social media for comments and inquiries. I just plan on taking a break from creating and publishing new posts at the moment. I'll still probably pop in on social media to say "hi" and share some content from the archives every now and then, too.
But, for now I am stepping back a bit and investing my time where it is needed elsewhere. I thank you all for your loyalty and support. And, I promise to keep everyone updated as time goes on.