Why Hello There, Old Blog

It’s been a few weeks since I last posted. After three weeks off with my family, I thought I’d be ready to get back into blogging and devote myself to yet another year of this, of writing and posting, planning and scheduling. Even though I decided at the end of last year that I wanted to spend more time writing and editing this year, leaving behind this blog was never something I would consider. It just needs to evolve (again) with me.

But I’m not here today to specifically talk about yet more changes I’m making to this blog. No, it’s more of a check-in. I’m still here, and I’ll be more back to it than I am this week. After three weeks of noise and demands, I just really needed this week to re-center myself and, honestly, take a bit of a vacation. I adore my children, but teaching them to be bored so they can figure out what to do with themselves has been an uphill battle for their entire lives, and I was foolish to think I could accomplish that in three weeks.

There’s more to it, though, because isn’t there always when it comes to life? Back in the fall my husband told me they were predicting a La Nina winter for California, which means a dry, hot winter for us with a small chance of rain. Of course it was a bit troubling because this would be the third (?) in a row and my area had entered a severe drought designation, with extreme drought creeping closer. Imagine our surprise when we spent most of those three weeks off drenched! The storms still continue to pile up, one behind the other. We’re actually in for rain for the entire three day weekend, as though almost an entire three week winter break wasn’t enough. This comes after a major storm (I heard the sinkhole in Chatsworth made the national news), which followed a few days after a major storm that had officials warning of power outages, which followed after, well, more rain, though it was nice how Knott’s Berry Farm emptied after the rain began because lines got a whole lot shorter and, when you’ve got young kids waiting, those serpentine lines can be a killer. Anyways, I’ve lost track of how many storms we’ve had, how many days of gray and rain. Yes, we desperately need the rain, but it’s also had some unfortunate side effects on me.

Now, I’m a SoCal girl born and raised. I grew up in the sunshine and spent summers at the beach. With all this rain has come clouds. Of course. Of course there are clouds that come with rain. Which means very little sun, because, between those storms, it’s been cloudy, cloudy, and more cloudy. When I was in college, I spent a fall semester in Denmark, completely underestimating how dark it gets there in late fall. The snow was pretty, but, when you see your classmate from Minnesota not coping well with the lack of sunlight… The feeling starts around my eyes. A tightness and weathered feeling. There’s a squeezing around my forehead, and a sliding feeling will start traveling down to my nose, my mouth, my chin, all the way until I feel like my face is going to slide off. I’m at the tightness and weathered feeling around my eyes right now. I look fine, but the lack of sunlight is taking a toll. So I’m finding it very hard to get myself going. I need my sun.

It’ll be a slower start to get back into blogging than I thought, and I think I’ll start with just reviews and my First, Middle, and Last Impressions and then go from there. But I am planning on taking a much more fun (for me) approach this year. First, I’m doing away with The Lily Cafe Digest. It just became too cumbersome to put together and I wasn’t very good at bookmarking the posts I enjoyed reading, so I felt bad about that section and kept delaying breaks until I just couldn’t take it anymore. Since I’m taking a more relaxed approach, I don’t anticipate taking actual, scheduled breaks since my goal will be to drop in as I feel like it, which is totally against the blogging advice of blogging consistently, but, after 5 years of doing this, I don’t much care anymore. I don’t even look at my stats anymore, haven’t, really, since…early December? Since I want to have more fun, I’m planning on restructuring how I do reviews. Many of them will probably be the same format I’ve been doing, but I want to give myself the option of doing something different with them so I actually feel like I want to write them. I’m also planning on doing a little weekly or biweekly post on my writing and editing progress, mostly to make sure I’m keeping on track, so that’ll be more for me than anything else. Lastly, I want to take Fridays, most Fridays at least, to take you home with me. By that I mean I’ll take a more casual approach to just talk about what’s been going on and, really, whatever else I want.

And as for what’s next, I’m hoping to get some reviews up next week. I’m already onto my fourth book of the year, which means I’m even further behind on writing them. At the very least I’ll have my Impressions post on Wednesday. See you then!

12 thoughts on “Why Hello There, Old Blog

  1. It’s crazy how a lack of sunshine can affect a person! Hopefully you don’t get to the sliding feeling in your face.

    I’m super excited about you writing more! I look forward to those posts even though they’re more for yourself than others. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fortunately, the sun did come out and now we’re all feeling much better. Unfortunately, I know I’ll be longing for those clouds by August, haha.

      I’m so excited about getting back into writing, too! It’s been a slow easing back into it, but I love the feeling that I’m swimming in ideas. I’m hoping to have the first writing update next week.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s also great to hear that it is a cafe, as it might be a great place to start your day with a nice breakfast, or to have a light lunch, and not to mention the dessert options! I hope that The Lily Cafe offers great food, a warm atmosphere and friendly staff!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry for the confusion! This is more book blog than actual cafe. I don’t actually know where the name came from, but I’m kind of stuck with it at this point. If you’re in Florida, though, I do know there is an actual cafe called The Lily Cafe.

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  3. Kat – I’m so intrigued to see what’s in store for The Lily Cafe in 2023. I love your approach. It sounds similar to what I’m trying to do with “simplifying life” and I’m here for it. You go, Girl! I applaud you and appreciate how you’re easing back into blogging. That’s totally what I had to do when I took that several week’s break back in 2022. I took the break because I had to and I totally had to ease my way back into the routine of things ON MY OWN TERMS. So, I love hearing that you’re going to do things “Kat’s Way.” That’s the only way to do it. And, whatever you have in store for The Lily Cafe will be great, because there’s a great mind fueling it. Oh, and glad you’re back, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thanks so much, Jana! It always warms my heart to know how much you support me and everything I do here. I’m trying to take a page from you and do what works for me instead of trying to do what everyone else tries. So far, simplifying things really feels like it’s paying off and I love that it makes me feel like I have more direction than before. I love how you always stay on point with your content and everything you believe, so I’m definitely learning from you! I am loving your therapeutic writing posts. It’s a fantastic way to reconnect with ourselves and get things out of our heads. I think I’ll be taking that approach in my blog writing this year! Can’t wait to keep reading you, and thank you so much for everything!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I appreciate you so much, Kat. Thanks for always being that encourager who knows exactly what to say (whether she knows she’s doing so or not). YOU are truly a blessing in my life. Thanks for trekking along with me and my pivots in content. I have to follow the heart in what I do so the therapeutic writing is what’s calling to me and what I think others (as well as myself) can be encouraged by (at Degrees of Maternity) these days. Oh, and I so love hearing how you’re working on “simplifying” areas of your professional life. I think most of us would be much better off in our endeavors if we’d just take on the mindset shift that more isn’t always better. So, kudos to you for doing what works for you. And, I’ll be there along for the ride to see how simplifying things goes for you. In whatever you do, keep being your wonderful self. Looking forward to journeying with you this year.

        Liked by 1 person

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