I took the summer off, sort of.  I still had to go to the day job, of course; bills and mortgage…you know how that goes.  I had surgery in late June, and that was pretty much the last time you heard from me.  It’s not that anything bad happened, but it was this really transformative experience on multiple levels.

At some point in life, you’re going to reach a point where you realize you can’t do it all.  I know that everyone’s journey through this life is different.  We all face difficulties, and I thank Spirit that, while I’ve had my hard times, mostly my life has been very blessed.  But also, that our journey through the adventure that is life is uniquely our own.  I reached a point where I recognized that I’d taken on too much, and something had to give, that something was my blog and social media networking.  I’m not very technical, I deal better with warm bodies, so when I found myself falling asleep in my chair at 8:30 p.m. over dinner night after night, I knew I had to let the blogging and writing go for the summer.  I had other things I had to focus on.

In retrospect, I can see that my exhaustion was part of my healing.  It didn’t help that right after my surgery, I found I couldn’t sit to write for protracted periods, it was just too painful.  So I fell out of the writing habit in a few short weeks, and then the garden exploded.  Not literally, but my part time hobby was not so part time any more.  It’s totally been worth it!  See:

The one well-kept corner of my yard.

And then there’s the girls.  Remember my little chicks?  They’re all grown up:

The flock out enjoying some time in the play area.

Isn’t she a beauty?

They only just started laying a few weeks ago, but it’s so nice to have fresh eggs once again.

Frankly, summer up here in the Northwest really has been awesome.  We’re looking to break a record, we’re approaching 51 days without measurable rain.  That is unheard of for Seattle!  It feels like being back in SoCal, with sunny days and temps in in the high 70’s.  Gorgeous.  I mean really, it doesn’t get any better than this:

Or this:

I also realized I needed to do some work on myself.  With the surgery, and going through my healing process, I realized I had to make some changes.  I’m active; at work, in the yard, but it’s not enough to maintain health, so Hub and I joined a gym.  I’m not the weight-lifting gym rat that I was in my 20’s or even 30’s, but I’m going.  It was a bit disheartening to recognize how out of shape I drifted, but I also was gratified that I can still get on the cardio, and my body still remembers the proper form for deadlifts and squats.  I’m eating healthier too, more greens, more salads, less junk food.  Even though I still so WANT to run and just get a yummy burger and fries at time.  Still do, but FAR less than I used to.

I’ve tried in the past to get healthier, exercise more, yada, yada, blah blah.  This time, it seems to be sticking, at least for the last few months.  The key, for me, was realizing I’m not perfect.  I gave myself permission to fail.  We’ve all seen the memes running around Facebook with the inspiring quotes about getting back up, and making mistakes, right?  The most important lesson I learned this summer is this:  It really doesn’t matter how many times you fall down.  What matters is that you get back up.  Bounce back up, ease back up, ask for help back up, it doesn’t matter, so long as you get back up.

So this is me, getting back on the blogging horse.  I may be rusty, but I’m back.  Nice to see you, and thanks for reading.

20 Responses

  1. Hi Serena! it’s so nice to see you back in action, and what a fantastic garden. I just got my composter going again, and I planted some Kale, out here it’s too hot in the summer to grow vegies, so I had to wait for Fall. I think coming to the realization that you CAN’T do it all is one of the most healing things any woman can do. I think we are all trained to think that we can and SHOULD do everything for everyone but ourselves. How are you going to draw water from the well, when the well is empty? You can’t. I think it’s wonderful that you took the summer off, and it’s great that you have re-joined the social scene. We’re all cheering for you dear.

  2. Welcome back! It sounds like you made the right decision. We can’t do anything, including write, if we burn out and destroy our health, so sometimes, something has to give. P.S. That chicken is adorable.

  3. Well I think this post was worth all the wait Serena! We so missed you! But look at your garden. Do I see fresh grown corn and basil? I’m in heaven just thinking about that. And look at your chickies. They are beauties. You have bragging rights girl. Those pics are gorgeous. Yes, your weather has been like SoCal. So glad you gave your body the opportunity to heal. I’m happy that you’re back with us. I’m sending you hugs from H.B. 🙂

    1. Hugs much appreciated, Karen! You have a good eye. We got 40 ears of corn, which translated into 4 gallons of niblets. The basil, eh, only so-so production, and no harvest. But I can’t resist trying to grow it, it smells so good just brushing up against it. Someday I’ll get the hang of how to grow it, I know it can be done here.

  4. Welcome back! Your garden looks great. And the photos of your scenery? That would make me not want to come inside! Beautiful. Glad the healing process is moving along Serena. 🙂

  5. Nice post, Serena! I, too, enjoyed your pictures. I have five chickens and can’t keep up with the eggs! What do you do with them all? My garden was a total bust. I think I got three zucchinis and that’s about it. Yeah, it’s rather embarrassing. Yours looks awesome.

    I’m glad you are feeling better. Yay! I need to get up some motivation to do what you are doing…exercising, eating better. I can feel myself getting to a bad place with the weight and I need to buckle down. Maybe we’ll keep each other motivated! Many blessings to you.

  6. Substitute “surgery” for “moving all my stuff 300 miles to my parents’ house,” and you’ll have my summer. Like you, I also realized that I needed some time to just disconnect from social media and do a little “soul work,” as I’ve been calling it. I’m so happy to see that you are back, healing up, and working on the garden. Looking forward to your future posts!

    1. Welcome back to you too, Lena! Sometimes, life just reaches out and says “It’s time to learn this lesson, now!” Good for you on the soul work, it’s one of the best gifts we can give ourselves.

  7. “Bounce back up, ease back up, ask for help back up, it doesn’t matter, so long as you get back up.” Thanks for providing my new motivational quote, Serena. I’m glad you took time to heal, fill the well, and cultivate your own garden. Welcome back!

  8. Welcome back Serena. LIke you I took most of the summer off. terminal exhaustion was my reality. I had to stop. and since i’m back, I read blogs mostly on the weekends because that’s when I hve the time and energy.

    your garden is beautiful. I can’t imagine keeping up to that much yard work. LOL

    stay healthy – that’s what matters

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