Thank you community. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for being a part of Effortlessly with Roxy. To say that 2018 has been a trying year, a growing year, would be an understatement. So much has taken place this year and tested my personal limits.
I truly thought that 2016, when my Dad passed away, would be the worst of it. I figured that I would feel sad and grieve for a few months but that life would eventually come to a new normal. Instead, so many of the echoes of losing my Dad hit hard this year. It was 2018 that my sister and I realized that Mom could no longer handle the home we grew up in on her own. It was 2018 that we took on the huge undertaking of cleaning out a house Mom and Dad had lived in for 40 years, a house that had reached hoarding levels of messy.
I could never have done what we did for Mom without this blog. Without you here supporting it. Thank you.
It was this year that we realized that even in the best circumstances, Mom will likely need financial support for the rest of her life. And it was this year where, thanks to the healthy side income that I earn from this blog, my sister and I were able to combine our savings to buy Mom a new condo, in town and near the services she needs, completely in cash. For the first time in over 40 years Mom is mortgage free.
And I really, truly, cannot thank YOU enough for that! To be able to use blog earnings to buy Mom a home, wow, it’s such a cool thing! It’s a huge sigh of a relief and it is a blessing that allowed Mom to make the transition from a family home to an active senior’s condo slowly rather than via the rush of a home sale’s closing window.
Of course, there are trade-offs in every decision. Investing in Mom at this time meant that Alex and I put aside our own home ownership goals for the time being. It also meant scaling back the breadth of our wedding, although in the end we haven’t had to sacrifice as much of the wedding as we feared we would.
I humbly add that while I was always close with my Dad, my Mom and I do not always get along. It’s been a challenging relationship most of my life. Still, when the moment arrived and the Universe made a request of me, my sister and my fiancé to take care of Mom, it was never a question. We immediately said YES.
It’s meant many stressful nights awake at 3 AM where I use every technique I’ve learned for healthy coping. To hope that I can make it til the next paycheck if Mom or I need something in an emergency. To wonder how much it would cost to clean out the house. (It cost a lot. A lot a lot. So much more than we budgeted. It was still worth it.) To hope that my savings, now greatly depleted, will regrow quickly for our future goals as a couple. To wonder how life is going to unfold over the next 10 years or so.
In the last 2 or 3 years I have done a lot of personal growing. This journey, I realize, will continue my whole life. I am not pretending like I have it all figured out — quite the opposite. In truth, I’m putting it out there that I don’t have it all figured out and that I am a student of life learning, making mistakes, and trying new techniques to get the most enjoyment out of life possible.
In my 20s I spent a lot of time angry and I really didn’t understand why. Now, in my mid-30s, although I know I’ll always have that snap anger tendency on tap habitually, I am learning better ways to support myself, the people I love around me, and my own coping mechanisms.
So another thank you. Thank you for supporting me when I needed a break.
This is why I had to take such a long break from the blog and Instagram over the Summer. I realized that I was stretched way too thin and something was going to give. I saw a choice; I could either support myself and make sure I didn’t over-deplete, or I could keep going like a runaway train until I crash like I had in the past.
Thank you for your emails, DMs, and texts asking after me while I was away. It wasn’t my intention to be gone for so long, but I also needed that time away to refresh.
At 30 I quit my full-time job (Best. Summer. Ever.) and tried blogging full-time for awhile. That experiment didn’t work out. In fact it was a disaster! Not only did I lose my enjoyment of blogging as it felt ever more like a ‘job,’ I also found myself stressed out and worried every month about how I was doing, if I was making enough money, if someone else was stealing my ideas (not very healthy) and why I wasn’t doing as well as other influencers (super unhealthy).
I have learned through trial and error that part-time blogging is best for me. I love the passion my day job gives me and I love the way it makes me excited for the creative outlet blogging and influencing were always meant to be for me. This year my career has advanced in very exciting ways!
The better I do at my day job, the freer I feel to come here and simply be with you, community. To share what I’m excited about (or frustrated about) in the superficial, superfluous world of shopping. Where nothing matters except our wishlist, our shopping cart, and our closets.
In 2018 especially, this blog has been a healthy escape for me. It’s been a place I can come when the world isn’t making sense and let the creativity flow. I am more grateful for that than I can put into words. (Tearing up as I write this.) I’m so glad I don’t have to be here alone. It’s very fun for me to have a group of people I can share this fun side hobby with. A side hobby that I am equally passionate about as my full-time endeavors.
2018 has had its highlights too.
Now, 2018 hasn’t been all bad. Just a few days before the year started I got engaged to the most wonderful man. I’m very excited to share our wedding planning and engagement experience with you beginning in January 2019 when Wedding Wednesdays will kick off.
From wedding dress shopping to venue picking to experiencing and observing some wild emotions and stresses, I’m ready to share it all with you! In the meantime, Alex and I are enjoying a long, relatively stress-free engagement.
Alex and I may not own the apartment we’ve been dreaming of yet. We may not have the Adventure Van we want to travel around the country in yet. I may not have that dream day job I’m reaching for quite yet. I might be stressed trying to wrap up the sale of the home I grew up in and making sure that Mom is taken care of daily by her aides.
In some ways I am further along than I expected to be at this point in my life. In other ways, I feel behind. In still other ways I had never thought this far into life (does any 18 year old really think of being 36??).
The year isn’t over yet certainly but this seems like the appropriate time to say it. Thank you community. I am so happy you’re here.
New posts coming on Black Friday as well as over this super fun shopping weekend.