I have thought about how to write this blog post at least a dozen times. I’m still not 100% sure what I want to say, but after not posting anything new in this space for 9 months – it is time.
After being in this blogging world for 12 years, I have seen many of my favorite bloggers quietly disappear. It always made me a bit sad to be invested in someone’s life and then to never hear from them again.
I’ve always sworn to myself that I wouldn’t go quietly. If I decided to shut down my blog, I would make an announcement and say a proper goodbye.
And I have thought about shutting down this space a lot.
Am I Shutting Down My Blog?
The spoken word and video come more naturally to me. And they are a whole lot faster.
If I am honest, there is a lot about blogging that completely overwhelms me.
- improving website loading speeds
- search engine optimization
- graphic design
- disclosures and privacy laws
- pretty much all of the technical parts of maintaining a functional website
Many times, my creative desires have been snuffed out by the pressure of all the technical stuff. That is why this space has been so quiet while things are thriving over on Instagram. Plus, I’m still getting great joy out of being part of the Sorta Awesome podcast team.
It might seem like the obvious answer is to close up shop over here on SimplyRebekah.com, but it isn’t that simple. As a content creator, having a website is incredibly helpful and important.
3 Reasons Why I’m Not Ready to Shut Down SimplyRebekah.com:
- Money – Even with how quiet this space has been, I still earn revenue from ads and affiliate links.
- Helpful Archive – It is nice to direct people (from social media or the podcast) to this space for content I’ve already shared. I’m often sending people here for recipes, my curly hair routine, and explanations of services I recommend (like Stitch Fix, FabFitFun, and Home Chef).
- I Own This Space – I don’t own my social media accounts. They could be taken away from me at any moment by the platform owners. They are valuable and important to me, but they could go away. I had this happen with Pinterest. Sure, I still have my account there, but after many changes Pinterest no longer serves me like it used to.
- All My Kids Will Be In School Soon – I’ve always hoped that my job as a content creator would be substantial enough to justify me not getting a “traditional job” after my kids are all in school. I only have 1.5. years before Isaac is in school full time. When that happens, I should have more time to focus on this space.
So while I’ve been neglecting this space, it is still a profitable website and my dreams for this space haven’t died yet.
I’m not closing the blog. It just doesn’t feel right.
I have some goals for SimplyRebekah.com this year. I plan to be more present, but I also know how life can happen and derail those plans. So I’m not making any specific promises, but you can expect to hear from me more.
Why Did I Take Such a Long Break?
I have explained some of the reasons why blogging stresses me out, but that I’m not ready to give it up just yet. So why haven’t I been blogging?
All of those difficult aspects of blogging have been part of this job for years, but in 2021 I simply didn’t have the energy to overcome them anymore.
I was tired.
Honestly, I’m still tired.
This pandemic has been incredibly difficult for me. I’m not going to compare my struggles to anyone else’s because I know there are people who have had it worse than me.
There are plenty of others who have sacrificed more and lost more.
But I can still honestly say that this has been one of my hardest years of my life.
2021 felt different than 2020. 2020 was still incredibly difficult, but it also felt universally difficult. My struggles were everyone’s struggles.
In 2020 there was:
- stress of the unknown
- virtual school
- racial injustice
- election/political stress
2021 came and the trauma of the pandemic was still alive and well (unfortunately), but then the individual stress started piling on. My podcast friend, Kelly Gordon, described it as “pandemic plus.”
While we were barely hanging on under the crushing weight of the pandemic, the extras started piling on. Suddenly it was the pandemic plus parenting worries. The pandemic plus grieving the loss of a community. The pandemic plus stress on our marriage.
The weight of “pandemic plus” in 2021 was just too much.
Hoffer Family Update
Of course it wasn’t all bad. The crazy stress was often sandwiched between beautiful moments.
Grace is 12 years old and in the 6th grade. She is taking two dance classes this year, hip hop and tap. This is her first time trying tap, and she is really loving it. Check out this video of her hip hop routine from her recital this past summer.
Grace was in her first play this past Fall. She has fallen in love with theater. It is an absolute joy to watch her thrive in all of her creative endeavors.
Noah is 9 and in 4th grade. This kid is a wiz at math. He is doing great in school in general, but his sweet spot is math. I can tell he is really proud of how well he is doing in math. I’m proud of him too.
Noah started playing the trombone. It is adorable seeing him play this huge horn. I know he will grow into it, but for now it looks massive!
Isaac is 4 and started preschool this year. (He will turn 5 at the end of the month.) Isaac is doing great at preschool (2 mornings a week), but he is a little shy. He is a total people person, but it takes him awhile to warm up.
Isaac is feeling a bit concerned about what it will be like to be in kindergarten every day next year. We joke that he is the president of the “I Love Mommy Fan Club.” Isaac isn’t excited to be separated from me. I’m trying to soak in all of his affections while they last.
Nate is still getting a lot of fulfillment from his work as the CEO of a nonprofit that helps those who are experiencing homelessness. His organization has grown a lot over the past several years, and he is currently working on renovating a new men’s shelter and an office expansion.
As for me…
I am incredibly thankful for my job as a mom. I am blown away by my kids. They are truly amazing. Perfect? Not at all, but really, really good kids. I feel very lucky.
This blog has always been about things that were bringing me joy – specifically my family, living a “green” lifestyle, and frugal living.
My interests have shifted some over the years, and lately I’ve been finding joy in some new and fun places. I’m currently obsessed with my houseplants, Harry Styles, romance novels (I read 80 of them in 2021!), and painting my nails.
Joy is important, and I hope to bring a bit more joy into this space this year. I’ve missed being here.
I would love to hear what kinds of things you would me to post about in 2022.