A Return to The Good Stuff
Finding Freedom as a Prodigal Blogger
There I was standing ankle-deep in cold river water in the middle of nowhere Colorado, fly fishing—correction—attempting to fly fish and it hit me.
I haven't felt this present or happy since I can't remember when.
My husband Nate and I booked this trip months in advance. We hadn't had a 'just us' trip since Hadley was born more than two years ago. We both love the outdoors and good food, and this incredible luxury resort in a former mining town was the perfect choice for this week—celebrating 7 years of marriage (our anniversary is actually in January) and my 30th birthday.
A few days after we returned from one of our favorite trips yet, we had a few trips to the ER, a death in the family and we received some scary health news from a family member and close friend.
This has been the summer of learning that life is too short.
But instead of going on a tangent about making things happen and doing all the things before you die, this summer and the deep, introspective work I have been doing the past two years has made me realize how much every day matters so much more than the one day.
Sometimes when you find success or when you find your creative passion, you can unknowingly put yourself in a cage of the things you must do to stay on that wave of success.
For example, I switched from sending out a weekly newsletter to a monthly newsletter and received some backlash from someone saying that that isn't the right thing to do with my email lists to succeed. I giggled when she told me because I know my success, the real behind the scenes, and how my business operates, and I know I can grow even if I never sent another email out again. There is so much more to me and my business than what is shown online.
The same is true for you.
But that's what is taught—push, push push. And to be honest, there is good intention and some truth in doing all the things. I just think (myself included) we forget there is so much more to business, ways to make money, enjoy more creativity and personal fulfillment off of the Internet or just in less pushy ways, even on the Internet. In the industry bubble, it's like it's not even an option.
Therefore, we create these invisible cages called to-do lists and goals. I think that's why it's so hard for us to enjoy the day-to-day, real life, and we're unfortunately so obsessed with goals, and the one days.
We can get so caught up doing the right things, we miss the things—the things that really matter to us.
In college, my dad would drive me from Texas to Oklahoma and back every semester and we would listen to our favorites The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac and Lynard Skynard. I remember on one trip after a very bad semester for me—I had been trying to do all the things and got caught up in some unhealthy habits trying to keep up with my 'amazing' life—Already Gone was playing and that one line came on,
"so often times it happens that we live our lives in chains, and we never even know we have the key.”
He pointed to the radio and said, “That's you, Katie. You've got to stop doing this to yourself.”
That was 10+ years ago.
And I still have to catch myself, stop and put on The Eagles album.
I know I'm not alone.
We have to remember we have the keys to our own (mostly) self-induced problems.
And usually, the solution is to make living well every day the goal and loosen our grip on these one-day goals.
In my first editor's letter for Cottage Hill, I wrote that I hoped the content would be a return to the good stuff.
I wanted to encourage readers to not just leave great legacies, but live them
—be present in pursuit of beautiful, meaningful dreams. That's what I need to do for myself. My return to personal blogging is my way of reminding myself to stay in this present space, documenting our life in a grateful, and hopefully for you, constructive way.
What I hope you find here is authentic, beautiful and mostly helpful. I'll be sharing my best and biggest lessons as a business owner, some personal musings and the ups and downs of starting our little ranch.
There are no big promises, or big launches planned—except for my new business podcast The Creative Well which I hope you'll follow. But that's it. Honestly. And honestly, for me right now it's not about that. It's about bringing myself back to focus, returning to my good stuff.