Monday, January 31, 2011

Checking In

Hello, Wonderful Readers!

I hope that you're all doing well!

I've been meaning to thank you all for your comments on the reviews I wrote a couple weeks ago. I just wanted to take this opportunity to check in...I see some of you noticed that I've been fairly quiet for the last month or so and not really posting as regularly as I used to.

At the risk of sounding like a whiner, there really isn't another way for me to put it other than I've just been...tired. I know a few of you have mentioned that, with blogging, we post snippets of our lives but those snippets just barely scratch the surface of our day to day existence. (okay, you all said it a lot better than that, but I'm just paraphrasing - sorry!) So, with that said, I'd like to offer what may sound like a measly excuse for my absence.

Basically, I suck at time management.

I got into reading style blogs about a year ago, when I discovered Anthroholic while trying to find an Anthropologie dress on eBay. I'd always admired Anthro clothes from afar; but, to be honest, I never really knew how to style them. I fell in love with Kim's fashion sense and her peppy writing style, and I found her fitting room reviews to be awesomely helpful.

In my excitement over discovering Kim's blog, I sent Carol an instant message to share all the prettiness with her. We've always loved shopping together (in person when we were younger, and online when she got married and moved to New York and then to San Diego), so I thought she'd enjoy the bloggy world too. Together we gushed over Kim's blog, which lead to finding Roxy's blog, then Rosa's, Maria's, Tien's, etc. You get the picture.

"We can totally do this, Kathryn." Carol said.

"We..? Like...us? With a blog?" I asked.

"Yes!!! It'll be fun!" Carol exclaimed.

And so we were off on our little blogging adventure. And while I was reluctant about blogging at first - I've never considered myself to be stylish or witty enough to blog wittily about style, so I was more content to read blogs rather than write for one - it has been lots of fun. As Carol mentioned in her post the other day, I never would have met all of you if I hadn't started blogging with her. I love reading all the different blogs out there, and I love all of the stylish inspiration I get from all of you. And it's been a great experience to share with one of my best friends. So I'm glad she convinced me to do this blog with her, and I'm just as grateful that she's been so willing to go along with my nutty ideas ("Let's do a photo shoot, wearing the same dress!").

But I've always sucked at time management.

Sara mentioned in her post here about how difficult it can be to balance your time, and I've been feeling the same way for awhile - that for me, personally, there just aren't enough hours in the day for me to do all the things I want to do. And so, in my own personal balancing act, I've found that I haven't had the time to blog.

During the holiday season (which was when I largely disappeared from blogging), I spent most of my time going over to my parents' house to visit my mother after work and on the weekends. You see, my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in 2007. It's been a tough road, to say the least. Since I got off of work early every day during the month of December, I wanted to take advantage of the extra time to spend as much time with her as I could. While she doesn't always know my name anymore, she's still been able to say, "I love you" and she still smiles at me much of the time. Those of you who follow me on Twitter may have seen my little chirps about my visits with her.

Mother's Day, 2008

In the movie, "Under the Tuscan Sun," Diane Lane's character gives a touching soliloquy about how her divorce changed her life. "Do you know what the most surprising thing about divorce is? It doesn't actually kill you," she said. "Like a bullet to the heart or a hit-on car wreck. It should....you shouldn't have to wake up day after day after something like that trying to understand..." And in the movie, she impulsively proceeds to buy a house in Italy because, despite her heartbreak, she still wants things. There's a part of her that still wants to go on living, even though part of her feels like giving up.

I have a soft spot for that movie because I feel like I can relate to her character. Ever since my mother's diagnosis, I've thrown myself into various things to try and keep a positive outlook on life even though there is an undeniable part of me that feels like curling up into a ball and giving up.

So instead of giving up, I try to keep my mind occupied. I practice yoga and I go for runs. When I can't run (because of my knee), I try to go for long walks (with a knee brace). I took up party planning. I love planning parties - especially for Carol's kids. I plan outings for my employees at work. I go to hockey games and hockey-related events. And about this time last year, I started a blog with Carol.

I try to keep going, the best I can. But sometimes it's just too hard.

And as much as I like blogging, the fact is it's not that easy for me. I often worry that what I have to say is fairly uninteresting, at best. The writing part doesn't come naturally to me, and I'm pretty sure it takes me a lot longer to crank out a post than it takes for most people.

I'm not entirely sure what all this means with regard to my future involvement with this blog. I still chirp my OOTDs from time to time on Twitter, and I do hope to continue to post here on the blog from time to time, when I can...



But if it's not that regular, I hope you'll all understand.

As always, thank you all for reading, and I hope to check in with you all again sooner rather than later.

Much love to you all!

37 comments:

  1. Kathryn I'm so sorry to hear about your mothers illness, you are right to spend as much time with her as possible. Blogging can take a back seat for as long as you need but never doubt your writing or how interesting your posts are - you're always chirpy and make me laugh a lot, whether on the blog or on Twitter ranting about the hockey ;)

    Take care and enjoy spending time with your Mum x

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  2. I wondered where you had been lately. I don't think there is a soul who can't or doesn't understand the obligations of "real life" when it comes to blogging. I'm sorry to hear about your mother, but I'm happy you have had time to visit with her and find your own peace in yoga and running and even blogging!

    Time management is difficult and anyone who says it's not is lying.

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  3. Hi Kathryn, I am so sorry for your mom's health. I would have done the same thing as you have (being with your mother) if I were in your situation. We understand. As I read your post, my heart kept sinking at the thought that you might never blog again. Its not to put pressure on you but to let you know that you have some good fans/friends here for both your fashion and your style of writing. Apart from your wonderful sense fashion, I have truly enjoyed your style of writing (fun and humorous) so please dont doubt your writing skills. I will always look forward to your post, any small snippets that they maybe, whenever time and life permits. You have a lot on your plate right now so take your time.

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  4. Hi Kathryn, you have been juggling a difficult set of circumstances and doing it incredibly well. And, there are often no thanks for nor breaks from the difficult health problems with your mom.

    I love your blog but understand your perspective. I could not find enough time in the day to take photos and post something every day on the internet myself. I wouldn't even be able to find the time to do it once a week!

    Many hugs and please take care of yourself and your family first.


    Warmly,
    Heidi

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  5. Thank you for checking in-I missed your input and was wondering about you. I had no idea the writing was a struggle for you. Your ideas and thoughts have always been interesting. The photo of you and your mother is lovely. Thank you for sharing a part of your life with your readers. We'll still be here whenever you're ready.

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  6. Sorry about your mother Kathryn. What's important is that you look after your mother and spend as much time with her as you can. Don't worry about us too much - Carol can keep us entertained in the meantime. I've always enjoyed your posts though, and found them very easy to read and relate to. It takes me AGES to write up a post, so i can totally understand.
    Take care and my regards to your mother.

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  7. So sorry to hear about your mother. I can't even begin to imagine what emotions are going through you on a daily basis. Blogging is definitely something that should take a back seat to other things...like LIFE and family. Best wishes to you in this time.

    P.S. I am not a regular commentor, but read your blog almost daily. You guys do a great job.

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  8. Hi Kathryn,

    I LOVE all your posts. You ARE witty and stylish. And, FWIW, really pretty to boot.

    I'm sorry about your mother's Alzheimer's. My father has it too, and sometimes, there's just nothing to do about it but cry. All my best wishes to you.

    Beth

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  9. Kathryn, I am so sorry to hear about your mother. She is beautiful - thank you for sharing a photo of the two of you with all of us. She is certainly blessed to have a daughter who is so kind, caring, and full of love and compassion. Family and friends are the most important thing in the world, so I definitely understand exactly where you are coming from. Just know that you will be missed. I always loved your posts; your sense of humour and style is just adorable. I'll miss you but it's so important to do what is right for you! Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. xox

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  10. I'm so sorry to hear that your mother is battling alzheimers, and you never need to apologize for taking time to get done the things that come first in life...

    I'm happy that you did check in, I was hoping you were okay. Please know too, like the commenters said, you blogging/writing is amazing... and I'd love to see a post here or there whenever you feel you have time. I know its hard once you start blogging a lot, to go back to sporadic posts feels like you are letting readers down... i deal with the same issue.

    I also wanted to say, we must my kindred spirits... your stay busy tactics of running, yoga, and party planning are exactly what I've been trying to do to get out of my own personal slump :)

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  11. Kathryn, I'm deeply saddened to learn of your mother's illness. That is just really, really heartbreaking, and I can't imagine how difficult it must be for you at times when she can't remember your name :( That picture of you with your mom hit a nerve with me, and tears immediately sprung to my eyes.
    You are a good daughter, and that is something worth keeping in mind. Don't apologize for the blog thing. I'm sure all your readers are proud of and inspired by your fortitude and the fact that you really seem to have your head screwed on right. You have your priorities straight. I wish I could give you a great big hug right now. Just hang in there.

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  12. Kathryn,

    You are awesome and have been missed but of course, life and family commitments come first. Do whatever you can and take care of yourself. I run to cope with life too!

    Terri

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  13. Hi Kathryn- Lovely, lovely post. We're here whenever you get a chance to check in. Hang in there!

    Mint Chutney

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  14. Kathryn, I adore your posts, cute outfits and well written blogging. Thank you for letting us know what is going on - that must have been tough. I am very sorry to hear about your mom's illness. Alzheimers is a lousy disease - my thoughts are with you and your family during this troubling journey.

    I was thinking of your posts over the weekend while I was channel surfing and came across the movie Bewitched with Nicole Kidman. You once asked which movie costumes and outfits we loved the most, and for me it is Bewitched. If you haven't seen it and need some clothing eye candy and a 2-star movie, rent it and relax. It is mindless fun. You deserve a break.

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  15. I'm so sorry to hear about your mother's alzheimer's Kathryn. My grandmother had it as well, and it was really difficult on my mother, so I know what you're going through. I wish allthe best to your mom and you and will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers. You're clearly a wonderful daughter.
    We miss you, but take all the time you need. Family is most important.

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  16. I am sorry to hear about your mom, and I wish you the best.

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  17. Kathryn-
    I've never commented on the blog before, but I read it every day. I'm so sorry for what your family is going through, but I agree with everyone else - your kindness shines through with all of your posts. Take all the time you need, we will still be here! And don't doubt your writing, I love reading your posts. They're very witty, well-written and just plain fun to read!

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  18. I think everyone understands how life can get in the way of blogging. I've missed your contributions to this blog, because you are definitely funny and charming and oh-so-stylish. But sometimes things just have to take a backseat, especially when you are dealing with family illness. I am so sorry to hear about your mother's condition. My heart just aches for you. Thank goodness you are able to spend time with her. You are both lucky to have each other close by, and I wish you all the strength of spirit that comes with dealing with such a difficult situation. Keep on going, lovely lady.

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  19. Oh Kathryn, you are the sweetest person and your mom has the most beautiful smile (you must get yours from her!) Your real life comes first and just know that your virtual family will always be here for you! :-)

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  20. So so so sorry to hear about your mom's illness. Such a devastating disease! Thank you for sharing, and I'll look forward to your little "chirps". =)

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  21. hi kathryn, that is so tough. i am sorry to hear that. you have a strong spirit, and i truly admire that.

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  22. Kathryn,
    So sorry to hear about your mother. You are such a sweet daughter for wanting to spend as much time with her as possible. I follow you on twitter and love it when you tweet outfits! =) You always look great!

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  23. Kathryn-I think your posts are always sincere and whether they are paragraphs or sentences, they always have importance. I'm sorry to hear about your mother's diagnosis. I can't begin to imagine how difficult it is. But knowing that you are there with her, spending time with her and still allowing time for yourself is so important. You know what's best for you. You have such a big heart and great spirit.

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  24. You soak up this time with your mom and be there to tell her you love her, too and don't even for a second feel badly about what things you've scooched over to the back burner. You are so full of light and humor, and I hate that on the flip side you are dealing with something so sad and heavy - this disease is such a robber, such a cruel, cruel thief and I'm sorry. I hope this month, during your visits you've had bright spots and times where you and your mom have been able to make the connection. Love to you as you go about the business of not curling up and giving up. I wish I could squeeze your guts out with a hug!

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  25. I am another quiet reader and enjoy your style and wit! You have absolutely no obligations to anyone of us out here is cyber world so don't even apologize or explain. Enjoy your time with your Mother and hang in there. My thoughts and a prayer go out to you and your family.

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  26. I have been wondering what happened to you... thank you for opening up and sharing the nitty and the gritty, so to speak. My heart is with you during this journey of yours. My grandmother also suffered from alzheimer's, living with us during a good portion of it. It's so heartbreaking. I wish you strength and comfort to carry on. I do also wanted to tell you that I love your posts very much. Your writing style is so witty and fun! You and CArol have a great thing going here. Your style is fabulous, and once you're ready, I hope you'll want to come back for your own enjoyment, like it should be. My best to you and your mom.

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  27. Hang in there Kathryn! You know you and Carol don't need to post everyday, even though we love it when you gals do. Your blog really brings a smile to all of us everyday!

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  28. Kathryn, thank you for this post. You're such a strong woman and I know your mom knows this. I can not imagine what you're going through now but let me just say how much I admire you. Have a wonderful Chinese New Year with you and your family.

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  29. I've been missing your blog posts! But yes, it's both the best thing and the worst thing about blogging, I think- our blogs can bring a bit of escapement from what goes on in "real" life, but it's also hard to share everything that is actually happening in life.

    But it's also about priorities. You have no reason to feel guilty for not being able to come here to post! It is completely understandable. You are missed, so I hope some day you can once again come bouncing back here when you are ready and time allows. Until then - don't sweat it!

    I am so, so sorry to hear about your mom- it is such an awful disease. Wish I could give give you a REAL hug, but until then - *big hugs*

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  30. Sorry to hear about your mom, my grandmother suffered from Alzheimer's too. I admire your strength. Blogging can always sit on the back burner ... family always comes first and you're such a good and wonderful daughter for knowing what truly matters.

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  31. I'm so sorry to hear about your mom Kathryn. You take all the time you need spending time and taking care of her, you sound like such a sweet and caring daughter. Your readers will always be happy to have you back whenever and however much you feel like writing.

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  32. Kathryn, I've missed you too, but I'm glad you popped in to say hello. I'm sorry to hear about your mum, the picture of you two is so sweet, and it seems like you have such a special relationship. Good luck with everything and let us know how you're doing (through twitter or the blog) whenever you feel up to it.

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  33. Kathryn, I love you and your writing! You will be missed.

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  34. Thanks for popping back in to share this with us Kathryn- I'm glad you can spend more time with your mom- we'll be happy with any little popping of OOTD and shrewd commentary that should arise, and please please periodic side by sides with Carol, because those are better than LOLcats...

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  35. Kathryn: as others have said,sorry to hear about your Mom's illness and I have been down this very sad, long road. Cherish the time, which I know you do, of the good times and just being with your Mom. I certainly missed your portion of the blog, but we must do what we must do correct? Looking forward to seeing you pop in, hopefully from time to time.

    I think about you and some other bloggers as "friends in my head" and all of you have different sounding voices (I know I'm a nut :)). Best wishes for a good life...

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  36. Kathryn: I have followed your blog for quite sometime and I have never been compelled to respond to any posts (I enjoy you guys in silence); but after reading your entry I just had to tell you how brave you are. I lost my mother from Cancer about the same time your mother was diagnosed, and as you quoted "Under the Tuscan Sun" I could relate..........your circumstances don't 'actually kill you,' but they sure have a way of showing you exactly what kind of person you are. I don't know you, but I am sure that thru your mother's mental struggle, she knows in her heart just what a great daughter she has.

    Best wishes........

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