Sunday Morning 11/20/2022: Figuring Things Out

This past week has been one of going back and forth whether it’s time for me to stop writing here or not. I struggled for days with writing my Sunday post, and finally realized maybe it was sign that after 13 years of blogging, it’s time to let it go. I’ve taken breaks before, but this time things feel different.

However, after some thought, and rather than acting hastily, I’m going to stop posting until the end of the year. I need to figure out whether it’s time to quit blogging for good, or whether I’m just restless and only need to step away for a while. My muse has been missing these days, but I know from past experience she often just needs some time away to come back full of ideas and inspiration.

Life is good right now, and we have much to be thankful for. I wasn’t sure what to expect or how things would go when Brett and I came to Nashville, but in less than four months we have settled in and find ourselves happy and satisfied with our life here. We’re busy with our granddaughter, and see her and our daughter-in-law enough without it being overwhelming. We are in love with our little puppy and so happy he is a part of our lives. We are in good health, we have a simple but comfortable home, and we’re looking forward to our entire family being together this year for Christmas. We have goals for next year, and we know where we will be going when we leave Nashville and know it’s the right decision – we can feel it. We have time to read, to walk, and learn more about the area where we live. I may be adding a couple of days of work outside the home each week this coming year. We’re in a very good place emotionally, financially, physically, and spiritually and yet writing has become difficult.

So, it’s time to step back for awhile to think and reflect about the direction I want to go with The Occasional Nomads. I will continue to maintain and update the Occasional Nomads Instagram page with what we’re doing but otherwise there will be no regular posting on the blog other than holiday greetings as I try to sort things out.

I don’t say it enough, but I have the best readers. Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for being so faithful. Whether you’ve been following for a long time or just arrived recently, whether you comment frequently or remain silent, I am always grateful for your presence and still am awed that people take the time to read what I write. I treasure the connections I have made, of the friendships that have formed, both online and in real life. If I had to pick one word to describe my readers it would be kind. Over the years, you’ve offered good advice, shared your own stories, and in doing so enriched my life. Thank you.

68 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 11/20/2022: Figuring Things Out

    1. I’m hoping the time off will allow me to figure out where I want to go with this – I usually enjoy writing but wasn’t any more so knew it was time to step back and reflect on things for a while.

      Plus, we are going to be BUSY with everyone here!

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  1. I enjoy your blog and look forward to it, so I will miss it if you decide to completely stop writing. I also was looking forward to reading about your experience working at Trader Joe’s, if you decide to do that, and I also like reading about and looking at the photos of your local area because I have never been there. And I did want to follow your experience wherever you move next after Nashville.

    It’s probably difficult to think of things to write about on a weekly basis. If you cut down on the frequency, maybe that would help you feel more inspired? You’re busy right now preparing for the family to come at Christmas and maybe after that, you’ll feel more like writing. So I really hope you continue!

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    1. If this makes sense, writing for the blog was beginning to take on the feeling of obligation versus writing because I enjoy it, especially the Sunday post. It’s both the easiest and most difficult post to write each week, but I was to the point where I wanted to chuck it all.

      I think either cutting down the frequency and/or having a more organized schedule might be the way to go – I don’t know right now. It’s been heartening to hear from so many readers and gives me much to think about.

      Things will be ramping up pretty quickly now for the holidays – can’t believe the whole family will be together in less than a month!

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  2. I have been following you for several years and although I’ve never commented I so enjoy reading about your lives. I gleaned many nuggets of ideas from your blog. Thanks for all the work you put into this, it’s appreciated!

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  3. I’m one of the never commenters, but I do want you to know that your posts are a joy to read. From watching your gdaughter and puppy grow, to sharing the area where you are now residing it is appreciated by those of us unable to travel and experience the fulness of life.

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    1. DA – I rarely or never comment either on blogs (more of an introvert thing), so hearing from you means a great deal to me. I know the effort it can take to write – thank you for your kind words.

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    1. Thank you Mike! I’ll be back after the first of the year.

      Thinking of you these days and all the good times and memories made back on Brentford. I hope you feel surrounded by much love this holiday season.

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  4. After you take your break why not try every other week, and if you don’t like that once a month with additional blogs when you have something you want to say. Please don’t quit COMPLETELY. I feel like you’re good friends and would hate to lose you two completely. I follow you guys on Instagram but that’s not the same.

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    1. I agree! Hope you have some wonderful weeks ahead, and looking forward to reading whatever & whenever you’re back! Thanks so much!

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      1. Thanks to you, Jenny! Winter has definitely arrived here, an adjustment for us for sure, but we’ve got lots to keep us busy indoors for the next few weeks, and I’ve got time as well to think about going forward in the new year. I’m already writing down ideas for new blog posts.

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    2. Thank you, Howard. I really don’t want to give it up, but it was becoming somewhat overwhelming for me and I knew I needed to take a break and not do anything rashly. Maybe it’s time to switch things up with a different schedule, different topics . . . I don’t know yet. I do know the day after I wrote that I was taking time off I was already making a list of possible topics to write about LOL. Some of the urge is still there I guess.

      I consider my readers friends as well. Over the years I’ve only had to ban ONE nasty commenter (who still attempts to comment anonymously now and again – she just can’t quit me). That says a lot to me, and was a prime reason I decided to take time off for the time being versus quitting.

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    1. Things are already ramping up here for the holiday and I hope it all comes together – less than a month until everyone is here.

      Writing for the blog was beginning to feel like more of an obligation than anything, and somewhat performative as well at times (always taking pictures of everything). I think I just need a few weeks to figure out a different way to approach to do things here. I’m already writing down ideas for the future so I’m guessing I’m not ready to give it up, just do something different.

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  5. You are a good writer and I enjoy reading about your life. We are the same age and Brett is my husbands age as well and yet we live really different lives. Maybe blog only when you feel like it. There’s no ‘you have to’ sort of thing. BTW, are you going to share where you’ve decided to go?????

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    1. It really was beginning to feel like a “have to” thing – after a couple of days away that’s what I can see. So, for now I’m trying to figure how to do things differently, whether that means writing less frequently or just when I feel like or ???

      Brett had made me promise I won’t write about where we’re going until 2024! He says the minute I write about it we change our minds, although I don’t think that’s going to happen this time. I can’t imagine going through a year without talking about our decision though, so we’ll see if I can get him to change his mind!

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  6. Well you will be missed! But I get it. I stopped blogging a few years ago because I felt like I had nothing new to say. Then when I tried to start again, I quit almost immediately. I know Instagram is not the same but you can say a lot in a few words on there. At least I find I can. So see you on Instagram!

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    1. Instagram is a great outlet and will stay, but it’s so different. I think a few weeks away will help me clear my mind – I think it’s really more about the scheduling, frequency, and feelings of obligation that are weighing on me for now rather than having nothing to say. And, the topics have segued over time and maybe this is just another time for that to happen again and I just need to figure it out!

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  7. Selfishly I am hopeful your muse will reappear and you will be inspired to continue writing. I still have the British coffee mug I was lucky enough to win in your giveaway long ago!

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    1. LOL – the minute I told myself to take some time off I was suddenly making a list of possible topics, so maybe my muse is just playing with me!

      So glad to hear you still have your mug! Brett still has his British mug, but sadly mine was broken back in Hawaii.

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    1. I think taking some time off versus fully quitting is the better path. I’m already jotting down ideas for the future and starting to think about the direction I would like to go, a good sign.

      Can’t believe everyone will be here in less than a month! We’ve done a lot to get ready, but there is still much to do (especially all the meal planning).

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  8. I’ve been reading since the days of paying down debt in Portland! Lots of changes and adventures since then. The holidays seem like a great time to take a break-especially since the whole family will be around. I’d be interested in hearing how your part-time job goes, if that happens. I think for many seniors, it’s a good social outlet, plus some “fun money,” Especially after moving to a new community where you don’t have a lot of friends and aren’t volunteering, it might help you feel more connected.

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    1. Oh, you have been with me on this journey for a long time – thank you!

      On one of my stops at Trader Joe’s in the coming weeks I will be picking up an application and plan to have that turned in before the end of the year. Fingers crossed that they think I’m a good candidate. For the reasons you listed I think it will be a good opportunity for me (and somewhat fun, too.).

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  9. Oh wow, I must have missed the post about where you are going after Nashville? Love your blog but you have to do what is best for you, although I admit I really hope you post occasionally ! Happy Holidays!

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    1. Brett has made me swear I won’t write about where we’re going until 2024 – he says every time I do we change our minds again! I’m going to have to work on him though because this time the decision feels very right, while nothing else we were considering did.

      I’m pretty sure I’ll be back. Things will get changed up again, but I need it to change to keep going.

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  10. Sometime we just have to take a break from our established doings ! We were taking so many online classes . This semester we lowered it to Only three .it gave us us a break and allowed more family days with our grandchildren and us to add in some old pursuits. Enjoy your family ! Have a great Holiday season!

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    1. One of the great things about being retired is having the time to step back and think about things without having the pressure of having to do something. So, that’s what I’m doing – thinking about why and how I want things to change and go forward.

      Brett and I are going to start up language study (Spanish) again after the new year – we enjoyed it before and want to dedicate around 30 minutes a day to it. We’ll continue to be busy with our granddaughter and other activities (like possibly working at Trader Joe’s). I’m sure I will be able to fit in writing somewhere there, but know it needs to be done differently than what I was doing before.

      Happy holidays to you and yours as well!

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  11. I will miss your blog postings as you took us along on your adventures. I’m pleased to hear that the surprise Nashville move has worked so well. I too, was looking forward to your brave move to venture back into the working world of TJ’s as I have had thought of doing something similar, however for me the $s involved would have to make the disruption to life worth it. I follow you on Instagram, problem is I often go weeks to days between checking what is going on there and often loose interest quickly depending on how much rubbish is at the top of my feed. I love hearing updates on the girls as they continue to bloom beyond college days, your travel planning and living long term decisions intrigue me and even the thought process of re entering the work force is out of the blue but thought provoking. I will miss your thoughtful posts if you do stop blogging.

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    1. Nashville has been a surprise to us. We don’t want to stay here, but we do like feeling settled and able to explore more about the area where we live. Everything we need is here as well, and affordable too.

      Next year will be a year of planning and saving as well as more exploration in the area, so I’m pretty sure there will things to write about, including possibly going back to work (which both excites me and scares me as well). I need to think though about how to switch things up so I don’t get burned out, whether that’s writing less frequently or on different topics or something else.

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  12. I’ve enjoyed all that you have shared about your life and hope you will come back and continue sharing. Even the simple everyday things are worthwhile. It’s not a job , but I hope you’ll write when you feel like it. Enjoy the holidays!

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    1. Thanks, Donna! The more I answer all these wonderful comments, the more I see myself continuing to write, but the time off now will allow me to figure out the direction of how and where I want my writing to go.

      We are excited about having the entire family here this year – it’s going to be BIG! – but I am trying to keep up with things now so that I don’t get overwhelmed and can enjoy myself when everyone is here. I’m ready for Thanksgiving, and making good progress for Christmas, but there’s still much to do.

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  13. Will miss you and hope you don’t stop completely. You are one of the few blogs that I follow regularly. Enjoy the special times coming up with your family.

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    1. I am so encouraged by all these comments this post received! I’m already jotting down ideas for future posts, at least to get the new year started. There’s still lots to figure out though, so I’m grateful for the time off to do that.

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  14. I am also one of your silent readers, who really enjoys your blog. Reading about your travels in the local area, time with your granddaughter, and overall approach to life is uplifting and inspiring. Wish you a wonderful holiday with the family. Hope you know your writing makes a difference!!

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to write – your words mean the world to me! Taking some time off was/is necessary to make writing work for me going forward.

      Happy holiday to you and yours as well!

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    1. Thank you, Jan. For now, taking some time off seems to be the best path, although truth be told I was really ready to give it up completely last week. Things will change – don’t know how yet – but I’m pretty sure I will be back in the new year.

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  15. I’m another silent follower – but I’ve been reading your blog since the Portland days! Reading about your week on a Sunday has been part of my routine for so long…and I am so happy that your life is going so well!!! So many times you’ve inspired me to look more carefully at my life and to make changes. I’m hoping that you’ll feel like continuing your blog after your break but, whatever happens, wishing you and your family all the very best!!

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    1. Oh my – thank you with sticking with for so long! Can’t tell you how much I appreciate hearing from you.

      I’m already feeling like the Sunday post is one of those things that may disappear. Even though it was the most popular post every week, it had turned into a monumental and nearly overwhelming chore for me, chore being the operative word. So, maybe the same material each week but in a different format? I’m already thinking about it!

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  16. take all the time you need. Don’t feel like you’re forced to write at a certain time. Have a Happy Thanksgiving. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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    1. Thanks, Vivian. The Sunday post was getting overwhelming to write each week but I felt obligated to the point of frustration. But isn’t that how change for the better happens? Something isn’t working anymore and we see that it’s time to switch things up (or leave, but I really don’t want to leave).

      I’m so looking forward to the holidays this year. It’s almost hard to believe that Thanksgiving is this week, and then it’s less than a month until our family arrives for Christmas.

      Happy holidays to you as well!

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  17. Thanks for all your great writing so far. You provide a lot of inspiration to your readers.
    Please come back soon!
    Chris

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    1. I’m pretty sure I’ll be back after the first of the year, but am taking this time to figure out changes that will make the process of writing less overwhelming than it was feeling recently (to the point of my wanting to quit completely).

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  18. I’ve been a reader since the ‘I’m Losing It Here” days and used to panic every time you threatened to quit the blog, but over the years have learned you always reconsider and come back. So I am going to assume/hope the same will happen this time. I have enjoyed following along with your life’s adventures. As a reader, I don’t feel it needs a “purpose” all the time but just sharing “life” is interesting (I even enjoy reading all the comments from others on the posts!). Frankly, most blogs get stale because the writer tries too hard to have a “purpose” where just writing about where life takes you on any given day keeps it feeling fresh, in my opinion. This is why I love your writing – there is always something different to read about. Taking a break during the holidays seems like a wise idea and will give you time to rest and recharge and spend time with family. Hopefully you will be ready to return once all the chaos settles down I am eager to hear where you have decided to settle after Nashville, and also the destination of the big family trip. Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. I have always been very bad about letting things simmer until they’re about to boil over, but this past week really felt different and I had to take a few very deep breaths in order not to quit. I really was feeling frustrated with writing, but I’ve realized, especially after reading all these comments, that any obligation I felt was entirely on me. Change is a natural progression, so I’m glad I did take though deep breaths and figure out a break was in order, and that I need to change, whether that’s the schedule or what I write about.

      So far I’ve been able to stretch out the holiday preparations so that I don’t feel stressed, but know as we get closer to everyone’s arrival I am going to start stressing out a bit. Thanksgiving is ready to go though, and other than meal planning and food purchases, everything is in place for Christmas as well.

      Wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving as well! (It’s my favorite holiday – just family and food, no presents).

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  19. Take the time you need, sort things out, think things through and above all enjoy the holidays!

    Whatever your decision your followers will understand and be supportive (not that you need our approval LOL).

    I’ll continue to follow along on your IG to stay somewhat updated 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Leslee – I’m already feeling much less stressed and frustrated knowing I have time to think about and work on changes for the coming year.

      Thank you for following along on Instagram – I enjoy posting there!

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  20. I have been following you for YEARS, your family has become an extension of my family. If you stop writing it will be heartbreaking. Perhaps, after the first of the year, you could post once a month on what you and your family have been up to.

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    1. Thank you for being such a faithful reader!!

      Reading through all these comments has convinced me to continue writing, so for now I’m thinking about the changes I want to (and should) make for the future so I don’t get so stressed and frustrated again. I think I’ll post more frequently than once a month but maybe a less forced schedule will be the way to go. We’ll see – I’m still figuring things out for now.

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  21. There is a general consensus that your blog is an enjoyable read, so I won’t dive much into that. I will miss your writing with your quirky sense of humor and hope you’ll get your muse back. Enjoy the Holidays Season and wishing you and your family all the best!

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    1. I have been so heartened by all the comments I have received and am pretty sure I will continue. I can’t tell you though how close I came to shutting it down last week, so stepping away for a while was the right decision.

      Happy holidays to you and yours as well! (and thank you for getting my weird sense of humor as well).

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  22. Thank you so much for your writing. I have learned so much from you about planning for and then following your dreams, being the parent of adults, and staying close as a family. We became nomads in May 2022 and reading your blog gave us the information and courage to do that.
    I understand if you don’t continue to write but hope your muse pops back after the holidays. I would love to hear more about the Big Family Event and how you go forward on what is next.
    Happy holidays to you and your family.

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    1. Thank you, Sharon. Congrats on becoming nomads too! Although we’re not currently pomading ourselves, Brett and I realized we’ve been occasional nomads our whole time together, from moving around in the navy to full time travel around the world. We’re enjoying our time being settled in Nashville though – what a surprise!

      We will be working on the details of our Big Event when everyone is here for Christmas, and I’ll be able to post details about that early in the year! With so many people to coordinate with though on different schedules and with different desires, I hope we can come to a consensus.

      Happy holidays to you and yours as well!

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  23. I completely understand the feeling when blogging moves from being a joy to more of an obligation. Over nearly 13 years I stopped a few times and then restarted when I realized how much writing means to me. But, each of us feels ourselves evolving and changing on a unique schedule. If this is the time to stop, you will know it after your holiday hiatus. If not, that will be obvious, too.

    Whatever happens, Betty and I are so glad we saw you last year on Kauai and turned a several-year virtual friendship into one that became personal. The happiest of holiday greetings from us to you and Brett

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    1. Getting together with you and Betty in Hawaii, and turning a virtual friendship in a personal one will always remain one of the highlights of our time on Kaua’i. Everyone of my meetings with readers has been a delight, with long-term friendships forged from the experience, and yours was no exception. If fate will allow, hopefully we’ll have the chance to meet up again in Arizona!

      You hit the nail on the head – blogging had become an obligation versus a joy, and last week the frustrations just about boiled over. I came very, very close to shutting the whole thing down, but am now glad I decided to just step away for a while and figure out a new direction based on where we are now and what little we know about the future. We’ll always be the Occasional Nomads (our life story, really), but in a different way than before.

      Our heartfelt wishes for a wonderful holiday season to you and yours!

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  24. I’ve been reading your blog for a few years but have never commented. Just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed reading about your travels and other aspects of your life. I’ll miss your lovely writing and your insights. Best wishes for the future.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to write Nicole – it means so much to me.

      I doubt I’ll go away – I just need to change things up and segue to a new schedule, one that fits. I honestly love writing (even though our life seems very ordinary to me) and don’t want to give it up. But, some change is necessary.

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  25. Love your writing and blog and do hope you continue. Thanks for turning me onto Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series. I’ve enjoyed them so much. Happy Holidays!!

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    1. Thank you! I will be writing again after the holidays. I’m already writing down ideas, think it over, about what I want to do and what I don’t.

      Aren’t the Inspector Gamache books wonderful? She draws me right in at the beginning and then keeps it going right to the end. The characters are wonderful too – not quite real but I like them anyway.

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