Sunday, November 22, 2015

moving on - back to swell challenge #16


When I started The Full Plate Blog six years ago my goal was to combine my personal chef experience/make-ahead meal expertise to help busy moms prepare nutritious meals, quickly and easily. 


Marooned at home while my youngest was napping 2x/day, the blog was a fabulous creative outlet-- a free way of sharing my recipes with friends near and far.

Right from the get-go, this blog gave me a sense of purpose beyond what I viewed as my first priority: being a balanced and happy mom. Then over the years, the blog took off. It won multiple awards (that pat on the back a SAHM rarely gets), garnered a bigger and bigger audience (which was wildly exciting), and offered an opportunity to work with brands I admire (even if it usually was more work...for free).  I became known as "the mom with that food blog". And to a point, that was awesome. Especially at cocktail parties, since I had a quick, cool answer to "what do you do all day?"


But there comes a time when something that was such a big part of your life ceases to fulfill you in the same way that it once did. And you know, deep down, when it's time to move on.

The Back to Swell Challenges I posed this month have amplified my desire to identify what is most important to me as a mom, wife and friend, and invest my time in those areas. When I first started the blog, it seemed I had endless amounts of unstructured time to fill and years to spend with my children, but now I can count on one hand the number of years before my oldest heads to college.


There's a book I read last year, by Greg McKeown, called Essentialism, and the over-arching questions/ideas he poses, have stuck with me:

"Is this the most important thing I should be doing with my time and resources right now?"

"Stop celebrating being busy. Focusing on essentials is a choice. Your choice."

"Do less, but better."

"In order to live a life without regret you need to identify what matters and invest your time and energy in that."

"Social media is a burden b/c we always know what others are doing, so the 'shoulds' are amplified."

"If you don't know what the end game is you will waste time trying to look good for other people."

And the kicker:

"Sunk costs/time make it harder to walk away and focus on the present." 

 

As my boys have grown, I've grown alongside them. I have come to appreciate that nourishing my family also means setting the example of being a parent that takes the time to nourish herself-- of course by preparing delicious meals to share-- but also by prioritizing how I spend my free hours.  


There is no "good time" to stop blogging. I could always come up with a reason why I should keep it going. But now is as good a time as any for me to relish the blog's success and make a conscious decision to be more present in my off-line life.

And so, I am embarking on Back to Swell Challenge #16: 

Leave the party while you’re still having fun.


I hope you have enjoyed our time together. I wish you and your family a healthy, happy and peaceful holiday season together.
Cheers to what's next.
    - Eila

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