My last post published here was in August right before school started. Summer is usually when I have more time to blog since I’m not working full-time so I expected my post frequency to decrease. But I didn’t expect it to stop.
But we can’t always see what’s coming, can we?
I started teaching in a different grade this year and found that my responsibilities increased and therefore my planning time increased. This happened right at the same time my husband, Mark, left a profession he found unfulfilling without knowing exactly what would be next. I’m a big proponent of “leap and the net will appear” and I also firmly believe that life is too short to be miserable so I was supportive, but financially it changed quite a bit for us.
To be honest I had been growing unattached from wanting to blog. I had loads and loads of pictures and things to share but very little desire to blog. I had no desire to cook and wasn’t enjoying food or thinking about food or talking about food. With all this going on, and a really negative comment on my facebook RA Vegan page that caused me to question myself, I decided that I needed a break. I needed to not feel obligated to photograph my food every time I cooked or ate. I needed to feel like I was making healthy choices for me, not because I was going to be telling others about them. And I needed to decide if I wanted to continue with this blog and the facebook page. So I announced on facebook that I was taking a break and I just went about my life. Not only did I not post anything but I didn’t read or comment. I took a break from being The RA Vegan and was simply Jen.
Mark found a job he loves and a new calling. Financially it’s made us make choices, but I’ll choose happiness over money. Just to be clear, I’m not talking about choosing happiness and losing everything. I’m talking about still being able to pay our bills but giving up some luxuries and things we had grown used to in order to be happy. Things were looking up.
But I kept getting sick. Not that unusual as someone who takes immuno-suppressants, but the frequency was unusual even for me. One infection after another until I lost my voice and ended up at my doctor’s on November 5th expecting her to say I had yet another sinus infection. Instead she prodded and looked and sent me for blood tests, telling me she suspected mono. When she suggested, in her office, that I might need to take some time off I told her she was crazy. I was the main breadwinner (and gluten free & vegan bread is pricey!) and I was just going to have deal with it. I agreed to take a few days off, maybe even a week, but that was it.
I felt worse and worse and realized that sometimes you just have to deal with the reality in front of you. So I took a month off. We got even more creative with finances, but we made it work. And I basically spent the entire time either lying in my bed or lying on the couch. I didn’t leave the house for almost 2 weeks and I sent my family off to enjoy Thanksgiving in a different state without me because I couldn’t make the trip. Once, when I got my haircut, I came home and took a 2 hour nap. It wasn’t a pretty time. I read quite a few free books on my kindle and ate more peanut butter and jelly than I’d like to count. I didn’t have much of an appetite and was forcing myself to eat for much of the month. Luckily things started to turn after Thanksgiving and I started feeling human again though slowly. And as I started to feel better I realized I was thinking about food and cooking again; that I wanted to connect with the community I had become a part of again.
So I started posting on facebook, and reading some things. I started making a few comments, and I pulled my camera out again. I started cooking again and enjoying it. And slowly I felt like Jen and The RA Vegan were becoming one again.
This is not a prolific blog and will probably never be. I don’t make any money from doing this, it is simply an opportunity for me to express myself and talk to amazing people. But I missed it.
Though I did learn that I can’t feel obligated to post, it will only make me want to do it less. So I’m going to post when I want, and not when I don’t want. I’m going to chat on facebook about veganism and having an autoimmune disorder and life but not feel guilty if I go a few days without saying anything.
Life is for living well, and being sick and tired is not a way to live if you can help it. I don’t have control over the auto-immune disorder (which was still there during what I now refer to as ‘the mono invasion’) but I have control over how I respond and live my life. I want to be happy, so as long as writing this makes me happy I’ll keep doing it. If it doesn’t then I’ll stop.
I hope your second half of 2012 has been good! My hope for us all is that we find joy and happiness and health in the New Year!
Now who wants to see the pictures of meals I’ve eaten? LOL