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On Asking Hard Questions

Chicago

At the end of August, I decided to take a break from blogging. My time away from blogging was refreshing, rejuvenating, and the perfect opportunity to ask myself hard questions like:

  • How can I make the rest of my year awesome?
  • How can I take my body of work to the next level?
  • What can I offer readers during fall and winter?
  • Is the tiny house still working for us?
  • How can I take care of my body and mind in more holistic ways?

I don’t have solid answers to these questions, but taking a blogging break gave me the space and time to think. I’ve been sharing my words and photos on RowdyKittens.com for over eight years, and I don’t plan on quitting. Blogging has given me so many gifts—and I’m grateful you read my words—but I know that I need to build in more breaks if I want to keep sharing my words and photos online.

Here’s a summary of what I’ll share online for the rest of 2015:

  • I see social media as a big dance party, and lately I’ve been partying on Instagram. If you want to join the party, you can follow my adventures over here.
  • I see my blog/website as my homebase online—a place to connect with like-minded individuals, a place to share information about my books and products, and a place to showcase my creative work. For the rest of 2015, I’ll be sharing shorter blog posts, more photos, and happy links. You can expect to hear from me on Tuesdays and Fridays. I’m going to try to stick to my normal posting schedule, but I’m also giving myself permission to post less (or more often).
  • My newsletter, Tammy’s Little Letter, is slightly different from my blog. It’s like having a conversation in my living room or receiving a snail mail letter from me. It serves as a way to share my writing, photos, and business projects, and it’s a wonderful way to connect with you! I share my little letters a few times each month (sometimes more, sometimes less). If you’re reading this note via email—and haven’t been getting my little letter—please update your profile. Scroll down to the bottom of this email, and click “update profile.” You can update your email address, name, subscription options, and more at the bottom of this message.

In addition to reconsidering my posting schedule, I’ve been thinking about my emotional and physical health, our housing situation, and my career. Below is a summary of some of the changes I’m making in my life.

My physical and emotional health …

After I Iistened to Jess Lively’s interview with Alisa Vitti, I read Alisa’s book WomanCode. Her book caused me to reexamine my diet and to change it. I’ll share an in-depth post about those changes in the future. For now, I’ll say this: I’ve cut back on drinking coffee and wine. I’m also eating less cheese, sugary treats, and bread. I am eating more whole foods like quinoa, fruits, vegetables, and nuts, and I’ve turned into a simple green smoothie lover.

My dietary changes have had a profound impact on my physical and emotional health. My body and mind feel energized, I’ve lost a few pounds, and weirdly, my teeth feel cleaner. More importantly, eating whole foods and drinking less coffee has reduced my anxiety, and I’ve gained clarity and focus.

The tiny house …

My intuition is urging me to let go of full-time tiny house living because my needs and desires have shifted. Logan and I will still live small and simply, but it’s not going to be in the tiny house (at least not full-time). One of my desires is to live in a community where I can walk and bike to amenities—like the library, coffee shops, and restaurants—with ease.

You might be asking yourself, Why doesn’t she just tow her house into the closest town? She could still live in the house and access amenities.

If I could move my little house into town, I would. However, the tiny house can’t be legally parked in most cities. We knew about that risk when we bought the tiny house, and I don’t regret our choice. However, I’ve been uprooted from a community because of zoning laws previously, and I don’t want to deal with that situation again. I don’t envision moving the tiny house off the ranch unless we decide to sell it.

Letting go of full-time tiny house living is hard. I’m attached to our little home because living in such a tiny house has taught me so much about myself and my true needs, wants, and desires. Part of me hates to leave it behind, but my instinct is telling me it’s time for something different and new. I’m not sure what that something is, but I’m ready to change our housing situation.

My work life & business …

January 2016 will mark my sixth year of self-employment. It’s crazy to think I’ve been writing, taking photos, and teaching for so long! It’s been an incredible learning experience, but working for myself isn’t easy, and there have been many ups and downs. I’ve been mulling over what’s next for my business and career for the last three months, and I still don’t have a clear answer of what’s next. I do know that I will continue writing and taking photos, but I’m not sure if self-employment will be my full-time gig.

Parting words . .

My vision for what’s next in my personal and professional life is slowly coming together. I don’t have everything planned out, but I do know that Logan and I will continue to live simply, and we will make appropriate life changes based on our needs and desires. Living simply is not about the size of my house, how many belongings I own, or whether or not I can tow my house down the highway. For me, living simply is correlated with sustained joy and having the option to make choices that are best for my little family.

With gratitude,
Tammy

P. S. After receiving dozens of email inquires about my online journaling course, I decided to teach the class during October. If you are a beginning journaler, a dabbler, or a seasoned writer looking to reboot your writing practice, Write to Flourish is for you! My goal is to empower you to write in your journal for 20 minutes every day. I do this by offering tips, tools, and resources during the three-week class.

When you register for the online course, you’ll receive a free copy of my Everyday Adventures 2016 Planner!

Read the course description and register here.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jess Lively September 14, 2015, 11:18 am

    Yay! Congratulations for making the tough and important choice to live your Values with your home in a new way. And it’s wonderful to hear you are enjoying Alisa’s work, too. I’m with you on the less alcohol, dairy, and gluten train. : )

    Love,
    Jess!

    • Tammy Strobel September 14, 2015, 11:22 am

      Thanks Jess! I’m incredibly grateful you interviewed Alisa. Keep up the great work. I love The Lively Show!

      xo,
      Tammy

  • Cynthia September 14, 2015, 12:32 pm

    This is all very exciting news, Tammy! Glad to hear the break from blogging gave you a chance to think all these big decisions through. I look forward to seeing where the rest of the year takes you, and what exciting new plans you have for the new year 🙂

    Hugs,
    Cynthia

    • Tammy Strobel September 14, 2015, 2:00 pm

      Thanks Cynthia! I’m looking forward to the rest of 2015. It’s going to be fun! xo.

  • Denise Compton September 15, 2015, 4:25 am

    So happy that you took that needed break. Sounds like your journey is taking shape for you, and selfishly, I’m happy that your blogging posts will continue!:) I think the change of moving into a community will be exciting. I’m a city/town kind of gal and love being close to a library, coffee shop, and grocery store. I wish I was in a more walkable neighborhood closer to these amenities, but it’s not to be right now. My friends and real-life (as opposed to virtual) social network have become so important to me in my first year of retirement. All the best!

  • Amanda September 15, 2015, 7:28 am

    I’ve been reading your blog almost since the very beginning and just wanted to say thanks for sharing so much of yourself with your readers. I look forward to reading more about where life takes you. Good luck with everything, sounds like you’ve got some good ideas for the future and know what you want. There’s no shame in change, if something isn’t working for you like it did before and your needs and wants change, always feel free to do what’s best for you to be happiest. Keep on growing! 🙂

  • Dakota September 15, 2015, 3:00 pm

    Yeah! Way to go big. Change is tough, but staying static is tougher. I admire both of your courage to reshape your life, especially when so much of your work is tied in with your current identity (I’ve felt that same pressure). Your readers will shift with you, and those that don’t, well… Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind. Bon voyage!

    • Tammy Strobel September 16, 2015, 7:00 am

      Dakota, it’s so good to hear from you! I’ve been thinking about you and C! Hope your are both doing great.

      Thanks for the kind words. I’m excited about our upcoming life changes. I’ll reveal more on the blog soon.

      I recently listened to a fantastic podcast on the Jess Lively Show about blogging and identity. I think you’d like it. I don’t see myself quitting blogging, writing, etc., but career changes are in the works. Check out Jess’s Show and stay in touch. 😉

  • Lindsey Shelley September 16, 2015, 4:29 pm

    Good for you…living in the now! I have been following your blog and finding inspirations in your modest lifestyle for over a year now. Ever since my son and I met you (and your family) at the Enjoy Store in Northern California last spring, and chatted about living in a tiny house, you have been a virtual mentor for the tough choices I’ve faced. I’ve followed your progression, your photos (love those kitties!), and your methods for self-employment. Because of you, and your happy links, I found the support I needed to make my own personal-care decisions…and I’m so much happier for it! I wanted to say thank you and best wishes to you and yours. You continue to inspire by living real and living now. *

    • Tammy Strobel September 16, 2015, 6:16 pm

      Lindsey – It’s so good to hear from you! I’m happy that you’re HAPPY! All the best to you and thanks for reading my words.

  • Anne-Marie September 17, 2015, 10:36 pm

    How exciting to hear about your time to think and your decisions for the future.
    I am actually going back to Sweden for a longer period (2-3 months) very soon to see what it feels like and to get a sense if I could see myself living there again.

  • Joy September 18, 2015, 4:16 am

    so pleased that you are back in this space and that you are offering the journaling course again. i signed up straight away, don’t want to chance missing it again! All the best, look forward to doing the course with you and also to seeing what comes next on the blog etc!

  • Tammy Davis September 25, 2015, 12:52 pm

    Hello Tammy,

    I only just stumbled upon your site, so I haven’t yet had the chance to peruse it thoroughly. I am anxious to do so however, and I appreciate the energy you are contributing to make our world a better place.

    There are many projects into which I am focusing my own energy. The big dream however, is to collaborate with others to build multi-generational (all people) villages/neighborhoods where time banks/exchange systems are utilized. There are many other sort of core elements to my vision, but I don’t want to get too lengthy here. Anyway, I love your work and it is a pleasure to meet you here in cyberspace.

    I have lived in Fort Bragg on the Mendocino Coast for 14 years now and I still feel giddy when I explore the incredible beauty that surrounds me here. I have not been to Yreka but I was just looking at pictures of the town and checking out some demographics. It reminds me of Fort Bragg in that there is emphasis on keeping the “old town” charm (some of the downtown buildings are identical) and the population size is very close to Fort Bragg’s as well.

    I will be going to Mt. Shasta in about three weeks and staying for a week or so, to spend time with a friend whom I have not seen in 23 years, nor spoken to in 15. Perhaps I will have the opportunity to visit your beautiful town.

    In Peace,
    Tammy

    • Tammy Strobel September 25, 2015, 5:45 pm

      Tammy, thanks for stopping by my site! I hope you’ll be able to visit Yreka. It isn’t far from Mt. Shasta. If you’re around, let me know. If it works out, it would be fun to meet up for coffee. 🙂

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