I couldn’t believe it when I looked at my other posts and realised that the last thing I put up was this little video in February. It feels incredibly strange being back here and sharing why I’ve been away from the blog with you all, but I’ve slowly been inching my way back onto Facebook after an unexpected hiatus.
I’m sorry I’ve been away so long- I’ve really missed checking in with you all to see how you’re doing, but every time I went to post something on social media, I just couldn’t do it. I’ve haven’t been ill or anything to cause concern, but I think I’ve been going through a phase of immense (but positive) change that my mind has been struggling to comprehend. Maybe I’d just written too many posts and was creatively spent, or maybe we can blame it on the stars. But I think I’m right in saying that I’m not the only one who’s been feeling the need to hibernate since the beginning of the year. Nearly all of our friends have been doing exactly the same, and those tentative ‘we really need to meet up some time’ plans have just been put on the back burner for everyone.
What really started everything…
Some of you might remember that, after two years of marriage, I decided to changed my surname to my married name, and am now very proudly, Katie MacDonald. It was after this and receiving our Australian citizenship in January that everything started to change.
I was still teaching, but something started to feel different. You tend to go through cycles in life and these are often reflected back to you in the people around you. Lots of people felt unsure about where they were going (me included.) Out of the blue, I got an email from someone asking me if I would be willing to tutor an Australian family who were moving to London, a job that I did in London for a year which tied in exceptionally nicely with recovering from CFS. For some reason, even though it was miles away, I felt the impulse to say ‘yes’, so I did and found I really enjoyed it. After that, another similar offer came in, so I said ‘why not?’, and before I knew it, my days were jam-packed- teaching during the day and tutoring 5 evenings a week and Saturday mornings. After keeping this going for about a month, my husband told me that maybe it was time to leave my day job, and I knew he was right. One of the reasons I couldn’t give the blog as much attention is because I physically didn’t have the time, and sleep and looking after myself always come first these days (lesson learnt!).
Image by Justin Luebke for Unsplash
Positive change isn’t always easy…
So, it was with an incredibly heavy heart that I left school, even though I knew it was the right thing to do, even though I love my colleagues and even though I had the kindest and most enthusiastic class I’ve ever taught (seriously, these guys made getting up in the morning an absolute pleasure). Sometimes making a positive change isn’t always easy, and to be honest, for the past few weeks, I’ve felt a little empty. It would be very easy right now to jump back into what I was doing before, but I knew I was being called to something else. I’ve spent hours wondering if I’ve done the right thing, but as I mentioned on Facebook last night, progress is progress and I have to keep moving forward even though some days, I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing.
The difference between when I was tutoring last time and now is that I have a lot more time and space in the morning free to enjoy life, which is phenomenal (and also a little unsettling!). I used to have to spend it sleeping as much as I could before pushing myself onto the Underground in London, just trying to hold it together before I could head home, but now it’s different. I also came to the great realisation that I could come back to the blog and hopefully my writing could continue to be of service to someone out there. If I’m really honest, I was thinking of completely stepping away from the blog and leaving it entirely, but this all changed a few weeks ago.
I have no plans for the blog at the moment, but after the first half of this year, I’m willing to be surprised!
I’m so pleased to be back here with you, and open to any suggestions you might have for posts or projects. Let me know in the comments below, and tell me how you’ve been!
Lots of love, Katie xxx
Welcome back Katie! I love how life just has a way of pushing you in a certain direction – sometimes we are ready and sometimes we’re not but I guess you just have to trust that the universe it moving you in the right direction. I’m totally feeling your post. I’ve just left my job and enrolled in a nursing degree. I’m excited, fearful, inspired and terrified all at once. But I’m going with my heart.
Thanks for checking back in and I hope you do post from time to time. But if you get too busy living life then I for one can understand that!
Best of luck in your new direction x
Wow- amazing! Congratulations, Clare- I’m so excited for your new direction. Good for you- best of luck! xx
I’m so glad you’re back Katie and also thrilled you made the change you did. It sounds like the right move for you and it might give you more time to devote to yourself. Glad you didn’t quit your blog though…I love it so much! Enjoy your new job and your free time. Much love to you.
Thank you, lovely one! Lots of love, xxx
reading your posts are so heart warming and inspiring, Thank you for who you are and what you do, many blessings to your new direction. love
Thank you, my love- xx
Hi Katie, welcome back and thanks for the update. Life’s funny eh!? With what you write I am wondering whether you feel that if you continue the blog that is has to be CFS related? I’m just guessing – but if it’s the case, how about writing whatever you feel like with less focus on CFS only? Just a thought.
I started a blog when I was ill with CFS, it was something I could manage while being ill and isolated. I’ve since continued writing – just never been brave enough to actually share it with the public (only a few very close friends that I asked to keep it secret). But I’ve decided it’s time, time to be brave enough to share it. So, if you find yourself ‘bored’ (not that I think you really will), I’d love some mentoring on all the practical things around blogging. I’d like to work on the design, connect with others etc. I like your site, so figure you are good at that stuff :o) Again, just a thought – you know what you feel drawn to and what you don’t.
Here it is if anyone is curious: http://bulldozerandbutterfly.com.au
All the best to you Katie, the kids are lucky to have you whoever or wherever they are.
Hi lovely, I’ve been so curious as well about your absence/life changes. This all sounds really exciting, and I’m personally really happy that you feel the blog is still doing good things for you, because it’s definitely doing good things for plenty of other people. Much love x
Thank you so much, my darling- lots of love- xxx
Welcome back. How have you worked while dealing with ME/CFS? I can’t imagine doing that!
I didn’t work full-time for a long time (and for many years, not at all), but have been working full-time since my recovery 5 years ago. You can read more about this here, my love.
Thanks, Katie xx
Hi Katie, I wondered where you had disappeared to But I’m comforted to know that I’m not the only one having to learn to “settle into the space between. As Lissa Rankin encourages on The Daily Flame, “Take complete solace that the unknown will become the known.” I can relate to wanting to tick off all the items on my “to do” list and needing to “settle into the in between space” when my ducks aren’t all in a row and my body just needs to be. Keep in touch,
Thanks, Jennifer- it’s so funny, you’re the third person that’s mentioned Lissa to me in the two days! Hhmmmm, I’ll take it as a sign! I’ve read a few of her books, but am looking forward to reading the latest one.
Take care, Jennifer- let’s work on settling into the unknown together- xx
It’s great to hear you’ve been putting yourself first before keeping up with demands of the blog etc. I hope you’ll keep going! You’re helping so many people and it’s amazing. Your book is on my Amazon wishlist
Yes, it’s definitely not easy at times, but you have to look after yourself!
Hope you enjoy the book! xx