End of this season of my life, and this blog

The Rowan Family high up in a ancient castle in Sintra, Portugal

Some 11 years ago I started this blog. I was flush in the nesting phase of life: building a marriage with my new husband, preparing for adding two children, and focussing on the family we were building. I spent my evenings perusing adoption blogs, envisioning the life I was trying to sculpt. Jason and I were alone in rural Alberta, and writing about my own learning and aspirations as a parent made us both feel that we were part of a greater international adoption community. We felt less like the oddballs who had chosen to walk a different path, and more like members of a very purposeful movement.

When the girls first came home, I was so proud ( and still am,) of the beautiful little beings and trusted in my care. Through our family blog, we expressed our joy, hoped that we would inspire others to adopt, and shared many precious moments with our family and friends.

When the girls were little, I appreciated the blog as a place to archive pictures, curate memories and discuss the challenges related to international, transracial, adoption of older children. But as time passed, I found that the issues we were dealing with were much too private to be shared in a public forum. Instead, we collaborated with fellow parents in our local BC community.

When the girls grew older, Africa Sleeps was a growing business and my blog had become a part of my personal brand. I also used this blog to put a human face to the humanitarian work I did with Vulnerable Children Society, and thought it was too valuable tool to let go.

Noe seven years since the girls have come home, I’ve sold my Africa Sleeps business and no longer rely on my personal connections to spread the word of the good work done by our charity. Although the Vulnerable Children Society continues to thrive, it has its own deserved reputation that is independent from mine. And as much as our family and friends still check the blog for pictures of the children, it’s unfortunately a one-way communication that doesn’t fill up my cup for connection.

This last few months have been really hard for me: financial stress related to our juvenile business, long hours and lack of time off, and undermet needs of social connection and intellectual stimulation. In short, I’m in one of those awkward transitional phase is between the seasons of my life, figuring out what it looks like. I find myself evaluating everything I’m doing and it’s relevance for my life at this stage. In fact, I made myself a list the other day of the things that are good for me and my family, and what’s important to me. Have a look:

What is good for me?
Walking, especially with friends
Meal planning
New projects and challenges

What is good for my family?
Slower pace
Home cooked meals
Less technology
Steady dose of adventure and exploration

What is important to me?
Visiting with my children after school
Spending time with my friends
Talking with my husband
Learning and filling my intellectual cup
Keeping in touch with family
Making a difference and helping others
Travel and adventure
Tending our home
Creativity and projects

At this point, my blog, as attached as I am to it, doesn’t fill up any of those cups. So it’s taken me six months, but I’ve decided to fold this site up in 10 days time. With one more little dose of pictures, I’m signing off.

If you are friends with me in the real world, I’ll see you in person. And if we’ve been friends online, I hope to meet you one day and have a cup of tea.

Much love and blessings, and many thanks for your kind words over the years,
Arnica

15 thoughts on “End of this season of my life, and this blog

  1. I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog especially during the early time of adoption. What an amazing life! Sometimes choices are hard to make but best for life balance in the end! Take care until our paths cross again!

  2. Well, I will certainly miss your blog, having followed it for over six of your eleven years. But I wish you very well, hope you find that elusive balance, and hope that someday we just might have a chance to share a table over a cup of tea.

    Blessings, and hugs,

    Ruth

  3. I totally get it! Interesting how life evolves… i’ve enjoyed your blog and hope to one day meet you in the real world 🙂 all the best!

  4. All the best in this new season, Arnica! I have really enjoyed following your blog. Thanks for sharing so much of your life and your learning with all of us out here in cyberspace! 🙂
    Sonja

  5. All the best in this new season, Arnica! I have very much enjoyed following your blog. Thank you for sharing so much of your life and your learning with all of us out here in cyber space! 🙂
    Sonja

  6. I’ve been lurking around the blog for the whole ten years and will be sad to see you go. Cheers to your new adventures! I hope this next season will be full of growth and balance. Thanks for sharing your journey.

  7. I too have enjoyed following your adoption journey and many of your wonderful products you created. You went before us in our adoption journey and I some how drew strength from you and your knowledge. Wishing you and your family well. May you prosper in all that you do!

  8. Big hugs. I’ve loved following your blog for all these years, starting when you got the referral for the girls. It feels like a lifetime ago!

    Best of luck in refocusing yourself on what’s truly important to you, your family, and your wellbeing. I hope you continue to “follow along” on Instagram (if you choose to still post) and be in touch when I’m coming through the Okanagan this summer, possibly 🙂 I’d love to see your shop!

    -V
    (PlaidV on Instagram)

  9. Hello Arnica, so glad to have followed your blog. You have my email address and so if you and your family are ever any where near Turin, write me a note! Take care and big hugs to the girls, good luck with the new business and ciao for now.

  10. Hello Arnica, I’ve been following your blog for a long time now. Thanks for sharing and thanks for caring. I wish you and your family all the best. If you are ever in Italy and near Turin, be sure to give me a shout and I will show you around OUR wine valleys and you will get to taste Piemontese wines! Big hugs and kisses to the girls and a big hug to the hubster, take good care, all my love, Anna in Turin

  11. Hello Arnica,
    It’s so good to see you and your family here again. I’ll be thinking of you and sending best wishes as you move forward into this next stage of life.

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