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What 3 months "off" and a Hallmark Movie taught me
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I’ve been sitting here staring at the computer cursor blink for going on two hours now.  Is it possible to have so much to say and so little at the same time? 

To catch everyone up, this past May I made the decision to take the summer off of blogging.  I was over-committed with the other areas of my life and creatively burnt out.  The months leading up to my break all I kept thinking was; “Did I even want to blog anymore?” In a world where it seems that everyone has become a blogger is there anything left to say? “Do I have anything left to say?” And apparently, since I’ve been staring at this blank page for the past two hours, maybe I don’t have the answer I was so sure I had a short time ago.

When I pressed pause in May I felt a huge wave of relief rush over me. By saying no to photo shoots, contracted partnerships, and having to write and create “fresh” editorial content three-plus days a week I would have time for all those areas in my life that had taken a back seat to WOM. 

I would go to bed at a decent hour. I would re-focus on my health. I would meditate. I would get back into my yoga practice. I would take late night strolls with my husband, barefoot in the grass while fireflies romantically buzzed about. Okay, maybe that last one was a stretch, but you get the point. I would finally have the time to re-focus on what’s really important.

So did I regain my focus? No, but I did gain some clarity. 

May, and I’d say even early June was complete bliss. I didn’t miss blogging at all. My head felt clear. My days seemed manageable. And I had even read an entire book, Emily Giffin’s “All We Ever Wanted,” it was GREAT, read it! But by mid-June somehow my calendar had filled up again. 

I signed five new contracted social media partnerships, moved our entire WOM operations to a new space, opened a summer WOMH Outlet (WOM downstairs), hired two new full-time employees, decided to re-brand and re-launch all of our websites, and began the first steps to start two new businesses. That was June.

Then sometime after the fireworks of the Fourth, I sat up late one night crying to my husband that I didn’t understand why I had NO time! And there deep in my wine-fueled waterworks I realized it; the problem doesn’t lie in the Blog, the problem lies with me. 

Sure I’ve always known that I’m not great at balance. That I’m either going full throttle or basically dead-to-the-world-in-bed.  However there was a big difference in always knowing something, and actually seeing that something in action.

But regardless, that way of doing life has always in my opinion been a secret to my success. It’s allowed me to say yes to a plethora of opportunities. It’s allowed me to juggle a lot of different things at once. And it’s allowed me to persevere when many would have folded. 

Which brought me to the question that filled up my entire month of July; if that all-or-nothing, do-do-do mentality has played such a large part in what I’ve built then is it really a problem?

Sure, I needed to set boundaries, and really give this balance thing another shot, but was it really a problem-problem? And just as quickly as I had tried to talk my way around that thought I remembered a quote from one of my favorite authors Shauna Niequist. “The very thing that makes you YOU, that makes you great is also the thing that left unchecked will ruin you.”

I remember the first time I heard those words. I re-read them over and over again. “The very thing that makes you YOU, that makes you great is also the thing that left unchecked will ruin you.”  It was a true Oprah “ah-ha” moment.  Of course, taking time off from blogging didn’t give me more time, because I filled that time with new opportunities, new projects, new commitments.  My desire to build what’s next was rearing it’s ugly unchecked head in all its glory. I mean do you know how many yoga classes I had taken by this point? If you guessed zero you’d be right.

So as August approached and my lightbulb moment still shining, I had finally figured out that the Blog wasn’t the reason for my lack of time. Which left me at a bit of a crossroads. If I was truly going to work towards getting a handle on my time management and try to find some sort of balance in my life then I will have to say no to some things.  Would that be the Blog? Do I love it enough to make it a part of my finite daily time? I didn’t have an answer.  Luckily a Hallmark movie did.

But before we get to that, let me tell you about August. August was a turning of the tide. I could feel a desire to start creating again slowly creep its way in. I got back in the kitchen testing recipes. Magazine articles, fabrics, and images got pinned to a new inspiration board. I started slowly sharing on Instagram Stories my latest tips, tricks, and finds. But I still didn’t know if I wanted to translate that all back to a daily Blog.  And then my answer came how one always hopes any answer comes; in the form of a two-hour romantic made for TV movie on Hallmark.  

It was your typical Hallmark romance storyline. Girl moves back to hometown after a failed marriage. Boy, she loved in high school re-enters the picture. Boy and girl rediscover the love they always knew they had and live happily ever after.  In this particular scenario Boy was a big New York City Chef success story (think Bobby Flay-esq). Boy had just inked his third best selling book deal and was about to sign on to his very own reality show. (Stay with me, I promise I’m making a point). He thought he had it all, but after spending a few weeks in his small Texas hometown, cooking in the restaurant he grew up in, and rediscovering the love he thought he lost he realized he was still missing something. So when the time came to hop back on that jet to NYC he looked at his agent and said something along the lines of; “I miss actually being creative; cooking and being in the restaurant. All I am any more is a brand. I sign checks, I manage restaurants, I make appearances, but I miss creating.”

I, like the Boy, missed creating. 

WOM is growing, and I feel like my days are filled more and more with the management of people, analysis of numbers, plotting, planning, and next steps and less and less with why I started WOM in the first place.  To create, to find, to share, and most importantly to hopefully inspire. 

I know that inevitably as WOM continues to grow I won’t be able to be in the day to day creativity trenches. And that’s okay.  That’s a natural part of growth. But that day is not today.

So will I be blogging every day…no. Will I ever figure this balance thing out…maybe. Did I ever get to that yoga class…yes. Two of them actually. Let’s hear it for baby steps. I’m glad to be back friends! Truly, MKR

P.S. Since I’m back to sharing, I’d be amiss to not mention that this Dodo Bar Or Miranda dress is on MAJOR sale right now. Major!
 


 

ADDITIONAL CREDITS:

Photography: Brittany Leigh Photography

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  • So happy to see you’re back and not gone forever! I hope more yoga is in your near future 🙂 Cheers to the weekend ahead!

  • Becca Moore / 09.02.2018

    Loved reading this! As a business owner of 25+ years, I too have gone through many of the phases you’ve described here…and it is a constant struggle to juggle so many aspects of running a creative business! I am a longtime fan of WOM and you are super inspiring to me! So, I am happy to hear that you are feeling creative and finding a balance. Thanks for sharing and welcome back! 🙂

  • Freida Key / 09.03.2018

    I love it! Thank you for sharing your journey and your epiphany, and keeping it real! I’m so glad to have known you over the years. You are such an inspiration and one of my favorite people. Continued to success you and yours!

  • Mandy Kellogg Rye / 09.03.2018

    Thank you friend, and thank you for following and always supporting! xo

  • Mandy Kellogg Rye / 09.03.2018

    Thank you so much Becca! Your words really mean the world to me. I mean it’s a struggle and being an entrepreneur is not for the weak. Worth every second, but not for the faint of heart. I am reading a really great book right now called ONE, and it’s changing my world. Definitely pick it up as a business owner yourself. xo

  • Mandy Kellogg Rye / 09.03.2018

    I hope so too! Thank you for following along and being so supportive. I love when readers actually take the time to comment! xo

  • Gayle Sherlag / 09.03.2018

    Great first post after your break! Your comments remind me of a talk I once attended about being overly stressed. It’s inside of us and only we, with the help of our God and coping skills can keep striving for successful balance. It’s still ok to work until 4am sometimes, though I remember meeting you when you first arrived in Atlanta from Chicago and I’ve always found you inspirational. Thank you,

  • Colette / 09.03.2018

    Welcome back! I only follow and read a handful of blogs, but yours is always a favorite!!

  • Mandy Kellogg Rye / 09.06.2018

    Love hearing this! Glad to be back, xo

  • Mandy Kellogg Rye / 09.06.2018

    Love this, and thank you for following along since the beginning! xo

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