April 2007 was when I started this blog....I wanted to chronicle what I was doing with my family and mainly decor and DIY , I had just started to wet my feet in regards to millwork projects...I was eager to share and I had hoped to inspire and motivate other women to try DIY...I got so much joy and satisfaction out of designing projects and then making them happen mostly by myself...
Here I am today April 2018 and so much has changed....blogging has become less about sharing and more about making a living...in my humble opinion blogging has become more about product placement and less about creating engaging content...it's all about the clicks and affiliate links...and that is fine and I am happy to see so many people make a good living from blogging...but it has turned me off of blogs in general as a reader...every time I visit a blog to find a recipe or read a post I am bombarded with sign up prompts and follow requests...it's a complete turn off...I used to spend a couple of hours a day catching up on blogs, I felt connected to the bloggers... we would engage, it was something I looked forward to...
I was happy to be included in the community in the early days...invited to events...that was usually fun even though I tend to be more shy in new situations, I think this is pretty typical of a lot of bloggers, I think a lot of us are introverts...
I took a break from blogging after a troll had me questioning everything I was putting online...someone had gone out of their way to really hurt me and sadly it worked...why was I a target I don't know but it was not something I was eager to relive...so I only occasionally shared projects that contained diy projects I thought people could benefit from...there was no income potential for me beside a very small amount from ads on my blog...that was fine...it was a bonus.
Jump ahead to 2016 I attended a blogger event...that day it became clear I was no longer part of the community in any capacity, I was on my own and it felt lonely in an otherwise tight knit group...being a sensitive person I blamed myself...something was wrong with me...I'm clearly unlikeable...I drove home feeling pretty low...
I hate that this bothers me...I have a great family and life
I pushed on and decided that I still wanted to be a blogger I was hoping I could be successful but I can't, I don't have the time it requires or the love for it...it was beginning to feel hollow...
I am happy to share things online in fact I love to...but there will be no motivation other than to share...I am going to continue to share on instagram and now that I have given up trying to be something or someone online and I refuse to care about likes and followers I am just letting myself share whatever the heck I want to....and I have found so much peace
I think I may be having a bit of a midlife crisis....seriously it explains everything...I am 45 years old my life has always revolved around my family and being a mom...I now have a 19 year old daughter who is just graduating college and a 16 year old daughter who will be a senior next year...I will always be a mom but my role just keeps changing as they need less mothering...so who am I....?
I have easily lost myself throughout this season of motherhood and I have had a couple of really tough years...this past winter being the worst of it....I have to admit I thought not about ending it all but that not existing would be easier...I know that sounds like suicidal thoughts but I would never do that...however the deep dark sadness that over whelmed me daily was hard to overcome....and of course I hid all of this from everyone...because it didn't feel safe to share my struggle....
I felt like there was no light in sight...everything for the last 15-16 months has been an incredible struggle...every time I turn around something was wrong...and it took such a toll on me...I bare the responsibility to fix everything to hold us all together...when we made the move to this home it was supposed to fix all of our problems but it turned out to be the worst thing we could have done...it has been nothing short of a nightmare...I will leave it at that but one day I will share the whole story and I hope that what we have been through can help others avoid what we have endured...
So I have decided to focus on myself...to finally take care of me, to make myself the top priority because I will tell you no one will will take care of my needs other than me...so now is the time for me to get my shit together....and that is what I am doing...I refuse to spend one more day checking out of things, making excuses and hating myself....
I am worth the time and effort...I am cutting out all the things that contribute to me feeling bad and or negatively...I've been doing that for a while...unfollowing people that make me feel badly about myself...and that is on me not them, it's not personal...one of the biggest things is to stop blogging, stop trying to get something out of it...all I ever wanted was connection and sadly that is not found on this blog, that is for sure....so bye blog...I'm glad to have it to look back on and I will keep it here as a resource and I hope to one day share an unedited version of our difficult journey but for now I am done....
thank you to all who have followed and been so kind....for that I will be forever grateful...
I am thoroughly looking forward to this next chapter...I am going to make it a good one...
I really love your work and would like to follow your instagram. Can you let folks know who want to continue to follow you what your handle is? I'm sorry to hear of your struggles....wishing you all the best.
Chris - look after yourself. I have enjoyed your blog, but if it is not a positive experience for you then you should definitely stop blogging.
I shall miss your creativity, but hope this decision will help you feel better.
All the best.
Heading to instagram to find you right now :)
I agree, blogs are not what they used to be, it is easy to get annoyed by them. I have really appreciated your posts and wish I had commented more so you could have experienced my admiration. You are incredibly talented! - and brave! :)
So sorry to hear you have been struggling with 'life'. Hopefully the worst is behind you. Sounds like you are beginning to move in a positive direction by removing negativity from your life and focusing on all your blessings. I wish you the best of luck!!
I added my handle to my post, its just my name chris_kauffman
thanks Kim... your kind words are so powerful and I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts,
Thank you Sharon xo
I found you via Instagram and love what you do. I think you're Uber creative and I love how you inspire and encourage women to build and create.
I'm sorry things have been so difficult. I hope they improve quickly. You deserve every happiness in the world.
Thanks Chris....I found it and will continue to follow your journey. Wishing you aloha...
Hi Chris - I'm sorry to see you go, but you must take care of you. I've always enjoyed your blog and followed you from the purchase of your last home through today. You describe exactly how I feel right now about many of my favorite blogs...it's all about the business and honestly, it's maddening to have to watch a 2:30 minute advertisement from a big company before you can watch the video of the blogger's newly painted room. I find myself feeling "not good enough" when I read them. Comparison is the thief of joy, and more and more I find myself losing motivation for my own projects because I know I won't measure up to the very bloggers who inspired me in the first place. It's not intentional or braggy on their part, but when every few posts is announcing a new product line, or the upcoming overseas trip to teach, or some such wonderful opportunity, it tends to make me feel less than. And it's not them, it's totally me! And like you said, I miss just reading blogs like they were a daily journal entry - just simple connections and sharing common everyday events. Anyway, I wish you well and will continue to follow you on Instagram!
I'm also so very sorry to hear that you are struggling. It's super tough to become an empty nester, I'm going through it too. I have always loved your blog and read each post thoroughly. I am constantly amazed at your capabilities. I hope things work out much better for you in the future. I am going to follow you on Instagram right now. Kim
I will miss you, I always looked forward to your posts. I agree with your remarks, I have grown tired of many of the blogs that seem like nothing more than an advertisement. I have a few that I still visit but most just have way too many pop up ads and sponsored post.
I too have had times in my life where I really didn’t care if it went on or not. It’s a lonely place just know things get better. I’m happy to hear you are doing what is best for you.
I will miss your blog. I wish you the best.
I only stumbled onto your site recently. I have gone backwards to see all that youve done in that cool house.
I am sorry that you are struggling. I will pray for peace.
Bridget in Minnesota
I will miss your posts. I enjoyed reading about how you made your house into a home along with your incredible wood working skills. Take care of yourself;hope you will be back soon.
Your blog gave me lots of pleasure, inspiration and great ideas over the years. Most of the blogs I really enjoyed have stopped and I think for a lot of the same reasons that you have. It’s all about money now and what people are buying not diy. Don’t be hard on yourself. Stay true and be find what makes you happy. I hope one day you will pop up here with a surprise update. You’ve done amazing work.
Chris, you certainly have inspired me immensely through the years! You should be proud of your blog and all the amazing things you've done and created. Just you!
You deserve to focus on yourself and take care of you. It's really easy to get lost in being a mom and a wife sometimes, I totally get it. Thank you for your honesty.
I've been off Instagram since Valentine's day and honestly I don't miss it at all. I might get back on eventually but there were things about it that just weren't real to me anymore.
Take care of yourself and your family.
West of the Square Designs
thank you all...I am truly touched by all your comments and kind words....
I found you through instagram which lead me to your blog. I was not a subscriber, as i don't subscribe to any blogs, but i did come back a few times. I must say you truly are inspiring.
We are in similar places in life, age, children (no longer babies, what role do I play now?), weight struggles, so I feel a connection to you and enjoy your IG page and stories. I'm hoping that maybe you can still add content to your blog just for fun or for remembrance, like tutorials or just your work,or even your current journey, so that you can continue to inspire.
Be well and keep doing You!
Chris I have loved your blog .I will miss you.Take care of yourself.
Love you girl. Thank you for being brave and open ��. @thepaintedarrow
I almost never comment on blog posts (ultra introvert!), but I wanted to thank you for the years of great inspiration. I appreciate your candor, and how reading your blog never felt like I was opening up an advertisement page, but instead like opening an email from a friend who was excited to show her latest project. You've been a great example of figuring out how to do something, and then getting it done. Blessings to you as you sort out this next chapter of your life. I know you will come through it with grace and strength.
Chris - I found your blog long ago and it's been so inspiring to me. To see you not be afraid of the power tools, to see you make changes to your home environment, to see your talent and designs, to see you raise your girls. If leaving the blog helps, then that's the best thing for you. I'll miss you though!
I'm sorry that 45 is so hard - I'll be honest, it was for me too. Last year I went on anti-depressants for about 8 months to get me through a rough patch - they really were a help during the crazy hormonal changes that were happening (and frankly, going on Lo-Lo Estrin was a big help for a while also, to regulate the ups and downs - well, it was almost all downs) and things with my kids, who have special needs, and feeling absolutely blocked in important areas of my life. I'm 47 now, it can still be rough, but a lot has improved, I moved off medication and we are moving forward in other ways. I hope you will feel the same in the next year and two and onward. If it takes medication to pull upward - do it. If it takes therapy - do it. I wish you all the best.
Dear Chris - I could have written this post myself, as it describes similar feelings that I have had this past year. This social media age we live in is a difficult one - it is hard not to compare our lives to others, or it is easy to think that everyone else has it in the bag...when they really don't. That being said - I have enjoyed your blog so much. I have graduated in my woodworking skills thanks to your tutorials and help. I will miss your blog and learning from you, but I very much look forward to following you on instagram!
Thank you for sharing your personal story. I can relate to much of what you are saying. While I've never blogged (though I have thought about it and decided against for some of the reasons you stated), I have removed myself from much of social media. I found the negativity, hate, competitiveness, and contrived behaviours were just so emotionally exhausting. My anxiety and depression has really increased in the last few years and as a result I have become a huge introvert. Not ideal for a stay at home mom.
I now have a private Facebook page (with no friends) and an Instgram account that allows me to follow people/businesses that I enjoy and find inspiring. If I don't like someone or something I simply unfollow and move on. I never try to engage in debate or post and respond negative comments.
I enjoy your pages and have always found you so inspiring. I NEVER would have guessed the struggles you've faced as of late. I applaud you taking the time to focus on you. I will continue to follow you on Instragram and see all the great things you are doing.
Enjoyed your blog.
I have totally enjoyed your talent. When I first found your blog I couldn't believe all that you took on and the beautiful results you made. I have been a fan. I hope the future is filled with happiness. Denise
Hi Chris, As I read over your post and went back through your Blog, I'm sorry that I wasn't familiar with it until today.....as like the comments above say you're truly a talented and inspiring woman. You're quite courageous to put into words and share all your feelings, trials and struggles with everyone. By doing so, these trials and struggles you've been going through hit home with me and it seems many others at this time in our lives and you'll probably never know how or who you may have helped through your frankness on these topics. I'm not quite sure if we're (mothers and/or women) being conditioned to accept what society deems we've missed out on or the hectic lifestyles we live. We've allowed electronic devices to consume and/or dictate our every daily moment which the pressures can be immense. I hope that you're able to find the peace and regain your passions as it's through your gifts (you've been given) from your Heavenly Father that'll help get you through these times. Be true to yourself and your right when you say it's time for you to you to step away from here. Sadly you will be missed but the love, support, and prayers will be with you. Take care and soar to greater happiness.
I will miss reading your posts, stay creative & awesome!
Love you girl
Aww Sweetheart the uglies come out because of jealousy. They can't do what you do so they use ugly to feel better about themselves. Always remember that. It has absolutely nothing to do with you personally. It is all on their ugly heads.
Now that i've said that...I will miss you. I have followed you for like forever. :) I was so happy when you started blogging again. But that being said as well I can imagine the struggle. You are a very talented woman! Never doubt that. Just look at all you've accomplished and that was no easy feat. I'm sorry that you have been going through such a hard time. I pray for nothing but the best for you. You take care of yourself first, do what you love doing and find the best solution for you and yours. Just like before i'll be here popping in when you get back. :) Big hugs.
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