2018 Update


You may have noticed that I've been missing in action for quite some time and there's a reason for that. The winter months are usually the toughest for me. There is such a thing known as the winter blues and it's an affliction that I suffer from. Most of you may know that I do suffer from depression, but 2017 was especially rough. While working on a blog post for the Callaloo Box, which I plan to share with you, brought back so many memories of my childhood and the fact that my parents were no longer around to celebrate the holidays with me. I remember getting on the phone with my eldest brother, bawling into the mouthpiece while he sat on the other end of the line listening to me lament that I was now alone and an orphan, with no family or friends nearby to console me.


He reminded me that I do indeed have a family. Not only do I have a husband and children, but I also had him and all the countless other family members I had forgotten during my pain. I had indeed forgotten during my torment that I did have four beautiful children and a husband, but at the moment I wasn't thinking of my immediate family. Instead I was reminiscing about my parents and blaming God for taking them from me while they were still needed. Although I know that they're in a better place, no longer suffering or in pain, the thought of them not being here filled me with dread and despair. They were no longer around for me to make that morning call to on Christmas morning, something that had been done for many years once I started living on my own. Boxing Day (December 26th) is my dad's birthday and there was now no one for me to call and say "happy birthday" to and the pain was just too enormous to bear.


Then the realization hit me! I spend so much time here on the blog that I've been missing out on what matters the most. So I'm here to do a quick update. While I love blogging, I don't intend to do it as much as I did in 2017. I want to spend as much time as I can with my family because no one knows how long you have on this earth. As I type away on my screen, I'm just coming back from a doctors visit where I received news that I have heart problems and need to see a specialist. So I'll be blogging less this year, maybe once or twice a week. I'll be spending more time with my family because life is fleeting and I want them to have as many memories as I did with my own parents.  I want my children to be able to come to me and talk to me without me saying "give me a few more minutes, I have a deadline to meet".


Blogging is not a hobby, it's a job, but it's also a job I can control because I set my own time and I CAN say no, and I intend to say no a lot more this year. I'm not turning my back on the blogging community, but instead will be wisely spending my time with the people I love.


So here's to a beautiful 2018 filled with love and happiness with the people you love the most.

- AnnMarie. 

Annmarie John
14 Comments

14 comments:

  1. I completely understand how you feel. I lost both of my parents as well, and the holidays are the worst for me. I felt alone too. I was in a horrible funk on Christmas and New Year. Then I realized I do have family and friends that love me, I just lost connection with them while being a military spouse and moving around. I also have my husband and my children.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your heart troubles. I will keep you in my thought and prayers. Also, if you ever need to chat just shoot me an email. Take care my friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Nikki, prayers are always welcomed. When I lost my father I thought that I could be strong, but then I lost my mother 2 years ago and it's just gotten harder. I know it'll get better eventually, and I just need time to get over it. I also need to remember that there ARE people who love me, including my immediate family, and it's good to have friends like you.

      Delete
  2. AnnMarie, you said a mouthful here and was just having a similar conversation. I love blogging and yes it is a job to me, but I also love my family so much more. So, I am still also trying to find some balance on that 5+ years into blogging. And like you I have slowly but surely realized that my family comes first over everything, especially my blog. Also, I can relate to this time of the year (winter/cold) not helping with my mood at times. I don't suffer from depression, but still this time of the year definitely finds me more down as I am not a fan of the cold and lesser hours of sunshine by any means. So, I do get that like I said. Also, if you need to talk please always know I am just a message away. Hugs <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like you Janine, I've been trying to find that balance. Every year seems to bring an increase with everything, my stats, the more work I get, the more money etc. I've however come to realize that money isn't everything and I'd much prefer to spend time with the people here that I love. I'm not walking away but taking a much needed break, and I know you're always just a text away. Love you my friend. ❤️

      Delete
  3. You are not alone. You have a real family and online family (which I am part of) who here for you. It's hard to miss family while also dealing with depression. But know we're here for you!

    Take the time you need to care for your self and health. And YES enjoy your offline time with family. I'm still planning a visit :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Onica and it can be tough, but it's something that I have to work on. I'm definitely going to be taking all the time that I can to focus on myself and my health, and we're still looking forward to your visit, whenever that will be. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Delete
  4. Oh I totally understand your feelings. When you're having those moments- you can't think about the beautiful things around you, because you are focused on your pain. The thing is, no one can tell how you to grieve or how long grieve- it's something you will be doing your whole life. I'm also in the same boat as you- an orphan and it's hard. My mom's birthday is on the 29th, and it was a bittersweet day. I did nothing but stayed in bed-- some days that's all you can do. But then you get up the next day and embrace the beautiful life in front of you. I'm all for spending time wisely this year and making sure the things that matter most come first. Love this!! And I'm always a phone call away (or text)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You said exactly what I was thinking and feeling. No one can tell you how to or how long to grieve. I stayed in bed much of the holidays myself feeling sorry for myself, but I did get up on Christmas to spend the day with the kids. I'm definitely putting the ones who mean the most to me first, and you know I'll be talking your ears off. ๐Ÿ˜‚

      Delete
    2. LOL, that's fine! I enjoy our friendship, and it's always great to be able to talk to an adult vs the dog! LOL

      Delete
    3. Hahaha you sound like me. I'm usually talking to our cat Cross most of the day. He actually spends more time with me than the kids do. ๐Ÿ˜‚

      Delete
  5. It's funny you said that because while reading this my son asked for lunch and I was like, "in a minute!" To be fair, though, catching up with you is not "work." It's love.
    Winter is tough for me too. And I love your perspective about what you do have. I'm also trying to strike a balance like Janine. Last year was one of growth but I find myself resisting more of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tend to do that a lot but plan on limiting the amount of time I say "In a minute" this year. Winter seems to be a tough month for many and we all need to find a balance with the things we do. Growth is good, but not when you're sacrificing the ones you love. Happy New Year my friend.

      Delete
  6. The holidays can be stressful for most, especially those that have lost a loved one. I know that you recently lost your mom so I can just imagine how tough it was for you. I can only say that with time it does get better, but the pain sometimes never entirely goes away. I'm so sorry to hear of your health problems and I'll be praying that you get well. Spend the time to focus on your loved ones and we'll all still be here. Looking forward to seeing you this summer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Becky with the good hair! ๐Ÿ˜‚ Yes it can be, but I just have to keep my focus on the ones that are here for me and are here with me and it'll get better as you said "with time". Time is the healer of all things. I'll definitely be focusing more on my loved ones this year. BTW I'm not sure if I'll be in NY this summer, but that can always change.

      Delete

[name=AnnMarie John] [img=https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X9gUeVik-ZY/WJjwNTOobII/AAAAAAABTJ4/qEhU0n62_AIo-j6-6LA2OFOr44lKCHASwCLcB/s100/AnnMarie%2BJohn%2BHeadshot.JPG] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook=https://www.facebook.com/theannmariejohn) (instagram=https://www.instagram.com/theannmariejohn) (twitter=https://www.twitter.com/theannmariejohn) (pinterest=https://www.pinterest.com/theannmariejohn) (email=mailto:annmarie@annmariejohn.com)