Goodbyes are never easy

I can’t tell you how many times I have started and stopped writing this post in my drafts since I began my forty-second trip around the sun. To put it simply, I am giving up Domestic Extraordinaire.

For nearly twelve years I have called this space home and my tagline “I do it all. I never said I do it all well.” was easy; I could talk about anything under the sun and who cares if I am not an expert I can just point to the header. It always got the laughs and those who understood the struggles of trying to fit in their whole lives would nod and sigh happily knowing they had found a person in which understood.

If I was being honest with myself, this little corner of the inter-webs started dying off when my girls, who were nine and twelve when I began writing in this space, turned into teenagers. The stories I shared weren’t just my stories and I found out that too many people were reading. I know that sounds ridiculous that too many people were reading; but they were my neighbors, my family and others in my community. And it honestly freaked me the eff out. This is the part where I tell you that yes I actually say freaked me the eff out.

People had opinions about what I wrote and suddenly I began censoring myself to the point that the words didn’t flow out of my fingers as freely as they once did. I wanted to share, but learning that your new boss and the lady down the street spend hours on your website was a bit unnerving. I expected them to read, I just didn’t expect to hear about it.

Soon people in my real life were referring to my children with their blog nicknames of Giggles and The Chicken. I was having a hard enough time navigating the reigns of “normal” teenage life but adding an audience made it even more of a struggle. And when I struggle I tend to shut down, or at least I did as that’s something that forty-something Heather has been working on.

I started this space as a place to release my creative energy as a writer, I love telling stories and they flowed easily from my fingertips until one day they didn’t. I would try to rekindle the blog here and there, but it would fizzle out each and every time I tried. I would blame follow through but I realized in January that it was actually this place and that tagline that was stopping my fingers from doing the talking. I wasn’t trying to do it all anymore; doing it all nearly killed me.

A few years ago my anxiety and my asthma decided to wreak havoc on my life and my whole world came crashing down around me. It was during my recovery I decided to push everything aside and selfishly just focus on me. I had to resign from my “dream” job, I lost most of my independence, and I wasn’t even sure who I was now that my girls had both grown up and left the nest. Add in estrangement from my biological father and his family and you have yourself one major midlife crisis or something like that.

I had no idea who I was or who I even wanted to be. When things started to look up with my recovery my husband broke his back in a freak trampoline accident. I wasn’t sure how much more I could bend without breaking and for the first time in my life I just handed my life over to the Lord. My mantra became You Got This with Jesus. I felt my faith deepen in ways that I would never allow it to before, I truly surrendered.

And then He called me out on the water.

For months before we actually moved out here I kept hearing songs about water, devotionals were about water, it was like everywhere I turned God was preparing me to get wet. Then one day when my husband got home from work and told me that he wanted to move out to the island. And with much more ease than I have ever had about anything in my life, I told him I would give him one year. I joke that I am living my husband’s great grandfather’s dream of living on the island but in all honestly I can’t imagine living anywhere else nine months out of the year.

As I was still recovering I had two states of being; when I was working and when I wasn’t. Each day I spent hours on the beach when I wasn’t working combing for rocks and beach glass while listening to praise and worship music in my earbuds and just talking with God. My life was simple and was just what I needed. The normalcy and routine that I missed growing up was found here last season. This time helped to calm my heart and quiet the voices continually shouting in my mind and allowed me to figure out who was me.

Soon enough the weather changed and we had to close up the cottage and I found that I was an anxious ball of nerves at the thought of coming back to the mainland. I didn’t want to leave my routine and those who encouraged me to just be myself. This tiny little community understands that each person brings something unique to the table, oh how I wish that all places could be like my little island family.

Once we were settled back into the mainland house I found that I was still an anxious ball of nerves but it was because of all of the things that surrounded me. I put myself to the task of ridding myself of all of the things that were cluttering up our lives and our house. We had three bedrooms upstairs and most days we could barely get into the rooms because I just couldn’t let stuff go.

January brought a new year for our home.

We could finally get into all of the rooms in our house and everything felt so much lighter because I was letting go of so much of the past. January also brought back my desire to knit again. After finishing up a hat that was nearly done for almost a decade I realized how much I missed knitting. Soon I was knitting hat after hat making up the patterns as I went along. Designing these hats quenched a thirst in my soul that I didn’t even realize was there.

With the rooms usable my granddaughter and I began doing projects in my craft room. She was intrigued by the spinning wheel and each time she saw it she would try to make it work. I tried to put her off as I hadn’t spun in over a decade but my granddaughter wouldn’t give up. Because of her continued insistence I restrung the wheel and took it out for a spin. (Yeah, I couldn’t help it) She enjoyed watching it work but quickly moved onto the next thing she wanted to do. Although after she left I spun for over an hour that night and there hasn’t been a week since that I haven’t treadled for at least a few hours until (Th)Robin Sparkles came to live with us.

(Th)Robin Sparkes

Before the boats started running again I was able to
  • Get our house to state in which I wouldn’t be embarrassed to have people over; although I am still not a fan of the pop-in as I get all flustered because I thrive on routine. (My boss and I have a good laugh each time I tell him I am working on being more flexible and rolling with the unexpected)
  • I found a renewed love for two of my hobbies that I gave up initially because of injuries but later didn’t pick up because I wasn’t sure if I was knitting and spinning because I wanted to do them or if I was seeking love and acceptance from those in my life that I thought I wanted to love & accept me.
  • Start designing knitting patterns. When I was knitting hat after hat I started researching and sketching and then designing knitwear patterns that will showcase stories of the island that I love and its people.

I am sure that I had you until bullet point number three and then you probably asked why you haven’t seen said patterns? And the honest and most simple answer is that I haven’t been ready. I knew that Domestic Extraordinaire wasn’t the place to share them but I also knew that I wasn’t ready to give her (Domestic Extraordinaire) up yet. I felt like I was failing her and ultimately I didn’t want to fail myself.

The week after Forty-Two happened I was voice messaging a friend who lives several time zones away and it dawned on me, I had to give Forty-Two permission to let Domestic Extraordinaire go. And with the same grace that I give to others around me, I gave myself permission to let this blog go.

This is the last post for Domestic Extraordinaire, she’s lived a good life but her time has come to an end. Right now I am working on my new site and hope to have it up and going in the next few weeks. On the new site I will share yarns; whether they be from my wheel, my knitting needles, or from my heart. I hope you’ll join me on my new adventure and since you’ve made it this far, let me share with you a little sneak peek.

Heather Spins A Yarn Logo

Many thanks to Zoë for taking my hodge podge of ideas and knocking it out of the park!


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