Affairs of Living

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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Friday
Mar302012

Hello. I'm back. 

me in February

Greetings friends. It's been a while. A long while. I'm still here, really. I've been taking time for myself the last few months, doing much-needed self-maintenance and self-care that had little to do with blogging.

Sure, I've still been cooking and baking up a storm. But I've been doing it without recording everything so intensely and without stressing out over the minimal amount of natural light available during Minnesota winters. Instead of maniacally attacking my laptop as my cookies cooled to write up a post, I've been sitting down with crafts or a book or housemates or friends instead.  Instead of spending weekends holed up in my kitchen, I've been doing all kinds of other things. And I gotta tell ya, it's been great.

My time away has allowed me to form interesting perspective on my place as a food blogger. Since starting my blog in 2008, the landscape of the food blogosphere has changed. It's expanded and exploded and everyone is publishing cookbooks and presenting at conventions and writing for Martha Stewart and Real Simple and doing product reviews and partnerships and doing giveaways all the time and buying amazing cameras and setting up small photo bays at home in their kitchens or wherever the light is the best and sharing everything through every social media channel out there. Blogs are looking beautiful these days, and it is truly inspiring.  And to watch the way that some of my blogging friends have just soared into the stratosphere is really awesome. Hot damn,  they deserve it. 

While I applaud the bloggers that have the energy for that kind of thing, I'm realizing that I just, well, don't. I enjoy the inexactness of spontaneous cooking - something that doesn't bode well for recipe development and cookbook writing. I get overwhelmed by all the new types of social media. I don't want to "check-in" or "pin it", my Twitter accounts were dormant for months, and I'm currently on break from Facebook. Sometimes I only want to focus on what's in front of me, you know? All I wanted to do is make recipes, take a few photos, and share them on my blog, and really, that's all I still want to do, without feeling like I need to participate in all the other stuff. I don't need to have a huge reputation or an outstanding Google rank. I just want to do my own thing and create a space I'm proud of, without pressure. And if people keep noticing and reading, that's awesome! 

In addition to being a cook, a baker, a canner, a fermenter, and a blogger, I am a musician, a crafter and artist, a writer, a gardener, a community organizer, an activist, a whole foods educator, a proud chosen auntie, a committed friend, and a lady about town. This blog is just one of the many ways I express my creativity and define my identity, and I need room for all of these things in my life if I am to remain happy and fulfilled. It's not that I can't focus - I just like to focus on lots of things all at once. 

Honestly, I didn't miss blogging at all until a few weeks ago. It was a relief to allow myself time away from this self-created virtual space, remove myself from the expectations of "oh it's been awhile, I should really post something" or "it's Valentine's Day, I should do a recipe round-up" or "these are great muffins, I should post them". I realized it was okay if I turned the "should" into a "could" and said "no" and did something else instead.

But the desire to write about food and healing is back, and I'll return to my old ways soon, with fresh energy and a new spunk in my step. 

xo

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Reader Comments (13)

Welcome back, friend! So glad to hear that you've been taking time for YOU. Blogging is great when one enjoys it, but really, if it starts to feel like a chore, what's the point? I love your little summary of what's been going on in the blogging world. . . my, things surely HAVE changed! But there will always be a place for bloggers who just want to write, and cook, and share. I look forward to seeing what you concoct and what you have to say about it! :)

March 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRicki

Welcome back! You've been missed. :) I'm so glad you've written such an honest post. I struggle with these same feelings all the time, especially now that I've done exactly what you wrote about and written a book...which I am SO excited about...but as you know, there is a lot of maintenance that goes on behind the blogs, and it can get exhausting. I've personally been a bit MIA from twitter, pinterest, and backing off of my personal FB, as I felt I needed a break from it all. And where I'll go from here and what type of blogger I want to be, I haven't yet decided. But it's quite refreshing to see someone else talk about the same thoughts I've been having.

That being said, your recipes are amazing so I, for one, am happy you're back!

March 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIris

Oh Kim, I have missed you so very much, I completely understand and relate to everything you've shared. You are SO gifted and you are and always will be such a standout creative force to be recconded with on SO many levels, your recipes, your writing your gardening, your photography and so many other interests you have shared with so many of us. I have missed you so much, I come and check your site often I am so glad to know you are well and you have been taking some time for yourself. You know tomorrow is my Birthday and getting to hear from you this new news is such a super special gift to me you really can not imagine, you've been one of the only ones that I feel really knows what it is like to have to stay on such a narrow path with what we can eat or drink each day and if we don't we end up derailed and off in the woods....which is certainly no fun for us... the road we walk is a difficult but interesting one thank you , thank you , thank you for making it more tolerable and for coming back. BIG HUGS ! I sure have missed you so very very much.

March 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKathy

I ditto, Ricki. And, I admire you for taking the time to pursue all the other interests that make your life whole. Affairs of Living is YOUR creative outlet and should service YOU in the best way possible. As someone who can deeply empathize with the push and pull of 'shoulds', 'coulds', and 'maybe I do and don't want to's' regarding many personal projects, I'm here as a reader who, bottom-line, loves your work and supports you whenever you find its time to write :)

March 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJackie

Welcome back my friend. YOU TOOK THE WORDS RIGHT OUT OF MY MOUTH. Its hard being an eclectic person. I need to clone myself: one to blog, one clone to do art, one clone to make food, etc. I say just be you and your blog is so good that you need not have recipes that are exact. I say be you and bring in all the flavors from the other activities you do apart from blogging. Plus I have learned that when you blog infrequently people actually appreciate the posts more. Everyone is so busy with a million things in their e-mail boxes that your once-in-awhile post will be a nice present.

March 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia Biesen

I totally understand. Not that my food blog is nearly as popular as yours, but I've never been as diligent as the food bloggers I love to read about. I work, I'm on committees, I exercise, I love to spend weekends exploring (camping, hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, etc). It doesn't leave a lot of time to for food blogging. I always feel guilty about not posting very often. Some months I'm lucky if I get in one post. But you know, people still come and I enjoy sharing, so make time for yourself. I enjoy your blog a lot and like many others here, I'll read it when you write it. Whether it's once a week, once a month or once a year :)

Kim,
I know how you feel and I appreciate your candid honesty. It's so nice to hear things that are so easy to relate to, and I completely know how you feel. It's overwhelming to keep up with all the online channels, and to feel like you're making a footprint in a landscape that is pretty saturated with bloggers and cookbook authors, vegan chefs, etc. It's a lot of "noise." I often want to turn the noise down or sometimes off!
I know how you feel - and it can be daunting to separate one's self and know that we're making a difference. But you ARE. You're amazing, talented, gifted. You're an artist and a giver. I love what you do, and I'm sure you're the kind of person that no matter what you do, it will be unique and special. Thanks for all that you do - you're inspiring on more levels than you know.

If you ever come to NY, I would love to have coffee date with you!

Alexis

March 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlexis

Hi Kim. It's good to see a 'howdy, I'm still here' from you. I found you shortly before you took a break; I'm still here, too. Your blog is great just as it is in all it's spontaneity! I also totally understand wanting to concentrate on lots of things at once because I'm the same way. It's a good thing to keep it fun and enjoy your blogging and cooking and all the other cool things you do. You write when you feel like it and I'll be here to read.

March 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDiane

It seems like an impossibility to keep up with all the media options while writing thoughtfully. Whatever you are doing or not doing, it works for me! So happy to see your lovely blogpost in my mailbox today.

March 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNoreen

Good to know you are well. Looking forward to future postings about all and whatever.

March 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLiza

It's so nice to see you. I completely understand your post. In fact, I have so much fun signing up for healthy-related food blogs, that sometimes catching up with the inbox can feel like a chore, even thought there's all kinds of informative, fun and yummy posts to read. I fully support you in determining when it's best for you to post. Continue to take care of you. And enjoy the longer days of sunlight. :)

April 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

Hi Kim!
You are such a gifted writer. Everything you have written resounds with my own processes,
and I am happy that you managed to take some time for yourself. (Even though I miss you!)
How is the Lyme stuff?
I am healing my 14 y/o son; discovered you on Planet Thrive.
We haven't seen anything from you on that topic, so I hope no news is good news.
All the best, and, as one of my my Lymie friend always says: "Self care is not Self-ish."
MB

June 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaryDelia Britton

Wow. A friend just directed me to your site. I LOVE this post. I'm just starting to gear up for a blog and a site that contains music, art, and writing of all kinds. Totally daunting for a left-brainer like me. And this made me sigh with relief. Thanks.

June 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLinda
Sorry, no comments/questions allowed right now.
Hi reader! My schedule as full-time grad student with two part-time jobs doesn't allow me the time to manage comments. I hope you enjoy what you find and can figure out answers to any questions you may have. xo