Hi There, Whatever’s Next

As I’m writing this month’s letter, the summer is beginning its slow, lazy crawl toward the finish line. It’s hard to believe we left the longest day of the year behind us over two months ago, and that some of my friends’ kids – not to mention my teacher friends – have been back to school for a while now.

Our family still has a couple weeks left before school starts (for better and for worse, as Sarah and I discussed in a recent episode of The Mom Hour podcast) but I can still feel it in the air, that subtle but significant shift. We’re not at the beginning, or even the midpoint, of summer break: it’s in its last quarter, and each day seems to pass more quickly than the last. How many more trips to the beach, the park, or the ice-cream shop can we fit in? How many more nights sipping a beer on the patio on a warm night? What about the things we didn’t do, the trips we didn’t take, the memories we didn’t yet make?

It’s hard not to mourn when something great starts coming to a close, but living in a place with four seasons almost my whole life, I’ve realized that sometimes you have to be willing to put something good, fulfilling, and comfortable aside to make room for what’s next. Flip-flops will – sooner than seems possible – be replaced by cozy sweaters, and as much as I love flip-flops, I love cozy sweaters just as much and there isn’t generally a lot of room for both of them in the same season. The summer ain’t broke, really, and part of me doesn’t want to fix it. But another part of me is looking forward eagerly to a crisp autumn day, and I know I can’t have them both at the same time. 

Yes, this is all leading to a metaphor, and warning – I’m going to lay it on pretty thick. Ready? Here goes.

For so long, this blog has been a little like the summer for me – a peaceful, warm, comfortable place to hang out, full of good people and great conversation and ease. It’s been a fantastic six-plus years, but as I hinted a few months back, it’s been time for a change for a while.

Taking a big step back from the frantic pace of running a blog that updates several times a week has allowed me to focus on some new things I’m really excited about – like podcasting – as well as contribute more of my work to outside outlets again, like Susan Cain’s new Quiet Revolution website and The Mid. And I’ve found that the freedom has been a little bit addictive, and very very helpful in allowing me to figure out what I really want – and need – to be doing right now. 

All this is to say that, while I’m not 100% sure what direction I’m going to take with this site and am purposely not making any grand, sweeping statements (publicly, anyway…you should hear the waffling and hand-wringing poor Sarah has to deal with) I definitely AM making a conscious decision to continue putting my energy into different and new projects. And that means (warning: overwrought metaphor ahead) that it’s time for me to take off those flip-flops and change into some fuzzy new knee-high boots.

In other words, I  won’t be around here much, or maybe not at all.

Perhaps this will be my last monthly editor’s letter (in which case, we’ll eventually change the title to “Later, dudes”) or perhaps I’ll feel the urge to post a new one every once in a blue moon. But starting now, The Happiest Home will no longer be accepting new sponsors (instead, we will be encouraging potential sponsors to consider the quickly-growing podcast network, and I’ll still be doing limited spokesperson work.) Sarah and I will be redirecting some of our favorite posts to our personal websites, and in general, I won’t be thinking of myself first and foremost as Meagan, creator of The Happiest Home, but more generally as Meagan, writer, podcaster, and communicator. It’s kind of painful, a little scary, and definitely a melancholy and bittersweet change – but one that needs to happen. 

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That all said, while I won’t be wearing these particular flip-flops anymore, you’re welcome to borrow them any time you want. The archives will stay active, and hopefully we can set up a system that’s even better at displaying our best content from throughout the years. And while The Happiest Home may not continue to be my personal residence, I’m not leaving the internet – far from it! Here’s what you can expect from me: 

  • Motherhood is, obviously, still a huge part of my life.  You can catch me discussing home and family life weekly-plus at the Life, Listened podcast network.
  • Is the written word more your thing? I still think you should give the podcast a try, but no worries, I’ll never stop writing. You’ll find my words every so often at my personal blog, and more frequently at the sites I write for (one big goal of mine is to be better at letting you all know where my personal writing is featured – for now, Twitter is probably the best place to stay informed.)
  • If you’re interested in branching out into new topics, I’ll also be doing more writing about personal development, the creative life, and running a small business. Keep an eye on my personal blog for more. 
  • I’ll be planning more classes and live events – by the way, my first BEYOND retreat is in just a couple of months! – and brainstorming other ways to maintain and strengthen a connection with all of you. Comment threads just don’t cut it, people!
  • This is a good place to mention that if you haven’t joined my email list yet, now’s the time. I’ve been on a bit of an email hiatus over the summer, but it is my #1 favorite way to connect with people and I definitely plan to keep the conversation going there. (Not sure if you’re on my personal email list? If you’ve been getting email from The Happiest Home but NOT directly from me, you are probably NOT on my more active, more personal list. Go ahead, join it – we try hard not to duplicate messages, so no big deal if you’re on both lists.)

Well, that’s a lot, isn’t it? Again, I want to stress that this isn’t really “goodbye” – both Sarah and I are just a click or two away (speaking of which, have you visited her infrequently-updated, but always well-written, personal blog lately?) 

And as always, we want to hear from you with your thoughts, questions, or suggestions. Leave a comment below, or email us at hello@thehappiesthome.com and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Writing this blog has been a pleasure, a privilege, and at times, a lifesaver. I consider everyone who has ever left a comment or reached out via email, and for those of you who’ve read without interacting over the years, your silent support means more than you could know. I’m pivoting, but not disappearing, and I hope many – honestly, ALL – of you will come along for the ride. 

Meagan

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