En Vacances

A holiday is a time to rest, recuperate, to discover new things  and places, to consider things, make big decisions, make small decisions or just to be.  A holiday gives us the distance to see things from a fresh perspective, to assess them with a clearer less jaded viewpoint and with a clear mind and to come back refreshed, and ready to tackle whatever it is with renewed energy and interest.

So I am taking a holiday… a holiday from this blog.

I have been struggling with enthusiasm for some months, maybe back as far as last year but it had become part of who I am, what I do which isnt surprising given I have blogged for something like 10 years.  But that is part of the problem I dont want to be defined by the fact that I blog, or that I garden; I hate being labelled in any way.  I am a complex being, as we all are, and there is much more to me than the fact that I garden or blog.  Blogging in recent times, for me, has become a chore, it has felt like something I have to do rather than something I want to do.  I found myself planning trips to visit gardens so I would have something to blog about or thinking about what I would do in the garden that weekend again so I could blog about it.  That isnt how I want to garden but it had become why I gardened.

I have read a number of articles and heard a number of people recently who have all had the same message if you choose to do something then you should do it because it benefits you, because you get enjoyment from it, because it nurtures your soul, adds something positive to your life.  An article I read about blogging put it very baldly if you are blogging because you feel you should – don’t.  At the start of this year I listed some aspirations, note not resolutions, all of which I have mentally moved on from. One of those was to re-engage with my blog and I tried, I became focussed on trying to improve the stats – never a good place to be – which I did, after all it doesnt take much when you already have a substantial readership to blog more regularly and up go your stats.  But my posts aren’t posts I was proud of, they weren’t my best effort – I really believe that when you feel passionately, or strongly about something it shines through the writing and makes it a pleasure to read. My posts in recent months have been laboured and tired.

Interestingly as I havent been blogging so much about my garden I have started to enjoy it more.  It is my space again.  Not a space I need to share with others.  Someone commented on my last End of Month view that I should open my garden for charity an idea which fills me with horror. Not only would this need a huge amount of work as a I am perfectionist but it would take away that feeling that my garden is just that My Garden, My Retreat, My Sanctuary. I have also over the last year felt less and less inclination to share places I have visited on my blog. There is something that I cant quite pin down about when you write about somewhere you have visited it somehow looses it magic, maybe it is because you have to analyse and pull apart your experience and lay it out for others to consider but I dont want to do that anymore. So my visit to Bodnant last month has remained for me and my Mum captured in photos and memories for us – it was our trip, no one elses.

So, as the advice is to never say never and as soon as you say you arent going to do something you have an overwhelming urge to go back on it, this is to say that I am taking a holiday from the blog.  I dont know for how long and I dont know if I will continue to host the End of Month View – it doesnt matter really there is no need for the meme to be hosted as it has existed for years now.

I would like to thank all my readers for their support and comments over the last 10 years, they have meant alot to me and have given me huge support during some terrible times in my life, real life savers and I would like Yvonne to be reassured that I have already started to just sit in my garden and enjoy it, with the odd bit of sewing to keep me company; Life is Good

19 Comments on “En Vacances

  1. Hi Helen. You have been brave and done the right thing. Good on you. I too get that feeling that the blog is running me and not the other way round sometimes. I try to check myself as I go along and think I will, in future, start posting less frequently myself. I am certainly resisting the urge to post just because I must! You are going out on a high having just made it into the UK Top 10 again and I’m sure you’ll come back refreshed and revitalised when you are ready. You will be missed by many, but have a good rest, enjoy your garden and spend the time you would have been blogging doing something wonderful. Dan x

    • It’s funny as. Don’t think of it as being brace just funny I don’t see it as brace more sensible and cathartic! I didn’t spot the top 10 until after I post d which I am glad about as it may have caused me to either.

  2. I am exactly at the spot where you stand, Helen. I’ve considered writing a very similar post myself; indeed I still have a draft post from about four years ago (!) saying pretty much the same thing. I increasingly find blogging a chore, a requirement even and I never wanted that. Never intended that.

    Enjoy your time away and I hope you find a way to come back. I shall miss your new post notifications popping up in my in-tray. But if you don’t return, well that’s OK too.

    Have fun


    • Hi Dave
      Thanks, I needed to give myself permission to not care or worry about it. Made the decision few weeks back and feel like a weight has already come off me.

  3. Well I have just published a very similar post and then pulled back from the brink. If you are anything like me Helen you want to do everything in the very best way you can, which results in so much pressure it eventually becomes unsustainable. My compromise is to publish only when there is something significant to say (when the words genuinely flow) and to disregard all the advice about following a structured pattern. I do hope you return, I’ll miss you and your gorgeous garden (see above!!). The End of Month View has been such an inspiration for me and a toe up the behind when I’ve needed it most!
    Take care of yourself Helen and have a great summer. x

    • Hi Jessica
      I started with only blogging when I had something to say and then ended up here as I realised I didn’t have such to say!

  4. I am certainly disappointed since you blog is one of my favorites. Still, I can understand the aversion to chore-iness. I will miss the updates your garden , and hope that you will find peace there.

  5. Happy holidays! It’s frustrating, I agree, when you feel something has become a chore which you don’t even do as well as you can. Time to stop, reconsider, even reimagine. The only thing I would say is Don’t Rush. You don’t need a decision made instantly. Leave yourself space and what you want to do will become obvious to you.

  6. Hi Helen
    I was sad to read that Blogging has come to be a chore for you and fully understand and respect what you are saying. Having read the comments here I am even sadder to think that the three bloggers I enjoy reading and follow (You, David and Jessica) are all feeling the same! I have just upped my blogging to 2x every week! I hope all you lovely people will be back…..but if not……. I hope you all enjoy your gardening more than ever. Best wishes
    Helen Cronin

  7. thank you for sharing your life and garden. I have enjoyed your blog and am impressed with your watercolors.

  8. Thank you Helen, both for your blogging and honesty. Life is stressful and you are sensible to concentrate on those aspects that bring joy. Your garden is your joy, frustration and also the place you find peace.
    Enjoy your retirement.

  9. Enjoy your ‘holiday’ and your garden Helen which I know is most precious to you. Your love and knowledge of plants has always shone through your writing and has certainly been responsible for adding to my wish list over the years. I hope that you return here at some point in the future. Take care xxx

  10. I know the feeling… I stopped my previous blog for exactly the same reason. It was dictating my life and it was getting too much. I hoped to calm down with my new blog…but slipping in the same direction. Will miss reading your blog, but wish you all the best with finaly doing your thing 😉

  11. Hi Helen fro th other side of the world. Enjoy your holifay – maybe to New Zealand? I have enjoyed reading about thr reverse seasons in your grden and watched the development of your gardens. Enjoying your front garden maturing. love the gren splashes of euphoribia! My garen jprtty static with mainly pots broms ect doing well and looking good and taking pies off them to give away. A I SAID BEFORE I HAD A STROKE SO TOO MUCH har gardening out for me now. Have an alsrm if I all. BOage!!!!!!!!!Hopefully the ulbs my daughter repotted for me will do well over winter an rewar me in spring. I have my boyfrien or the weeken and we are going don to th orhard to chedk on the fiejoas a green fruit tht NZ’ love. Unfortunatrely th uava mothe has wredk havoc on fruit here nd lys its eggs on ripeing fruit and the wriggglies eat the frruit from th inside. Not very inviting! cuttinginto a lot of catAP[illers! Anothr bug to land here is cusing alarm. myrtle rust. No ure as yet and ausisng devistation where it has established. not too bad here yet but if it get a hol bewar our amaing pohutukawas etc as in myrtle family – panic aanic!! Blown in from the Paciific.th myrtle family mainly in Australia bu we have a frew special plants here too. Late autumn here and first big snow down south brrrr. W have a ove blue, sunny day here witha sneaky cool sw wind. My econd ddughter ehwo llives on other side o Auckland on the west coast – black sands and surf ha a swim the othr y las of eason – pretty cold about 20 /22degrees c I imagine too col dfor me. The photo looks lovely tho’. She is a mainly nZ native garener and landscaper. Bettr knowlede of natives and edibles than me.She is on her 3rd poperty to break in . lso she designed our big native/bird garden 3 years ago and doing well. She is also planning eldest aughters amazing new garden on the wtaters edge an hour north of here. A magifc place with reflections from evey window truly beautiful. Well mut go an catch some fiejoas and have for desert tonight. Still woul love to visit your garden and watdh its progress. Enjoy your seat an dmell thr roses. Yvonne x

  12. It is a brave decision and no doubt one you have been pondering for a while. You have made such a big contribution to the garden blogging community over the years and inspired many of us in our own blogs and our own gardens – so thank you for that. If you are still able to dip in and out occasionally it would be lovely to hear how and what you are doing; I wish you much joy in whatever you do, Helen

  13. Enjoy your break Helen and thank you for your blog which I have read regularly over the last five years. Yours is the only blog I read regularly as you were the most genuine and sincere voice I came across. I will miss you but would like to say, well done, you did a great job and it was a privilege to share your garden adventures!

  14. I can only echo everything that has already been said. I have only come to your blog recently but shall be sad to see you take a sabbatical (for my own selfish reasons because I enjoy your posts) but it is clearly the right thing for you. Interesting that several other writers are having similar thoughts. As you say, if something’s not adding to your happiness and wellbeing, then cut it out if you can. Enjoy your beautiful garden and take the time to smell your roses… Ceri

  15. Good luck Helen, I’ve only recently found your blog as I decided to take it up myself, and yours is really lovely. I hope you have a relaxing time doing what you love.

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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