Five years – January 2017 is when I launched my blog.
Six months – June 2021 is the last time I published a blog post.
Why? Because I was uninspired. I spent most of 2021 uninspired. It was a weird year, and it wasn’t one I cared much for while simultaneously feeling as if it’s one of the best years of our lives. My business thrived, and I’m more successful than ever. My marriage thrived, and I’m happier than ever. My kids thrived, and they’re more amazing than ever. My husband thrived, and he’s more successful and happier than ever. We traveled and made memories and spent so much quality time with the people we love the most. We sent our first love to 8th grade, our middle love to 5th grade, and our littlest loves to 2nd grade. We celebrated so many things both big and small, both publicly and privately, and it was just a good year for us.
At the same time, it was such a difficult year for so many people in our lives with the sudden and unexpected loss of so many people (not COVID related, so sit down in the back…people still lose their health battles outside of COVID as well as suffer from devastating and unexpected accidents, and some people simply die in great health of old age because they’re like 102 and it happens). 2021 did not begin on a good note for my family. Just two weeks before we were set to board a flight to Texas to spend a long weekend with my grandmother to celebrate her 100th birthday for the 3rd time (an inside joke between me and Gram) on February 1, she died peacefully in her sleep. She lived well over a century, and she lived a long, healthy, happy, vibrant, busy, active, amazing life. She never looked her age, acted her age, or seemed her age. She is also my best friend, and the person I admire and look up to most in the world – and she was immortal to me. The thought of not having Gram in the world just a quick text away honestly never occurred to me even at her age. I was shocked and heartbroken, and I still miss her every single day. So many things make me think of her, miss her, and cry on a regular basis, and I mourn the loss of someone so important and so invincible and so amazing so much. Sadly, several additional people close to us lost someone they love unexpectedly, too, and so many of the losses were devastating accidents. 2021 was, in that aspect, the stupidest year.
Yet, somewhere in between each devastating blow, we found the time to make some of the most amazing memories. 2021 was the year our family vacations changed from trips to vacations in that we actually enjoyed ourselves, relaxed, and had fun rather than stress about this child or that child or bedtime or this schedule or that one. The kids ages are sheer perfection, and I cannot even begin to tell you what fun these four kids of ours are. To call ourselves blessed is an understatement. We are so lucky. I know being a family of six seems overwhelming and a little intimidating to those who don’t have a large family of their own, but it’s something we would not change for the world. 2021 was the year we realized how much fun our kids are, how great of a time we have together, and what a blessed life we live with four kids are who certainly have their moments but who are primarily so sweet, so kind, so respectful, so sarcastic, so funny, so loving, and so hilarious. It was a good, good year for our family.
It was also a busy year – and anyone who knows me knows how I feel about being busy. It’s not glamorous or the status symbol people like to think it is. I have always felt that being busy all the time is what people do when they’re unhappy with their lives and want to avoid the need to face their reality and really take stock. But, this year was BUSY, and it wasn’t something we could control – well, we could control it, but what parent wants to tell their kids they cannot participate in sports and activities? And we certainly aren’t cancelling date nights and travel. It was just busy because we have four kids in sports and activities, which means four sets of lessons and practices, four sets of games, two schools, multiple classrooms and teachers who plan activities, etc. I struggle when I don’t have ‘rest’ time, and I struggle when every single night of the week is an event or an activity, and the last few months were like that. Combine sports with activities and then throw the holiday season on top of it, and you have a schedule that has you at one school or another more nights a week than you’re at home, and it’s overwhelming at times. It’s fleeting – I know – but it doesn’t mean I didn’t suffer from the exhaustion that comes along with being that inundated with activities.
Balance was difficult in 2021, and that is not something I enjoy. I have always succeeded in balancing my business with my life and our schedules and kids and friends and everything in between, but there is something to be said about having four kids all going different directions. It reminds me of the year the twins began walking and everything we did and everywhere we went was just one big Craig chasing one twin one direction and me chasing the other the other direction and someone trying to find time to help the big kids and have a conversation with an adult in between – and we did not find any joy in that. The only difference now is that it’s one kid to this location, one to that location, two to this location, and why are basketball games three hours long and why does our daughter have to cheer at all the home games? All right, all right – I digress.
In short, I just don’t know how I feel about 2021. I loved hated it, if that makes sense. I loved the memories and the quality time we spent with our favorite people doing new things and having the best time and watching my husband scale a pointy fence and cut his arm (but not his untuckit) while the rest of us climbed over the flat wall and laughed hysterically…you had to be there. Those were the moments. On the other hand, though, I hated the loss and the sadness and the lack of control and creativity and inspiration.
It’s a new year, though, and the last week has been such a beautiful change of pace for us. We spent the week in the mountains with our best friends with nowhere to be, nowhere to go, no obligations or requirements or responsibilities, and we slowed way the hell down. I needed it. I needed that, and I’m feeling so much more like myself again after a rest and a break. I’m feeling motivated and creative. I’m feeling inspired. I’m feeling good about choosing quality over quantity this year, and I’m feeling good about resting in the new year. I spent a lot of time ignoring my body and my mind in 2021 when it said to rest. I don’t like to disappoint my kids, my husband, myself, the people we love – and this year, I’m going to be more cognizant of that. I am my number one priority – I learned the hard way in 2021 that when I don’t make myself my own priority and take care of my own needs, no one wins. I’m cranky and mean, short and impatient, overwhelmed and unkind. I’m not my best self when I’m not my priority. In 2022, Tiffany is my number one priority because I am the number one person in the lives of five other people who count on me, who love me, who need me, and who mean everything to me. it’s not fair to give them what’s left because I’m not taking the time to rest, refuel, and replenish myself. In 2022, the people who mean the most to me get the best of me, end of discussion.
I think I’ve said it before about a hundred and twelve times, but I don’t do resolutions. I do goals. I don’t like to resolve myself to anything – I prefer to focus and to execute and to make things happen, and setting goals is how I do that. I like a word of the year – quality over quantity is what I’m going for this year. While I certainly don’t lack in quality in my own life, I also have an over-abundance of quantity, and that occasionally takes the quality out of things. On that note, I’d like to add simplicity to quality. It was the simplest moments in 2021 that brought me the most joy – the family dinners with my husband and kids where we sat around the table laughing and having fun. Fourteen years of Wednesday night dinner conversations that run the gamut from wildly inappropriate to deeply thoughtful and meaningful to hysterical while the kids run rampant around the house and through the yard. It’s late summer nights on the pool deck while the kids swim and the wine is good and the conversation even better. A great book on a rainy day. Date nights with our favorite people. Golf cart rides and neighborhood dinners in our pajamas. Impromptu sleepovers. Golf dates. Friday lunch dates with my husband. Shopping trips with my girls. Golf with my sweet boy. Family Mario Kart battles. Nights away with just my husband. People whose laughs are better than any joke. Being the test subject when my favorite non-chef-chefs are trying out their new grills/recipes/kitchen hacks. Yoga on the pool deck. Sitting down with my journal and my coffee in the morning.
This year, my goals are as big as ever – if not bigger – as well as a little simpler than ever. I don’t want to spend another year feeling uninspired. I want to share what I’m feeling and thinking in this space rather than always focusing on what’s helpful to others. This is my space to share and focus my creativity, and sometimes that means rambling on and on about whatever is on my mind – and sometimes what is on my mind is moving so quickly and so fast that it comes out unfocused and in a jumble, and that’s all right – and sometimes that might mean sharing something I think people should know or whatever. The point is that in 2021 – my fifth year of blogging – my goal is to share 52 blog posts. One per week all year long; because I’m wondering if not doing that in 2021 is part of the reason I felt so uninspired and as if my creativity was lacking in so many instances. I may never know, but I do know that this is one goal I have, and I’m sharing that here and now. Read it, skip it, unsubscribe, whatever – but six months was enough of a break for me. I spent four and-a-half years writing religiously in this space, and I’m back in 2022.
Happy New Year!
If you take nothing from today’s blog post, do take this one thing – it’s all right to have a love/hate relationship with something. It’s all right to feel that your year (or day or hour or month or week) was amazing but also total fucking garbage at the same time. That’s life. And, guess what? It’s all right to enjoy your own life even when others are suffering around you and when things aren’t picture perfect. When you focus on the good, the good grows. Just remember that – and that no one likes a Negative Nancy (she’s a real asshole).