Welcome Back

Welcome Back

Dear readers, Happy New Year and welcome back, it’s been a while.  My head and my heart have been elsewhere recently and the urge to put fingers to keypad has been somewhat absent.  Christmas and a reason to pause came as a welcome break as it does for many no doubt.

I never started this blog to diarise my personal life stories or share trivia. Quite simply I couldn’t without sacrificing the privacy and dignity of my teens or our family.  That said there’s no denying that opening up, sharing those glimpses of life, however small and seemingly insignificant and forcing your readers to pause, think and maybe reconsider, gives an added value to blogging.

All of us can pick up a newspaper or magazine to read expertly researched pieces littered with facts or of course google to our hearts content to get a myriad of answers to the simplest or most difficult of questions.  A blog’s success, however, is built on sharing personal experiences, it is these which give an added dimension to readily available facts and an individuality not available elsewhere.

Much as it irks me to say it in this 21st century world of reality TV, true life cuts it and that is probably why my teenagers and many like them are so hooked on the wave of shows that pertain to illustrate scenarios they can relate to.  To be honest though I am guilty of that too.

Some of my favourite indulgences are those quiet moments when I get to read, watch or listen to stories from people doing what I love, pursuing a path I dream of or experiencing challenges that either strike a chord or I can identify with.

My blog started as an outlet to share experiences of parenting through the older years, as well as a platform for airing the challenges our young people face, whilst simultaneously embracing those that come with midlife.  It falls into a particular niche and through it I have made a multitude of connections and been given some wonderful opportunities.  I have also been bolstered during my down times by some touching messages of support not least when I was thrown full tilt into a real life cancer crisis and more recently as I have faced some new parenting challenges.  It is the latter which have thrown me off course a bit recently and forced me to hunker down and focus on those close to me and there is no better time to do that than over the festive period when family is paramount.

Fundamentally I write because I want to, not because I have to.  I love the therapy it gives me and the engagement with like-minded spirits and I think that is true of many and particularly those I admire.

When I was taking my first tentative steps on to the blogging platform there were many blogs that stood out for me in terms of highlighting the value of sharing

So now that the festive break is an all but distant memory it feels right to resume the blog again and explore my desire to put finger to keypad once more and this is my opportunity to pause and to lay tribute to those blogs I loved and admired back in the early days and that still remind me of the value of sharing.  There are too many to mention but in this moment of adversity in my family there are a couple I really what to give a shout out to.

One of my favourite blogs back in the early days was Suzanne’s, who previously curated Three Children and It, now it’s Inside, Outside and Beyond.  Suzanne has faced her fair share of challenges and come out the other side with a smile and an exuberance in her posts that give me hope every day.  Why? Because she has embraced parenting hurdles of the kind that very few of us can lay claim to. I love where she is in her journey right now as a fellow midlife individual but that is not to say her challenges are over and because of this she gives me and many others no doubt encouragement to carry on through all the ups and downs of life.

The other major source of early inspiration for me was Mel, of What Mel Did who has featured in my Fabulous Females series and was the founder of Post 40 Bloggers who has been dealt many tough blows in her life and more recently the loss of all she has done in curating the Post 40 Bloggers platform.  Mel has always come out the other side and I sure she will again with her new business adventures and her continued love of just writing and being her.

There is also the lovely Kylie, an Australian blogger at Reflections From Me who encourages a mindful approach to life with an emphasis on Living Fearlessly Authentic and equally after a series of tough family upheavals is starting her family life afresh in a new location and embracing all the wonders that a fresh start historically offers.

The point of these New Year ramblings, is that life does throw us many curved balls along the way and we all deal with them in our own way, but there is no denying that the urge to give up what you know and walk away is sometimes too prevalent and of course the easy route.

I find myself saying constantly to my teens, “Keep at it.”  “Don’t give up.”  “It will get better.”  That’s what I have said constantly over the past months and whilst I may have said it to my teens with my tongue firmly in my cheek, it actually does – but only if you work at it.

“Life can be tough, stay in your magic.” The words on a card given by my mother to my eldest over Christmas at the inevitable family reunion of the kind that makes you realise how important your family really is and what binds us all together. Borrowed words maybe but the most pertinent and a firm testament to the fact that life is all about staying true to yourself. In the meantime there is always another life episode around the corner. Thank you for your continued support dear friends.  Watch this space for the next chapter.

In the meantime ….. How was your festive break?  Was it filled with happiness and tinsel?  I hope so and do please share your stories of how you deal with upheaval in your family life and more importantly what you do to move forward.  I am all ears.  X







  1. January 14, 2020 / 5:34 pm

    I read this post with dread, thinking that you were going to say that you are giving up blogging! Then I got midway through and you mentioned my blog. I am absolutely honoured that you would say those lovely things about me. Thank you. I write for the reasons that you mention above and find it so hard to walk the right line but it’s stories that people connect with. I think it’s okay to hint at things and say how it’s affecting us without divulging any real detail that could damage someone else. The problem I also find, is that my teens and their friends sometimes read my blog and I wouldn’t want those mentioned to feel any more guilt than they probably already do. It’s a tough one isn’t it? Much love to you in 2020 and I look forward to watching how your blog evolves this year. xx

    • Jo
      January 15, 2020 / 7:46 pm

      Ah the element of surprise Suzanne! I am equally honoured that you follow and find time to read my ramblings. Blogging is a strange one for sure and there have been so many moments particularly over the last two years when I have thought what the hell is the point of this? Probably not as much as my dear husband though. It is bizarre though that it has become my point of retreat, my little of bit me space where I get to say what the hell I like and (spammy comments aside) go relatively unquestioned. But paramount to me are the connections and you are there at the top my dear even though we have never met and that is the strangest thing about it all. Sometimes I feel those I don’t know in real life get me or it more than those that do. Weird isn’t it? But without a doubt it’s those tough times in life where blogging comes into its own. It’s so hard sometimes to express yourself in real life through the spoken word with those that know and love you and being able to write it down and get it out there helps enormously. I am not sure what the next stage will be but maybe not agonising about it is a good place to start. I wish you and yours all the best for the next steps in your journey. Much love. x

  2. January 14, 2020 / 9:46 am

    Happy new year Jo! I had a great Christmas in the new house in Essex close to all the kids. xx

    • Jo
      January 15, 2020 / 7:49 pm

      Happy New Year Laurie. Glad to hear you are settled in your new home and that you had a wonderful Christmas. It must be so nice to be close to all your family. Wishing you all the best for 2020. Xx

  3. January 12, 2020 / 2:27 pm

    I was so surprised and absolutely honoured that you mentioned my little blog, thank you. Life is such a journey, with so many changes we don’t see coming, some tough and some beautiful. With each year we feel we get a fresh start and hopefully learn from past mishaps or lessons. Having teenagers certainly adds another dimension of surprise. This year has already thrown some curve balls with the fires in our country, family fighting for homes and lives and my brother and Uncle both diagnosed with cancer within a week of one another. As a community and a family we are banding together and I am so fortunate to be safe (besides smoke) in my area of this vast dry country. I hold hope for what this year can bring, staying mindful and grateful for each moment. I hope this year treats you kindly xx
    love, Kylie

  4. January 12, 2020 / 10:49 am

    I’m 100% feeling exactly the same way. Blogging gives me room to think, to offload and to share my experiences in the hope that I’m helping someone – and I love that. It doesn’t feel like a chore and that’s why I can’t ever see me giving it up. I’m so pleased it does the same for you too. xx

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