On Taking Breaks

Hi everyone, it’s been a while hasn’t it? I don’t really know how else to say it, but I needed a break just to recalibrate with everything that’s been going on in my day job life—I got promoted about a month ago, and have already traveled a bunch of times, helped with events—and life life. Safe to say, it’s been a little bit crazy readjusting my schedule a little and pivoting into my new role and dealing with a lot of emotions running off of my Mamaw’s memorial two weeks ago. It’s been great to just take a breather, and I’m thrilled to be making the steps that I am in my career, but that in turn has impacted my enjoyment and time for my other hobbies: reading, needlepointing, video gaming, cooking, and of course, baking cookies, especially with the influx of orders I’ve received since opening my etsy shop, which is SO COOL, but also exhausting. I’m just realizing now that it was (and kind of still is) just becoming too much.

Burnout is a real thing…Burnout from grad school ruined my non-fiction writing need and urge…it’s sad to say, but it’s true, and I do NOT want to lose my love of being in my kitchen…and I was starting to feel that burnout with regards to baking…so I took a 2 week break, and will not be baking any new order July so that I can rest and come back with a renewed vigor for something I am taking great pride and enjoyment in. But I need to be realistic on how many orders I can take a month, quantities I can fill, designs I can perform that are going to match the quality I think should be leaving my home…so I’m re-evaluating, honing in, and being honest with my own capabilities, which is never an easy thing to do.

Truthfully, I can’t produce more than 3 dozen cookies in a week. I can only really deal with making/working on cookies after 6pm, which requires a serious amount of planning, not to mention dedicating one day to making meals that will last for the duration of my cookie making moments so that Frankie and I don’t starve or become dependent on takeout (which is not in our budget as we start to save and plan for buying a home in the next year or so…we have to adult from time to time as well…). But I know that, while all these bakers who do this full-time are making these intricate and different cookie orders every week, I can’t do that. I want to be able to to do what they do ONE DAY, but right now, I’m done ordering new cutters, I’m done overreaching and trying skills I’m just not ready to mix into my repertoire (though I won’t stop experimenting on my reject cookies with extra icing), and I’m going to focus on the designs and cutters I have currently and perfecting the skills I’ve got a good handle on now. (Basically, I’m just going to be mostly baking Corgi Cookies!!!) Again, I’m just trying to be realistic…and with my time, if I want to be able to still spend time with Frankie and my friends and on other hobbies that bring joy to my life, I can really only take 1 or 2 orders a month. I forget sometimes that this is a side gig, and while yes, I really enjoy it, I just don’t have the time and find myself becoming thinned out at times and that’s just not good for me emotionally, mentally, or physically. There have to be boundaries.

And on that note, I’ve completely neglected this blog simply because I haven’t been inspired in the dinners I have made and I just haven’t had time…and that’s not okay…but I also know that once a week is just no longer a reasonable expectation for me anymore, so I will be trying (again, TRYING) to write something every two weeks, but FOR SURE every month…or at least 1 new recipe a month, but a post about life and general “here’s what’s going on.” These are all things I’ve been thinking about…plus, Frankie and I are currently getting back into shape, so I have some ideas for some segments, one of which I think I will kick off now!

Starting today, I’m doing a 30-day challenge using the Sweat App and will be posting my completed trophy screens to my Facebook & Instagram Story to stay accountable! I’m doing the BBG workout plan (polymetric based with some yoga & cardio/weight workouts) and I even planned out this ENTIRE weeks meals! Big steps from where I was about two weeks ago, but you have to start somewhere right? I know this was a major life dump on my amazing readers, forgive me, but I promise that I am back, I have some cool meals in the works that I can’t wait to share, IT’S FINALLY SUMMER! And with that, that’s all I have for now. I just needed to write something, to say hi and make sure I haven’t fallen too far off the radar. Until next time (and my next meal)! — Cooking Maggie

PS. Enjoy the conglomeration of photos (mostly of Tuggs) I’ve taken since being absent! (Let it be known…dogs are amazing and keeping you level on an emotional level, but Tuggs is the best at it.) You can always see more of what I’m doing on a day-to-day basis on Instagram! @therealcookingmaggie

PPS. If you’re wondering where Frankie is in all of this, JUST YOU WAIT! On July 4th we will be celebrating 10 years of being a couple (…lord…) and I have a post dedicated JUST FOR HIM in the works, so he can wait a few more weeks to have his photos all over the blog. =)

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