Over the weekend, I made a big announcement: I’ve decided to close my shop here at karasanderson.com.
I know the whole shop closing probably forever thing may have been a little unexpected.
And beyond closing my shop, I’m making some other big changes as well. I’m going to put my blog and social media on hiatus soon too.
(The plan right now is that my blog posts will remain available, but any free downloads on posts might not be available because I’m pausing my email service.)
As many of you know, my son started college in September. You don’t know that my daughter has grown up so much in the past couple of months – driving, getting her braces off, getting a job, plus she has big plans to start dual enrollment classes in January.
And so things here are changing drastically.
For a while, I was telling people life felt like that game Perfection. Do you remember? You had 60 seconds to get all the pieces into place or the game would “pop,” and you had to start over. (Dear Lord, they still make it.)
Sidenote: I feel like this game is at least partially responsible for the perfectionism and anxiety I have dealt with since I was 6.
But recently I was doing a speaking thing, and realized it’s not the game Perfection – it’s that scene from the third Indiana Jones movie:
Indy is rushing through a series of secret rituals in hopes of retrieving the holy grail, a cup that can be filled with water. One drink grants eternal life, and in this case, the grail will also save Indy’s father, who has been shot.
Indy has to make a literal leap of faith, and when he does, the path appears.
And so THAT is really more what it’s like, friends. I don’t have to put all the pieces in place. I just need to have faith and take the next step.
I will tell you since beginning this process, I have felt so much lighter. I don’t necessarily see a path ahead, but I feel it. And for now, that’s enough.
My whole deal – writing, podcasting, my book – they’re all about homeschooling with you. I’ve never been an expert offering advice. I’ve always felt more like a big sister – sharing the raw truth with you, and trying to remind you to be kinder to yourself, more patient, gentler …
Right now, I need those things.
I need slow.
I need to knit, and read, and drink tea and yes, write, but maybe not for public consumption just yet.
So please know, that as I find my way, I will miss you.
A few people have said “Kara, maybe THIS is the next step – maybe you help mamas navigate what to do as their children grow up and move on.”
And maybe. Maybe at some point.
But it’s all so raw and new – it would feel like serving you crudité instead of a lovingly slow-cooked, nourishing vegetable soup.
It would be fine, but you’d be hungry again in a half-hour.
That said, I’ll share a few things that are helping me:
- Vanessa Wright’s Life Coaching
- Friends at this same life stage
- Knitting (I’m making a knit version of one of these!)
- Quiet mornings
- Marcus. (He’s a chipmunk. We have a whole thing.)
- This book. Oh my, this book.
- Yoga and Meditation
- Copious amounts of chocolate and caramels
In fact, during that speaking thing last week, the host asked where people could find me and I answered “therapy.”
It’s true. Therapy is a tremendous help.
And you know what my therapist asks me every session …
She asks what I am doing for self-care.
Self-care is a big deal to me, because I didn’t think I had time for it for a long time, but what was really going on was that I didn’t think I was worthy of it and also, I thought that to be a good mom, I had to give my kids every ounce of me.
That is not the recipe.
The actual recipe should go more like, give your kids some of you and then take REALLY good care of yourself so you can wake up tomorrow and have something more to give.
I’ve written a lot about self-care over the years, mostly because I’ve been trying to figure it out.
It isn’t easy. It’s a practice.
Which brings me back to perfection … the life-choking trait, not the game.
A long time ago now, I changed my tagline on this blog to “Connection, Not Perfection.”
And here I am, seemingly disconnecting.
What the heck, Kara?
So let me tell you this: This is the part of the movie where the hero (YOU!) realizes that she has had everything she needed inside her this whole time. The other character, let’s call her Dumbledore, was just there as a guide for a while.
And it still stands – what I hope for you and your family is connection, not perfection.
Friends, let connection be the lighthouse you seek when the seas get rough, and you’re not sure how to get home again.
I can’t tell you if I’ll be back, or when, but I can tell you – it’s never been about perfection, Dear Heart.
It’s about courage and showing up and continuing to show up, and connecting and reconnecting, and then knowing when it’s time to let go.
So much love to you,
P.S. A lot of you have asked about my book. It’s not going anywhere. You can still grab it in paperback, ebook or audio.
In fact, play this if you need a little hug:
Christine Marshall says
Your blog has been a lighthouse during this bittersweet homeschooling journey. I’ve cried while reading and relating so very much. My oldest is a senior this year and my heart is raw. Thank you so much. Hugs.
I hope you find everything you need. You have helped me in tremendous ways through the years. Ive really missed you and my lil poppies posts.
Thank you for everthing.
Andrea S. says
Homeschooling is that thing that never seems to end, until it does. And then, the homeschooling mama finds herself wondering, “who in the world am I now?” My 20 year old daughter graduated from homeschooling in 2020 and is getting married in 39 days. My 18 year old son graduated a year early, in 2021, and I found myself suddenly “retired” from my life’s focus at 43. Talk about an emotional rollercoaster. What do we do when all that we’ve been comes to an end? Well, I’m slowing down, focusing on being the homemaker that I want to be for my husband, and relearning the arts that came so naturally to me when I was a young child. Best wishes on this next chapter of your life, Kara. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.
I will offer no advice. You seem to be doing all the right things.
I want to say thank you for all you’ve given to all of us. You have been honest about the struggles and encouraging on the hard days. You’ve also shared so much of the delight along the way. You will be missed in these spaces and I wish you well as you take care of your mental health and follow that path unseen.
A very favorite quote I saw several years ago applies here quite well….
When I took the leap, I had faith I’d find a net.
Instead, I found out I could fly.
All the best to you on your journey!
You’ve got this. You absolutely do! And somehow, online presence or not, I think you will be able hear all of us cheering for you as you make that leap of faith and find the things that light YOU up. Show up for YOU, dear Kara. I have no doubts you bravely will land exactly where you need to and exactly at the right time.
Wow! Thank you for sharing. You are so kind and so honest, just like always. Bless you!
Thank you….for everything Kara. The best big “sister” a mom could have.
MELISSA BOWEN says
You’re doing the brave thing of connecting back to YOU! Good for you and thank you for sharing the journey with us.
I am finally coming back to read your reflections regarding your very big and very brave changes that you’re initiating. I feel kind of surprised that your news makes me feel emotional. I haven’t been an a very avid person out here in regards to social media connections, comments or any other tangible way to show how much I appreciate that you’ve been there…. I’ve always been content to sit quietly up on the hill to take in, observe and admire things. Now that you’re reeling in your energies, efforts and focus: I realize I’m going to miss you. Your ‘voice’ was one of few that reached me in a direct and resonating manner when I first made the choice to homeschool my children, now over five years ago. I watched your YouTube videos, learned how to break my ‘planner’ down into seasons and just somehow really loved your ‘voice’ weaving into our adventure as the days move on & on. Now I can say: I will miss you…. you will be missed. That said: I am applauding your decision with my entire heart. All of it. For whatever it’s worth, you have my gratitude, support, understanding and I just hope you create yourself the most beautiful, meaningful year of life up ahead… and always. Thank you for all you’ve shared <3
Kim N. says
Oh my – your presence and wisdom will be missed here! But I wish you all the best in your endeavors. Thank you for all you’ve shared with us!
Jennifer Morris says
My children will never know how lucky they are that I had you in MY life through your writing and podcasting and products. I wish you all the good you can find in your next leap. Love you friend!
Thanks for being my big sister. I find myself adrift with my son finishing homeschooling soon. I long for connection with friends in the same life stage but so many are a few years behind. Yet to find many resources yet. All the very best to you with my heartfelt thanks.
I am grateful for all you’ve shared with the homeschooling community. So many of us are better because of your work and your heart.