Tree Clearing {Probably Not What You Think}

Being a creative blogger can be challenging in times of hardship. How I took a step back and gained a new perspective to move forward.

You know the expression, You Can’t See the Forest for the Trees? Well, it started to ring true for me this summer.

A series of events unfolded that made me question what I was doing and why I was doing it.

Anyone who has started a blog knows how much work and dedication it takes just to get things off the ground. You think, phew!, but then a different level of commitment is required to create new and interesting content week after week.

Perseverance and hard work have always been part of my life. I grew up in the prairies of Alberta where bale slinging, garden weeding and rock picking were just part of Saturday afternoon. I’m like my mom who’d rather be baking or cleaning out a closet on Sunday afternoon than laying with a book on a lounger. I’m a doer.

Jam Thumbprint Cookies

But, in April, something started to shift. My husband’s aunt (a dear friend of mine) ended up in the hospital. Visits back and forth (4 hours one way) meant weekends were tied up, and her health and well-being were constantly weighing on my mind.

Months in the hospital went by. We realized she would never return home, and that meant getting her home ready to sell. Another weekend gone.

Where would she transition to from the hospital? Hours and hours spent on the phone, in meetings and running around. (To say our healthcare system needs a restructuring is an understatement!)

Yay, her house sells! Wait, what will we do with all of her belongings? We’ll figure that out this coming weekend…

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while now know I’m not an open book. It takes a lot of courage for me to open up about personal stuff on the web. But, when I started getting emails and messages asking if I was away or if something was going on, I knew it was time to say something. I knew I owed some sort of explanation for my inconsistency.

Yes, I was away. We just got back from our family vacation on Vancouver Island, and I’m feeling refreshed and have a million project ideas. Those will have to wait until after this weekend when we finally wrap up this house business. (Are you busy? Need any furniture or towels or sheets?)

Cox Bay Near Tofino, British Columbia

Then we can change our focus from her stuff to her health.

After that, I need to address the whole issue of my new blog going live in July (yay!) and crashing just after (OMG!). We’ll save the details of that for another time…

So, what does all of this have to do with the business of blogging? Well, with many jobs you can fake it in times of hardship. You can putter along and come through the other side with most people not even noticing (or caring).

Blogging isn’t just about hard work. It requires constant creativity, inspiration and, hopefully, some originality. It takes focus and attention to detail. It involves planning, foresight and wearing many hats.

When you’re distracted or are being pulled in many different directions, readers can see through it.

That’s the scary part. It’s like writer’s block and you don’t know when it will finally lift. You start to think, is this where I close up shop like blogger X, Y and Z?

After doing some “tree clearing” the past couple of weeks, I’ve gained a new perspective. Sometimes we experience a shift in our lives that makes it hard to go back to the way things were. That’s okay. New chapters bring new meaning.

We need clouds and rain to really appreciate a blue, sunny sky.

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain- Quote by Vivian Greene

Moving Forward

Will I still be blogging? The answer is a resounding YES! At the end of the day I would chose it over and over again, and I don’t think that will change anytime soon.

Will I be sharing decorating, gardening and organizing posts? I’m sure of it. But, there may be a whole lot more that comes out of this experience.

One thing I won’t do is force what isn’t there. As smart as you are, I know you can see through it. That’s why I haven’t churned out posts for the sake of it. If I don’t feel it, I know it won’t resonate with you.

So, bear with me as the dust settles around here and I’m able to get my “new” blog up and running. I’m so looking forward to what comes after more than you know.

Thanks for sticking around and showing how much you care!


Shauna at Satori Design for Living Blog - Home Decor, DIY, Vintage Finds, Recipes


  1. What a personal and beautiful post Shauna! I am glad you are feeling refreshed after your vacation and look forward to all you have in store for us on your beautiful blog!!
    Life can take us down so many different and unexpected roads… and even though some of those roads seem a bit overwhelming there are always lessons to be learned and new perspectives to be found. 

  2. Thanks for being so transparent Shauna.  I know, I like to keep my blog as my “happy place” too but inevitably life is hard behind the scenes.  Your vacation was well deserved and can’t wait to see what you’ve been working on!  xx

    1. Important to share the not-so-happy stuff to keep it real, right? In a perfect pinterest world, it’s easy to forget that everybody has something going on, big or small. Sometimes a break is all that is needed to gain a new perspective and move forward.

  3. I for one appreciate your honesty. Thank you for sharing your personal story. BTW, have you considered offering a women’s shelter or students the towels, etc.?

    1. Thanks Wynn Anne! Yes, we are going to try to donate as much as we can. It’s a matter of transporting everything from the small town she lived in.

  4. Shauna, you have had an incredibly difficult time lately. I’m glad to hear that you’re going to keep writing, since I love reading your beautiful blog! When you are ready to start posting again, I’ll still be here – and I’m sure your other readers will be, as well.

    1. You’re so sweet. Yes, I’ve had a lot on my plate, but nothing compared to what she’s been going through plus the other events to unfold in Calgary. That puts everything into perspective. I really do live a blessed life (with some challenges thrown in to keep things real)! Thanks for your support :)

  5. I’m sorry about your husband’s aunt.   I know how taxing that work is as I’ve watching my parents do the same thing for my grandmother.  

    And I know what the job of blogging entails and so I completely empathize with being pulled in so many directions.   I’m glad you took time to do what you needed to do and that you are feeling refreshed now.  

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you have in store!

    1. Thanks Sharon. It is a lot of work, but she’s always been there for us over the years, so I’m happy to do it. Thank goodness we have some of her other nieces and nephews helping out. I’m hoping we never have to go through any of this with our own parents. I’m on them already to start purging and making a plan!

  6. My dear Shauna! I totally know what you are saying… down to the very last sentence! When I started this bloggy thing I learned quickly that trying to churn out for the sake of posting something isn’t natural and feels like a strain, a huge piece of advice I got was… be yourself, trust your gut and do what you love to do. Like you said, people see through the forced stuff and it just becomes another blog that doesn’t have any real passion and zest, it becomes a machine and not a REAL thing. Now, I’m a much smaller blogger and it’s taking me a while to grow, but I am trying with all my might to only post when I want to, no time lines, just posting when I do what I do. Your blog is awesome and I’ve been a fan from day one! I didn’t get to see the new, but I sincerely love it as it is now and trust that what ever you choose to share with us it will be AWESOME! xo

    1. That’s what I love about your blog, you’ve always stayed true to who you are. I know you have gone through tremendous struggle this past year personally, and I’m glad to see you continue to use your gifts and talents to amaze us. I’m sure it’s therapeutic as well.

  7. I loved reading this Shauna – so much truth in it. Blogging is quite the task…I have felt pulled away this summer too with being away much of the summer and it is hard to get back to it. When something big happens, like what you went through, it also changes your perspective about where it is important to place your time and energy. I totally agree about not forcing posts that ‘aren’t’ there. It just becomes too much when you do that- it has to remain enjoyable, right? PS -was that picture from Uke? Blackrock? We used to live in Tofino so it looks really familiar…

    1. It’s just been difficult focusing on anything. I know where my attention has to be right now and I’m okay with that. When I’m inspired or get an idea, I write it down. Yesterday I planned my calendar for September and I’m feeling good about getting back on track. I’ve always been a creative person and I think that’s where I stay grounded and most myself. So important to fit in.

      That’s life. There will always be something. These experiences have definitely prepared me for the future.

  8. Thanks for sharing with us, I know that’s difficult. I’m glad you are ok, or going to be! 
    I’m not busy next week, let me know if I can help in any way! 

  9. You’re doing a great job at keeping it all together Shauna. That’s a lot for anyone to manage. Glad things are coming together, and you got a well deserved break! Keep up the great work!

  10. Sounds like your aunt is really lucky to have you! And it is such a gift that you can be available for her. I’m glad to hear you were able to fit in a holiday – that time is precious. The blog can wait, and we’ll all be waiting to hear from you when you you’re back on track. xo

    1. It always seems like taking time off is counterproductive, but it actually gives you the energy and perspective to face things ahead. Thanks for stopping by :)

  11. I noticed you were a little absent lately. You were missed and I am so glad you have chosen to continue because you are so talented. The last year has been significantly traumatic for me. I have never experienced such stress and life challenges. The only thing that kept me going was family support and knowing this too will pass. I was barely hanging on and having panic attacks throughout the day and several times at night. It is a year later and things are settled. I am still wary but hopeful because I need to focus on the positive. My real world was the priority and my blog world was the diversion but it did suffer. That’s OK. It is the journey not the numbers at the end of the day. I have chosen not to share any details preferring to  keep my experiences the past year private. I guess my message is you are not alone. Take Care/

    1. So sorry to hear about your challenges and time of hardship. No doubt, you’re a stronger person because of going through it all. Quite often these experiences force us to take a step back and assess what’s working in our lives and what changes need to be made. The process can be painful, but that’s better than numbing yourself and forgetting who you truly are. Just know you are supported and appreciated :)

  12. You are a true inspiration, Shauna, and I believe that being where you are needed in the moment has to come first – if it doesn’t, how will the rest be able to follow? There is so much I could say, but I think Laurie has said it perfectly – the hardest thing for me was learning  to be okay with posting when and as I could – when it was best for me… and it’s still a work in progress. That’s not always best for business, but it’s working out to be best for me. The little voice in my head still natters away, but it’s just my reminder that this is a journey, and always a work in progress! Way to go for planning your September out – that’s huge!! :)

    1. Thanks Sheila. I always find your posts interesting and meaningful, so that’s really what matters! For me, it’s never about how many posts someone puts out in a week. It’s about feeling connected or inspired that keeps me coming back.

  13. I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s aunt.  I’m glad you are continuing to blog.  You are a huge inspiration to me and I appreciate all the support you have given me.  I feel the same as you about keeping up with blogging.  I’m not nearly as consistent as you with blog posts and I still have trouble fitting in time to sit down to blog, especially this last summer.  Take your time, do what feels right, we’ll still be here when you come back ;) 

    1. Thanks Sandra. After not having the time or focus to do much blogging this summer, I’ve realized more and more how much I really do love it. It’s about continuing to do what I’m passionate about and being able to share it that puts wind under my sails again. Especially when I have supporters like you!

  14. I love this post! I have only been blogging for about 2 and half months, and I can definitely already see how it can be difficult to put out good content when real life gets busy. I also know too well how taxing it can be to go through an illness with a dear friend or family member. Posts like this are what makes blogging really special. I know that, like me, so many readers relate to this. It does take courage to share something personal. 

    1. Until you start blogging you have no idea, right? Looks like you’re off to a great start! In my experience, bloggers can be some of the most supportive people. You’re definitely in good company!

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