A Fresh New Year…

Here we are in a new year!  Where did 2018 go?  I always feel so refreshed and renewed in January.  It feels like the slate has been wiped clean.  Hopefully we can be proud of the year we’ve just passed and look within to determine where change needs to happen and the direction life should take. Taking inventory of the year that has passed is so healthy as well as freeing.  During the last few weeks I’ve been very introspective and letting go of the negatives and embracing the victories however small they may be.

It’s been quite some time since I posted ANYTHING, ANYWHERE. You could say I took an accidental social media break that led to a longer then planned break from everything online!  It was like the more time I took to start sharing, the less I had to share. I so often wrestle with the balance between vainly sharing too much and sharing what is helpful and encouraging.  Plus, I’m uber introverted but have a substantial need to be heard and understood so that confuses me often!  I guess you could say I’ve hung between overthinking and thoughtlessness lately as much as that makes very little sense.  What complicated beings we humans tend to be!

Taking a break has prompted me to think more deeply about my online presence and how I can be as authentic as possible. It seems like so many of the “influencers” I follow are constantly pushing for something from their audience. How many times have we “swiped up” this year only to be hit with something else to buy?  Spamming feels like a harsh word but it fits. It made me realize how I want to move forward very carefully as I explore my role in a public forum.

When I started this blog 5 years ago, blogging felt more genuine to me. It wasn’t such an over saturated field and bloggers seemed more connected to their message rather then making money. When I became a single mom, I definitely hustled to make this blog lucrative financially so that I could continue to stay at home and be 100% involved with my daughters. Thank you Jesus for blessing me with an income because I cringe to think where we’d be without that blessing. Now that I’m no longer a single mom, I’m working on detaching from that panicked mentality of making a living and defining my success on whether I could pay the bills.

Jenni Raincloud got hit hard last year. With Google making big changes that were not in my favor, stagnant numbers on social media and several affiliations not bringing in commissions as usual, I had to wrestle with the question of , “Am I a success and should I continue?”. 2018 was definitely a year where this blog faltered quite a bit but looking back I see what a blessing in disguise it was to alter my thinking and hone in my goals and true purpose.  I’m excited to move forward and have so much hope for 2019!

On a personal note, as usual, I’m quite relieved the holidays are over.  I’ve been enjoying redoing a gallery wall in my home as well as pruning my indoor plants while pining away for summer.  Since the girls have had a hectic and challenging school year so far, I’ve taken the time to mentally prepare for a new semester and examine my anxiety I struggled with last semester.  So far I’ve managed to not get bogged down by the usual and kept my attitude light.  Becoming self aware is so often half the battle.  Slowing down and reevaluating your reaction to certain situations is so vital!  

As usual, I’m frustrated with the cold weather and longing for spring.  I like to pace my winter blues by allowing myself to get super excited for Valentines Day, my birthday and spring break!  So far so good!  Plus, Rodney and I are taking a trip to Washington near the end of March.  We never really had a honeymoon and I’ve been wanting to revisit one of the most beautiful states(and a few Twilight landmarks as well)! 

I’ve decided to not participate in Dry January but have cut back on my wine intake greatly.  I’m definitely seeing that my wine drinking had become a habit rather then something I enjoyed and it was effecting my sleep as well as causing gut inflammation.  Weirdly enough, I am almost developing a distaste for wine because without it, I have more connection and clarity to what my body needs to feel good.  Plus, I’m sleeping like a log!  Wine should be a treat that induces free thinking, relaxation and controlled self indulgence-not a habit that means nothing by the end of a glass or two.  Anyone go totally dry?  I’d love to hear what you’ve experienced!  

While I have a lot of skin care DIYs up my sleeve, this year could bring extra focus on health.  Through my gluten free journey, I have uncovered quite a lot of information on inflammation and the AIP diet.  I’m excited to share and hope to be helpful for those that experience chronic gut issues like myself.  I also always strive to share more personal things and hope to connect with as many of you as possible.  My Etsy shop will continue because I feel that it is the best way for me to make a living and keep blog content more about delivering information about natural living as well as sharing my life as a mom, new wife and nature lover.  I also plan to continue to share my style on LIKEtoKNOW.IT and Stealing Pretty just because it brings me joy and hopefully helps us women figure out how to put our best selves forward!

So there you have it!  I think I’ve said everything I wanted to say and hope I didn’t bore you with too much of the back end of blogging!  Feel free to comment below on what you would like to see more of or if you just have something to say!  Commenting is the best way to reach me.  I always strive to be better on Facebook and emails but it seems to be where I drop the ball.  

Happy New Year!!  Jenni

P.S. The above mountains and bouquet picture was found on Pinterest and I have searched and searched for the photographer to no avail.  If I find out I will give credit because I adore this photo!! 

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