Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

August 21, 2013

On Getting Back In The Swing Of Things


Returning from a long vacation is always interesting.

Towards the end of my trip I was longing a bit for home and the normal everyday routines of life.

I was also missing my kids.

Divorce is a funny thing in that it’s given me a bit more freedom from time to time but also tugs at my heart in so many different ways. I focus on the span of time, that things are temporary, that I should enjoy the moment I’m in and take it for the gift it is vs. wishing it away. All things we all face in our lives as we navigate different events and transitions.

Returning home means coming back to George (Katie’s Mom lovingly visited him while we were away) and his silly antics.

Returning home means checking out the unplanned tomato garden. They are still going strong and getting closer to turning red.

Returning home means a change in the seasons is coming. Back to school plans and shopping are underway. Big changes for both kids as they each enter new schools this year.

Returning home means back to work. It also means a decompression of all the work-related observations and ideas I had while gone. Ideas about products, about ways to change up the things I’ve been doing, etc. Thinking about things to let go of to make room. Back to school time also feels like a good time for me to take a look at all my work stuff and figure out what’s been working and not-working and plan/envision what’s next.

Many people experience the desire to spring clean in the spring. I usually do too but I also acutely feel it as we transition from summer to fall. I’m going through the kids clothes making room for Anna’s uniform staples and for longer pants and bigger shirts for Simon. I have plans to go through closets and tackle the toys too. I like the idea of fresh starts all around as we move into September.

I’m also thinking a lot about what it means to thrive. Emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, creatively. Lately I’ve felt a little like I’ve just been “making it through.”

I realize my voice has been silent here for the last few weeks and probably a bit longer as a majority of my creative energy has gone into my Hello Story workshop. I’m looking forward to embarking on Week In The Life next month and finding new ways to share and express myself here.

As always, thank you for being here. For reading and commenting and being a part of this experience.


  • 1.
    Amanda Rose said…

    Beautifully expressed.

    I’m looking forward to embarking on Week in the Life, too, as it is coincidentally scheduled on a Monday-through-Sunday I have to get to the bottom of. ;)

    Here’s been my prep for Week in the Life so far:

  • 2.
    Pink Ronnie said…

    What a beautiful post, Ali.
    Thanks for sharing this with us…
    Ronnie xo

  • 3.
    Sue H (Suedio) said…

    Ali, sometimes “making it through” is a precursor to something much more uplifting. On those days it’s just one foot in front of the other, one breath at a time . . . and that’s enough.

    For now.

    Be gentle with yourself.

    Love your kids.

    The rest will working itself out in its own good time!

    • ….
      Jo-Anne from ZA said…

      Ah WOW Sue……

      Wise wise words.

      Thank you for reminding us not to be so hard on ourselves all the time and just be still and enjoy………

    • ….
      COEngrGirl said…

      @Sue H, I agree with Jo-Anne, your words are so very wise. And timely. I have a friend who is struggling a bit right now and I will be sharing these with her.

    • ….
      JEANETTE said…

      Beautiful advice Sue thankyou
      Your words will help me get through today
      big hug from Australia

      Beautiful post Ali – struck a chord with many people I’m sure

    • ….
      Jane said…

      I too have had times when the best you can do is to make it through and that ‘best’ was good enough. Right now I am ready for thriving and that really hit a note with me – maybe a 2014 OLW.

    • ….
      Kristal said…

      Sue~ Great advice, which I needed right now. I am going through a divorce and it was a great reminder for me.

      Ali~ I totally get what you’re saying about the divorce situation. Free time is nice, but it is also bittersweet.But it has definitely made me more aware of just how much more present I need to be when I am with my kids.:)

  • 4.
    Brooke said…

    Lovely post. I always find it interesting the differences between the actual seasons (summer/winter) and the seasons of change (school year) between the Northern and Southern hemispheres. I like to use the differences I see on blogs to inspire and compliment my experiences here in Australia.

    Maybe without those ‘making it through’ periods one can’t really thrive?!

    Also wanted to say that I really enjoyed the Summer Voices series. Lots of great things learned.

  • 5.
    Christina said…

    Thanks Ali for sharing your thoughts … actually i make my “spring clean”, too.

    Less is more! In my rooms and in my thoughts and in my work!

    My son is going to school for his first time in September.
    It is so exciting.

    Best wishes to you and your familiy.

  • 6.
    Sue P, said…

    Thank you Ali for sharing “ÿou”. Your gentle reminders help us navigate this every changing life we all live. And yes.. I am glad it does change-how boring we would all be if it didn’t!!

  • 7.
    Solgunnf said…

    I can relate to som many things in your post. Thanks for sharing. Love your work.

  • 8.
    Susan Bowers said…

    Thanks so much for sharing. Looking forward to up and coming and definitely a week in the life.

  • 9.
    Monika Wright said…

    I felt your words, Ali. I’ve been letting go of “things” that have taken my time but not my heart. There is a fine line between being everywhere and just being in the moment. I saw that my creative and family life suffered because I was busy being creative for other people and that left no time for me and my girls’ art projects and adventures. I was tire of making it through and want to enjoy the journey. I’ve “spring” cleaned and am still working on it. I’ve taken a crochet class that’s been on my list for way too long and I’m hooked…ha,ha! Life is great, we just need to listen to it and grasp what makes our hearts beat and let go of all else. I wish you joy in every little room of your life!

  • 10.
    Carolyn HP said…

    Ali, coming back from a trip is always a struggle for me… I love the adventures but sometimes it’s hard to get back into the flow of every day life. I find having new goals to look forward to really helps with that. I agree with others have said, remember to breathe and find what works for you as you inspire so many of us in our creativity and in celebrating every day life. You will find your way, enjoy the journey… Loving all your posts as always.

  • 11.
    Vanessa Viles said…

    Hi Ali,

    I just love reading your daily posts and am so happy when they arrive in my in box.

    You seem like such a lovely gentle person and a great mother. I take my hat off to you raising 2 kids and making a success out of your career. Keep up the good work.

    Love your post on your trip to Paris!

    From Vanessa
    Johannesburg, South Africa

  • 12.
    Leora said…

    You are a beautiful spirit and I so appreciate you for sharing yourself with us. I am in the “back to school” mode too–one to college and one to high school. Feeling a little anxious about the transitions and about wrapping some needed organization around my life. I am sending good vibes to you today and always.

    With gratitude,

  • 13.
    Jenny A said…

    Thanks Ali for being sharing your life with us and being an inspiration. Your thoughts and words are beautiful and hit home on so many levels. It’s inspiring how positive you continue to be.

  • 14.
    Christine said…

    Such an inspiration you are Ali.

  • 15.
    Megan said…

    As always, beautiful post. Can’t wait to document Week in the Life again this year. Looking forward to what you have planned!

  • 16.
    Jannie said…

    I agree that was a lovely post. I really appreciate the thoughts and perspectives you shared. Thank you, Ali.

  • 17.
    Lisa said…

    We care deeply for you, Ali. We’re routing you along. Do you hear the “WooHoo” just when you need it? Yeah, that’s us.

  • 18.
    Dori said…

    What a beautiful post. You, dear Ali, bring so much joy and inspiration to our lives. And when you give so much of yourself to others, so lovingly and unselfishly, the love and the good always comes back to you. My father always told me that and he was right. Can hardly wait for WITL!

  • 19.
    Megan Anderson said…

    This post is beautiful, Ali! I hope your transition home is wonderful.

    Also, I always feel more like “Spring cleaning” in Autumn, too.

  • 20.
    Stacy said…

    Nice heartfelt post, Ali. Best wishes.

  • 21.
    {vicki} said…

    What a wonderful post.
    Good luck getting back into the swing of things.
    My son started school on Aug 8th and we are still adjusting—it’s hard when we’ve had such a fun, carefree summer!

  • 22.
    Mary said…

    Beautiful post – thank you so much for sharing, my friend. Welcome back!!

  • 23.
    Elizabeth A said…

    September often feels like New Year’s to me…a fresh start with cleaned out closets, new school supplies and renewed energy for new stuff.

  • 24.
    Leanne in CA said…

    Glad to have you back and look forward to reading your future posts! Have a great week!!

  • 25.
    Patti L said…

    Right there with you. Trying to savor summer, but can’t help feel the changes of fall coming. I do a lot of “faking it to make it”… it seems to work, but I too am always after more of a concrete feeling of thriving. Hang in there.

  • 26.
    Amanda P said…

    Thanks for sharing Ali. I lived common-law for 10 years and in the 10th year (in 2009), found myself at the end of a failed relationship. There were days that I’d cry for probably the same reasons that you might have…and there are others where I hold my head high and am proud of how far I’ve come over the last few years. My 7 yr old daughter is my greatest achievement and I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am without her. I agree, it is hard to savor those moments to yourself…..but it has definitely helped me in my new relationship and it gives us time to heal, reflect and take time out for ourselves even though I feel guilty for doing so.

  • 27.
    Michelle L said…

    My boys just went back to school this week and ‘making it through’ sums it up pretty well. I always get anxious to get back into a routine that feels normal again but at the same time miss summer and how laid back it can be.

    I do the same thing every year before school starts. We go through cothes and toys and I clean and get organized.

    Thanks for writing this post it was very well put!

  • 28.
    Maureen said…

    Even as those tomatoes do, the days of ‘just getting through’ are the means to those days of ripeness, to thriving. Growth can often be a struggle I have learned, and even if I don’t love those times, I can appreciate them for what they are. And they always end. Hugs!

  • 29.
    stacyk said…

    Wow! I understand completely what you are saying. I too feel the same way in my life. We will all figure it out, and just a path we follow in life. It’s all good!

  • 30.
    Deann said…

    Love your words Ali. So thought provoking. Thankyou.

  • 31.
    Fauve said…

    I can relate to your story.But it goes with ups and downs somehow.Good to hear you are in a good place right now,ready for a new start!I think we all need to take a moment from time to time to realise what we DO have and be thankful for it.It’s so much easier to focus on the bad stuff…

  • 32.
    Krista said…

    Beautifully put. I always love reading your introspective posts. It reminds me to take stock so to speak. Thanks for the reminder.

  • 33.
    Erin Reive Tigner said…

    I just adore you. You rock. Let’s be pals. :)

  • 34.
    Nora said…

    Glad you had a great vacation. But have to admit I have missed you!

  • 35.
    Lori Hudson said…

    Interesting that you mentioned divorce. I’ve always wondered if certain things would be easier if I were divorced. PLEASE don’t think I am glorifying an awful thing. I know that it can be devastating for a family. But, if I were required to give my kids to my husband (who is a great father) at designated times, I think I would lose a lot of the guilt I feel when taking time for myself. No guilt about taking a solo vacation. Of course, that guilt might be replaced by the guilt of breaking up my family. I don’t know. I also think I might find it easier to stay in the moment when my kids are with me. Perhaps I take all that time I have with them for granted. Overall, divorce, in my case would be absolutely wrong. But I can’t believe that I am the only married mom who has ever thought of life on the other side.

  • 36.
    Danelle said…

    Ah…Ali, I think how you’re feeling sums up how many of us feel coming from all different places in life. I always find a flood of different emotions at the beginning of a new school year and the older my children are, the more intense those feelings become. Wishing them and you a peaceful transition to new schools and routine. We’re already in our second week of school here, one starting High School and one starting Middle School. I can hardly believe it at times…

  • 37.
    Jenni Hufford said…

    hugs ali! you are awesome!

  • 38.
    pam said…

    love this post. love you. so much i relate to here. love the idea of “letting go to make room” somehow, the way you put it, i suddenly saw it a little more clearly as it relates not just to things, but also ideas, plans, behaviors as well. fighting the good fight, for a life full of love and meaning and thriving vs.surviving.i have always loved back to school/fall- a fresh start of sorts, re-structuring, new goals…as always, thanks for sharing your journey.xo

  • 39.
    dona B said…

    I always do a big clean out when I get home from a trip, especially a longer one. Something about living out of a suitcase for a while really points out how much excess is in my home.

  • 40.
    Pam said…

    We are so lucky for all you do! I love your work! You are my favorite! Thank you!!

  • 41.
    Sabrina said…

    Welcome back, Ali! I share your sentiments regarding fall representing new beginnings. Even now that my daughter has graduated from college and we no longer have any back-to-school routines, I still find myself drawn to many of the same activities.

    Take your time – it will all fall into place and you’ll undoubtedly wake up one morning to realize that, without realizing that it snuck up on you, you’re thriving!!

  • 42.
    slmnontec said…

    “Just making it through” has been my lifeline for the past 5 weeks as I recover from open heart surgery right in the middle of summer activities. It has been so distressing to read blogs of people on vacation, seeing family, and just enjoying good sunny weather as I was cooped up in the hospital for 14 days fighting for my life. It was M I S E R Y ! I try to be thankful, but recovery is TOUGH. My spirits are low; my soul is injured. Sitting on a bench by the river, eating a picnic with my husband was a highlight to my life last night. I have to continually be reminded of those little moments during all of this “blackness”. I’m going to LIVE MY LIFE TODAY.

  • 43.
    Laura G.Turcotte said…

    What can I say that hasn’t been already said previously?? Not much…so, with sounding like a broken record, I’ll say it. A beautiful post from a person who has had her share of ups and downs in life..and has never lost sight of the real. Thank you…and ….just thank you.

  • 44.
    Madeline St Onge said…

    Welcome back Ali, happy you had the time to relax and just be. I love fall, time to clear it out and clean it up

  • 45.
    CJ said…

    I always have that desire to organise, declutter and be more effective in September as well. Just as soon as my boys are back at school I will be on it!

  • 46.
    Lisa W. said…

    It is amazing how you “share” your thoughts, your concerns, your joys. And that is how we are all bound together as one. We all have stuff, concerns, and joys. Thank you for reminding me to take one day at a time. Missed you too, so happy your trip was wonderful, hoping to make it to Paris one time in this thing we call life:)

  • 47.
    KarynS said…

    Welcome home Ali. It’s lovely to have you back. AS always this post is very honestly & beautifully written. Looking forward to Week In The Life.

  • 48.
    amberca said…

    I still love coming to your blog and hearing your voice come through. You have so much to offer and you always inspire me. I think I will also participate in ‘week in the life’ along with you.

  • 49.
    Valerie said…

    I love how honest and real you are with us Ali. Thanks for sharing you creativity and bits of your life.

  • 50.
    Carrie said…

    I hear an apology in that post, which is ridiculous. Your blog is a pleasure to your readers. You owe nothing, and no one would begrudge you a vacation. Take your time, recharge, let loose. When you have something creative to share, we will read. It’s supposed to be fun!!!

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