a winter break

by | Jan 3, 2022 | a slice of life, Balance | 51 comments

Last year, when Shaunna and I were interviewing Jena Holliday for the Creative Exponent podcast, Jena mentioned she took the month of January off.  Not off in the sense that she didn’t work at all, but off in the sense that she took a break from certain aspects of her work.  I remember thinking…wow, you’re really doing that?  Good for you.  And that thought evolved into…hmmm, can I do that?  After giving that option some thought, I realized I could do that.  Not only could I, but it would most likely be very beneficial for me and my business in a variety of ways.  I decided earlier this year that I would take a break from certain aspects of my work in January.  I didn’t know the exact amount of time, but I knew what I needed a break from was sharing online, which has evolved dramatically since I started my blog in 2009.

blue and white | creative work | miss mustard seed

Not only has sharing online expanded from just writing a single blog post to posting and interacting across multiple platforms, but the amount we see of what everyone else is doing has dramatically increased as well.  Instead of checking on a few blogs each day, we’re now seeing a collection of what dozens or hundreds of people are sharing.  And, I’m sure many feel the same inner conflict of enjoying the community and inspiration while simultaneously feeling like it’s all just too much to take in on a daily basis.

So, I’m taking a short break from consuming and creating on social media.  And, I have to admit that as the time has come to take that planned break, I find it’s a little scary to take more than just a few days off.  Maybe that indicates an even greater need to press the pause button.

While I don’t really feel the need to shout from the rooftops that I’m taking some very normal time off, I did want to let my blog readers know for a few practical reasons.  First of all, I have been a very faithful blogger for over 12 years and you might think something horrible happened to me if I fall off the online earth for more than a few days without notice!  I’ve posted on holidays, while traveling, while recovering from surgery.  Not posting for a few weeks would be quite an anomaly.  Second, I want you to know that I’m not taking a break because I am burned out or tired of sharing online or anything remotely negative.  In fact, it feels like a very positive, healthy, normal thing that I’ve been putting off for way too long because I love what I do.  Because I’m almost always bursting with something to share, words to write, and pictures to post.  I genuinely enjoy the community and inspiration I find in connecting with people who love the things I love.

antique trapper basket | winter decorating | miss mustard seed

Lastly, I hope it will encourage you to take an intentional break if you need one and you can give yourself that gift. Too often, we take breaks for vacations, to visit family, or when we’re sick.  It’s much harder to take a break from something just because you feel like it will be good for you.  Just so you can do more creating and less consuming.  More reading and less scrolling.  More analog and less digital.  More in-depth and less surface-level.  More slow-and-steady and less hustle.

I need to give myself a little time to see how it feels to create in the wings instead of on a stage.  As someone who did theatre as my “main thing” from an early age, we were always encouraged to be involved in the crew of a play at least once.  We needed to experience the creative process of a production without the spotlight, curtain call, and applause.

fairfield porter study oil painting | art studio | miss mustard seed

So, this is an intentional break with all of those things in mind.  A break with the goal of giving myself space to create, plan, play, learn, read, and rest.  You know me…I will definitely still be working!  It’ll be a time to take classes, read books, visit a new town, work on pet projects, play creatively without any deadlines to meet or posts to prepare.  I don’t have to be immediately focusing on productivity or profit.

art books | reading stack | miss mustard seed

So, what will I be working on?  Well, I’m definitely going to give myself a lot of flexibility, but I mainly see myself working on oil paintings, pattern design for papers and fabrics, a few home projects, planning, organizing, some creative endeavors like knitting mittens, and purposefully establishing some new healthy habits.

embroidery workbook | miss mustard seed

Of course, I always plan more than I can fit in.  I certainly won’t be bored and I know I will be bursting to share again after this break.  I plan to rejoin the online world in 2-3 weeks, depending on if I feel ready to share or am craving a little bit more time off.

If you want some things to read in my absence, there are over 3,500 posts to choose from.  Here are some of the most popular post categories…

Minnesota Home Tour

Pennsylvania (previous house) Home Tour

Furniture Makeovers

Decorating

Antiques

Artistic Endeavors

You can also watch video tutorials on my YouTube Channel.

And, of course, you can read my book, Feels Like Home.  

But, maybe you want or need to take a break from the online world as well.

Feels Like Home Book | Miss Mustard Seed | #feelslikehomebook

I wish you all the happiest new year and I’ll catch up with you in 2-3 weeks.  I’m off to finish a Fairfield Porter study and continue knitting a “practice mitten” as I learn to make Norwegian Selbu mittens…

knitting selbu norwegian mittens | miss mustard seed

51 Comments

  1. Sharon

    May the force be with you!

    Reply
    • Jill Daniels

      Lovely idea! I got your book for Christmas & it has already inspired me to go bold with a blue color in our half bath. Also – love those mittens!!

      Reply
    • Lisa Garner

      We will miss you, but

      Reply
      • Lisa Garner

        Enjoy this precious time for yourself, look forward to you returning, there are so many of your blogs I havent read, and I have yet to enjoy your book

        Reply
    • Ruth

      I will miss your posts but understand the need for some time out. Take care and all the best for the New Year.

      Reply
  2. Peggy

    You will definitely be missed!

    Reply
  3. Jan

    Curious… are you personally taking a break from being online, scrolling FB or instagram? Or is this all work related….? Thanks. Enjoy the break.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      I am going to take a break from it personally as well. I’ll still check e-mails and be doing some behind-the-scenes work on my blog, but the goal is to be on screens dramatically less and enjoy just being in the world without seeing what everyone is up to all the time. 🙂

      Reply
      • Mayanna

        I decided to take a break from Facebook about 6 weeks ago. I can not resist looking at photos my grown children post. but I do resist commenting or “liking” anything. Before my break, I found that if I commented or “liked” something, it triggered an algorithm which flooded my space with unwanted pop-ups. It is very freeing. Enjoy your time away. Happy painting.

        Reply
    • Suzi

      Enjoy your break and I look forward to your return with exciting stuff to show and tell us about.

      Reply
  4. Margaret

    Enjoy!
    And I see you’re using Karbonz. I LOVE them.

    Reply
  5. Sandra Stankowski

    Enjoy your break, you certainly are a hard worker and will relish some “free time”. I am a new subscriber and love your blog. Will enjoy looking at the posts you listed. Also, just recently purchased your book: FEELS LIKE HOME, and have read about 3/4’s of it. Just love the book and hate to see myself coming to the end of it! Thank you for sharing your unique talents. I can put a lot of what is in the book to good use here on my end.

    Reply
  6. judith

    What a lovely idea, as well as a healthy way to start the New Year. Enjoy your sabbatical – we will be here when you return!

    Reply
    • Susan

      I hope you recognize what a privileged position you are in.

      Reply
  7. Terry A.

    Thanks for letting us know. I, for one, would be worried if I didn’t see you online somewhere! Quick question – did you do a family song for Christmas this year? If so, I must have missed it somehow.

    Enjoy your time!

    Reply
    • Wendy

      What a wonderful idea. Here in Australia it is summertime. In normal times we socialise – drinks grazing table and enjoy the beach. Interested in your mittens. Have you instructions? I am knitting face washers or you might call them flannels!! Knitted with 8 ply cotton yarn in moss stitch – I give them to my friends for their birthdays with a cake of French soap. Enjoy your sabbatical.

      Reply
  8. Becky

    Beautiful choice. I am longing for less digital and more real living as well. Here’s to an intentional beginning to a beautifully on purpose year.

    Reply
  9. Karen

    I consider this act one of self-care and that is so very important! Enjoy your little break! You certainly earned it!

    Reply
  10. teri

    yes! Have a good break. I was thinking about it myself today, after nearly punching the screen whilst reading faceache ! xx

    Reply
  11. Brenda

    Good for you! It is a good example for the rest of us.

    Reply
  12. Rebecca K

    Good for you!
    Blessings in your down time, reflection time or whatever it becomes. I know you will enjoy your time off from the routine.

    Reply
  13. JJ Jacobs

    Enjoy your well-deserved time away – you’ll definitely be missed but never forgotten!! And thank you for sharing your story – it’s a wonderful reminder for myself and others to take time off for your Self so our creative batteries can be recharged.

    Reply
  14. Addie

    Enjoy your time off…we will be here when you get back. It will be exciting to see what you’ve been up to….you never disappoint.

    Reply
  15. Sherry Ward

    Wishing you a happy and blessed new year! Enjoy your break; we’ll be here when you return. All the best . . .

    Reply
  16. Melinda

    Enjoy your break!

    Reply
  17. Betsy

    I can’t thank you enough for all the wonderful ideas you gave us in the month of December. I plan on hibernating with crafts during this Pennsylvania winter. Things I wanted to try and enjoy while doing them, not feeling rushed. Enjoy your well deserved time. You certainly have shared with us.

    Reply
  18. Jody K

    Good for you! See you on the other side.

    Reply
  19. Kristin Fisher

    Wishing you the happiest new year full of rest and sweetness. We all really appreciate you!

    Reply
  20. Annette

    Good for you Marian, enjoy your break!

    Reply
  21. Debbie MacKenzie

    Have a wonderful break and also remember to pamper yourself a little bit.

    Reply
  22. Judeth

    enjoy! you so deserve this.

    Reply
  23. Sandy

    Praying you have a good time apart from the online world. Blessings!

    Reply
  24. Vicki

    Marian, I have been a long time follower and yours is the first blog I read every morning! Thank goodness I received your book for Christmas (it was #1 on my wish list!) . I have never enjoyed a design book so thoroughly. Usually I flip through the book and never read it in order or in its entirety. Not so with this book. I am savoring each chapter and haven’t even looked beyond where I am at in the book so far. It in itself is a beautiful work of art and so well written. I will miss your blog for the next few weeks, but you certainly deserve the time off! I look forward to hearing about all your creative endeavors when you return. Enjoy!

    Reply
  25. Kathleen

    Good for you for taking some needed time off! Im glad it’s only temporary as your account is one of my absolute favorites! Your aesthetic really hits close to home for me and I love your content- so beautiful and inspiring. Have a restful January!

    Reply
  26. Debbie

    Happiest of New Years to you, Marian….!

    I never understood how a blogger “blogged” with any regularity. You say you might be bursting with news to share….well, share it! But I don’t look for a post from you every day/week/month. Just share when you want to share…

    That said, I’m always glad to have a post from you. All of them I enjoy, some more than others. Take your needed time away.

    Reply
  27. Taria

    Sounds like a great thing to do. Enjoy and we’ll leave the light on for you when you come back.

    Reply
  28. Diane

    we are definitely on the same wavelength but im not a blogger-yet! lol. since retiring 10 years ago, my life has been chaotic to say the least. I had plans for myself but life had other plans for me. won’t name the chaos, it has not been fun. I haven’t made any new year resolutions for an even longer period of time, but this December I would. I want to rest more, sleep more and read more. And most of all get back into artistic endeavors. I decided to turn my bedroom into a reading/library room to help me achieve my goals.

    Reply
  29. Theresa

    A well deserved break. Enjoy!

    Reply
  30. Jennifer W

    Marian, I’m glad you’re taking a break, listening to the feeling that you need this. Considering, as you mentioned, that you work all the time, sharing with us even when you’re on vacation or recovering from surgery! So go, enjoy, and have an actual vacation. Even though I realize you’ll be your usual “busy” but I feel as a creative you’ll come back better with lots to show us. Cant wait to see, ❤️❤️

    Reply
  31. Vicki

    Good for you! I think I might unplug for a bit myself. Enjoy!

    Reply
  32. Susan

    I hope your “brief” hiatus is relaxing and fun. Everyone needs to decompress. Blessings…

    Reply
  33. Julia

    Missing you already!!
    Have a great break and I’ll look forward to seeing your creative play when you’re back with us.
    With you, Shaunna and Michael on a break at the same time, I fear I’ll go cold turkey!

    Reply
  34. Babs

    Enjoy your break! This could be a good time to sniff out some other blogs to try to “fill the void” dear Marian will leave. I think I will start on some of the blogs Marian reads.

    Reply
  35. MaryLisa

    I see so much on social media so I really applaud your break and regroup. I find myself taking a break from reading the blogs because I sometimes feels like Im not getting anywhere compared to the bloggers who seem to be running their lives on fast forward. Enjoy your in the moment time and see you when you return.

    Reply
  36. Hélène

    Bonne et heureuse année 2021, Marian !

    Enjoy your break, I’ll be there when you return !
    Hugs from France,
    Hélène

    Reply
  37. Sue

    I love this. I am planning to take a complete 40-day fast from my iPad (email, social media, everything) for Lent this year. I’m slowly preparing for it by unsubbing, putting time limits on websites, etc. Enjoy your time in the real world!

    Reply
  38. Mary

    Enjoy! Recharge! I look forward to your return!!

    Reply
  39. Pam

    Enjoy, you deserve it!!!!

    Reply
  40. Jen C

    Enjoy your break! I am thoroughly enjoying your book.

    Reply
  41. Sue Eastcott

    Love your values, love your work.

    Enjoy the break (and thanks for letting us know you haven’t fallen off the face of the earth!)

    Reply
  42. Connie

    Can’t believe you haven’t done this before now! Enjoy the break & just have fun ‘resting in creating’; will miss your blog & IG posts & look forward to you being back! ( why is it the people you enjoy most only post once a day & the ones you don’t enjoy so much post so much!? )?

    Reply

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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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