Life After Quitting: Week 1

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full time bloggingI had such big dreams for my first week as a full-time blogger. Oh I’ll still wake up at 5:30 every morning so I can have some Me Time. I’ll do sun salutations, meditate, Morning Pages. I’ll sip coffee and stare out the window at the woods and plot out my perfectly organized day. I figured I’d be all glammed up by time Karl came back from taking Emerson to school and we’d bust out one shoot every day. Edit and schedule the post, tackle a couple more hours of emails and administrative stuff, and power off the laptop no later than 4:30. I’d have the bulk of my weekly newsletter completed by Wednesday, have content scheduled on Facebook for the whole week on Monday, a blog post every single day.

Bwahahahahahahaha. Hold on, let me catch my breath. Okay, good. Bwahahahahaha. Let me wipe away these tears and clutch my stomach from laughing so hard. This is NOT how the first week went at ALL.

You know how when you buy a new home the refrigerator conks out a week after moving in? Guess it also happens when you decide to quit your job and cut your hosehold income dramatically. My laptop is dying a slow death and it took me all day just to edit one blog post. Granted, this laptop is no spring chicken (I received it for free as part of this sponsored blog post) but the timing couldn’t be worse.

We do have a Mac desktop upstairs in the home office. We bought it at the beginning of the year with grand ideas of better photo editing and working in a quiet environment. It even made a cameo in this blog post for eBay. But the home office became the catch-all room, especially with me working so many hours. That “quiet environment” became a room that Emerson was scared of and we always had to keep the door closed. And because of that, I had never finished setting it up, it just sat there mocking me for all that money spent and getting dusty. Well this week I got the Mac up and running and Karl and I cleaned up the room enough that it no longer causes anxiety or fear. In fact I’m typing this with Emerson at a smaller table next to me, doing her reading homework.

This gets me by for now, but a lot of blogging is mobile. I blog while traveling, I get sick of being in the house and head to a coffee shop. I have meetings with brands and other bloggers and influencers. So I ordered myself a Mac laptop and have wanted to throw up about the cost ever since. It should arrive next week. I’m going head first into Mac life after forever with PCs. I do have an iPhone and have had one since the iPhone 4 so that helps, but this is a learning curve. Do you know how much content I’ve lost by accidentally clicking fn C instead of command C?

Friday night my best friend stopped by after work to pick up some clothes (I have a fun sponsored project coming up where they invited a friend to be a part and sent both of us outfits). She’s a business owner and a Mac user so she helped me understand some aspects of this computer. Saturday morning I finally got Office 365 installed and am typing this in Word (my happy place). I also took a video conference call from the Mac on Saturday to discuss a cool project coming up next month; it’s a way to merge my political beliefs, my desire to help women, and use my fashion know-how and I am sooo psyched. This is something I never could have considered if I was working the day job.

The laptop isn’t the only thing to die. The bottom heating element on our stove conked out Tuesday night. Thank goodness Karl is handy and was an electrician in the Navy (and for a few years afterwards). We ordered the broken heating element and he’s going to try to fix it. Nothing like losing a job and gaining a bunch of costs.

If you follow me on Instagram, especially InstaStories you know our dog hasn’t been doing well. She was very old (20 years) and the past year her age caught up to her and she also had some health issues happen in the past couple of months. Tuesday we had her put down. It was such a hard decision but we know it was the right one. It made thinking about anything else this week pretty tough. It was especially hard on Karl, this was his dad’s dog and it brought up a lot of feelings about his passing. But when you own a business you have to keep going. The vet came in the morning, we HAD to leave the house after it was so upsetting.  We grabbed some lunch, went to vote, but then came back home and I got changed for a photo shoot (you’ll see the post tomorrow). The show must go on.

I quietly restarted my Style File newsletter a couple months ago. It’s something I missed doing but didn’t have the time to do it. I hired a virtual assistant (VA) who specializes in helping bloggers. She switched me from Mailchimp to ConvertKit and I can email her a Word doc and a few graphics and she puts it together for me and sends it out. Each week she sends a gentle reminder on Thursday that the newsletter is to go out in 24 hours and I haven’t sent her any content. More often than not, Mindy’s receiving my content around 11am on Friday and still ends up getting it out on time. One of the top goals this week was to get my newsletter content to Mindy early, with just the “On the Blog” part arriving a bit later to make sure it incorporates all the blog content for the week.

Mindy got my newsletter content at 11:45. Only one job yet I was even LATER with my newsletter content.

Another goal was to clean up my inbox. I have emails from the SUMMER that still need replies. I have people who have asked to have coffee or chat or collaborate that I haven’t replied to.. I even have emails from brands saying, “Hey Alison, we like you and your audience and we want to give you money to tell them about us” and I haven’t replied. And I still haven’t replied.

Since I was a child, my mom would quote the Tao Te Ching. Let your mud settle. The actual phrase is:

Do you have the patience to wait
till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
till the right action arises by itself?

This week wasn’t a failure, it was a week of helping my mud settle. And likely this coming week and even the week after will be more mud settling so my water can be clear. Cleaning out the home office and making it a functional space. Figuring out benefits since mine run out at the end of the month. Mastering the Mac. Making sure I have sleep and hydration and get outside every day. And find my new normal.

Today is Saturday. I washed my makeup brushes and cleaned out my dressing table. I cleaned out my purse and filled it with what makes sense with my new every day. I stopped writing this for a long while to focus on just Emerson and her homework. She helped me clean out my dressing table (likely to score the almost empty lip glosses I would otherwise discard) but I had the time to hear her talk long enough from telling me what she knows I want to hear about school to what is really going on and her relationships with teachers and friends and how she feels about different courses. Today is the first day in a very very long time that I feel as though I got enough sleep. It’s amazing how much more productive and organized and creative I am with enough sleep.

For the first time in almost a decade I think my mud is settling. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes!

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. Really enjoying this in-depth look into your new venture. Sorry to hear about your dog :(. Look forward to reading the blog and seeing how it goes!

  2. Oh babe! I’m sick to read of Stella’s passing. Our eldest (of 7) is eighteen and the only remaining dog that both my parents met before they died and currently our only standard poodle.

    My heart aches knowing the loss to your family. {{{Hugs}}}

  3. Sorry about your appliances and pet.

    I’ve had my share of appliance replacements and aside from handing over chunks of cash I don’t mind it. They’re like shoes — they have lots of choices, don’t require a diet to fit into, once you buy them the gratification is close to instant.

  4. Allie so sorry about your dog but congrats on taking the leap and quitting your job! I know it’s scary but I have no doubt you’ll be great at the full time blogging thing!

  5. Oh wow you have so many things going on ! Your mother sounds like a wise woman, indeed we must let things around settle. I am sorry to hear about your dog and I can only wish you well in your new venture 🙂

  6. Looking forward to your next adventures…have always enjoyed your open and honest blog. Not as many interesting fashion blogs in the uk!
    So sorry for your loss of your dog (((hugs))) animals interweave so easily into our lives, I’m sure in time you may fibd another that needs all your love too x

  7. I’m so happy for you. Even if your appliances and machines are not cooperating at the moment, you will enjoy your new found freedom!

  8. I love the settling mud quote.

    I was a corporate attorney for a global pharma company, until I quit my job Feb. 28. I’ve been “funemployed” ever since while I figure out what I want to do next (that isn’t making money for the man). I had all sorts of high hopes for things I’d accomplish during my sabbatical, but few of them really happened. But I don’t consider my time off as wasted. I feel so lucky to have been able to take this time to regroup and let my mud settle.

    I’m so sorry about Cindy. xox

    1. Thank you Trish, and what a big change for you! It’s such a crazy transition, to go from sooooo busy and overtasked to being in control of my schedule. And then to have it on public display. But you’re right, seeing this time as not wasted is very valuable and quite true.

  9. I’m so sorry about your dog. As if you didn’t already have enough on your plate. So many big changes – for all of you. Give yourselves grace – time to get used to everything new and to heal from the sadness. Hugs. -Linda

  10. I am so sorry to hear about Cindy. She was adorable and it is so hard to lose an member of the family. You gave her a good life and she gave you some wonderful memories. <3 Thank you for sharing your week with us! Here's to hoping the mud settles quickly for you.

  11. I appreciate your honesty. It’s refreshing. It’s why I’m a fan.

    I work from home doing freelance and a regular job. It’s an adjustment. You’ll get into a rhythm–it just takes time.

    And I’m really sorry about the loss of your dog. A dog’s love is special.

  12. Breathe. This is a major life transition, give yourself time to be in that transition rather than rushing to find the new normal — it will emerge on its own when you’re ready. That’s part of the fun.

  13. When I switched from a fulltime office marketing job to freelance writing for a living, it took me about six months to adjust…to realize that my office could now be anywhere I wanted it to be, my hours my own, and if I needed to take an afternoon off for my daughter or to just, you know, breathe, it was OK. Still, five years later, I can get roped into the “did I do enough today?” even though I’m writing for major places. It’s a major mental shift — just take it day by day. Good luck!

  14. Wow, this week was tough, but, hopefully, you and the family have become better for it. Emerson gets to spend more quality time with Mom, and Karl’s skill set comes into play. You’ll get by. We, your readers, are here to soak in every word. My prayers go out for the passing of your dog. As a pet lover myself, I know the pain that goes with the loss of their love and companionship. Not long from now, you’ll be able to look back and see how far you’ve come since those early days. In the meantime, stay strong and continue striving for your goal.

  15. You sure had some ambitious goals for that first week. I think it’s perfectly okay to take that first week to just b-r-e-a-t-h-e and relish and sink into the change of pace and let your mind and creative juices stew a bit. I think there’s a lot to be said for cleaning and organizing things, too. It really helps me find my balance. I find it therapeutic and cathartic, even meditative in a way. I feel like I’m making space for new/better things. Out with the old, in with the new. I get great ideas in the process and newfound motivation and energy. What an exciting time for you! It will be an adventure!

  16. Your week sounds a lot like mine and many others. Oh, that timing thing! Take deep breaths. Do not panic. I have been a Mac user since 1987. I feel your pain since I feel that same way about tackling PCs and Windows. After all that time, I still feel frustrated and confused with all the Operating System updates and the initial steep learning curve. A quick search for Tips & Tricks (insert current device and operating system) will help you immensely. Stay with us. We need your writing, insight and humor in these times more than ever!

  17. Holy gumballs, you have had a week!
    Part of the reason I keep reading you is that you are so very human and relatable. Honestly, it’s fun to read blogs and view pristine beautiful photos of someone’s life, but we all know that is it what that person wants to project. Life just doesn’t happen perfect. It makes me lose interest and feel the unreal part of presentations.
    Life comes with great ideas, high aspirations, best intentions, messy rooms, dirty laundry, flat tires, leaky sinks, unfinished projects, breakdowns of technology and modern conveniences, sick family and pets and often goals set temporarily aside.
    But it is the acknowledgement that stuff happens, we keep our sense of humor and we never stop trying to do better and be better that makes us care.
    Don’t change.
    I like you just the way your are and I’m guessing I am not alone in feeling that way.

    1. I definitely agree! I’m probably not your target demographic and don’t particularly like to shop but love that you’re so relatable. You’re one of the few (and only fashion/lifestyle) blogs that I have bookmarked and read regularly.

    2. I very much agree. Cannot think of better words to phrase it. I come here regularly and mainly it’s because how relatable you are, Allie, and how you empower me to keep going forward no matter what is happening in my life. Your posts help me make sense of my life, and realize that life is not perfect, but it could be beautiful nonetheless.

  18. When it rains… you’ve had quite a week. Condolences for the loss of your dog. Pets are a huge part of the family. I remember how hard changing our lifestyle was when I stopped working. Allow yourself to find your new normal. I often say getting sick was one of the best things to happen to me. It made me re-evaluate everything. And it was GOOD. I’m a better mom and wife for it. You’ve got this.

    1. I was JUST listening to a podcast today about a blogger who works a 3-day workweek. She considers Monday and Friday days to build up the lifestyle aspect, so only three days are spent sitting in front of a computer the whole time. Thank you for this!

  19. So sorry about your dog! That combined with the other topics you mentioned must have made for a very difficult first week. I certainly never realized from your posts this week that so much was going wrong–as far as the blog goes, I think you rocked this week. Good luck learning the Mac & with finding health care. The terrible leadership in DC certainly doesn’t make things any easier. Looking forward to your upcoming political/helping women post–yet another thing I love about your blog!

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