A New Year, a New ?

karin emily wears a chunky sweater, with a cuddly blanket and a bowl of soup

Hi friends! Welcome to a brand new year. Admittedly, I am coming back to this space later than I originally intended… for a host of reasons, but mainly that I was simply enjoying time with my family and felt in no rush to get back. But also… I have so much I want to say and I don’t know if I’ll be able to capture it all in words so I have felt hesitant to sit down and attempt it.

Let’s start with this: I am a very goal oriented person. And in many times, and in many ways it has been my downfall. I achieve my goals no matter what and I (unwillingly) stomp over people and, well, my own self in the process. I’m the girl that can get the job done, but I’m also the girl who doesn’t know when to stop.

Last year I worked, and I worked, and I worked until I was bone dry. I had one very specific goal and one sort of hazy goal.

The first goal: find the help my children need. Done. Accomplished. I fought and I clawed and I got my girls the appointments they needed, talked to the right school officials, and made a million phone calls.

The second (hazy) goal: run a blog that now provides an income for my family. And I did. I took on sponsorships, I did some hauls (albeit never consistently), I bought and accepted clothes to share and show.

And I crashed. At the end of November my body was done. I got very sick, had lost all energy and joy for life, and felt extremely disconnected from the very people I was attempting to help.

I found myself retreating, and wasting time on my phone instead of engaging with those people and being present in my life… and I also realized how much stuff I had accumulated “doing my job” and trying to find clothing that would work for my sensory kids.

I was forgetting things (really important things), I was running late for school pick ups, I constantly felt overwhelmed.

And then I decided to not be that way anymore.

I know. That sounds silly… but I did. I decided I was living in a way I didn’t even want to live, but I was doing it because I felt like that’s just how you move your life forward.

You work hard, you make more money, you buy the bigger house, etc. etc.

But in the midst of a year that felt very out of control, I allowed an outside message to carry me along instead of listening to my own desires for my life.

I let myself believe that I can have it all.

I believe that one of the most harmful things that social media perpetuates is the idea that you can have it all.

You can have a beautifully curated home filled with expensive furnishings, a luxury car, a designer wardrobe with a closet full of designer bags…

some people can. Most people can’t. Most people can’t have the beautifully curated home AND the expensive furnishings AND a luxury car AND a designer wardrobe AND designer bags.

This past fall, I found myself daydreaming about which luxury bags I was going to buy, future renovations for my home, and a new car on top of all of that (which happens to be the only thing we truly do need right now).

One day at the end of November, the day I decided to not be that way anymore, I was watching the stories of an influencer who’s style I absolutely adore… I was watching her share stories of all of the fancy parties she was attending and hosting for the holidays, the expensive presents she was buying for everyone, and the beautiful clothes she was wearing for all of it… and I found myself on the verge of purchasing a very expensive glittery dress.

And then it hit me –

where the heck was I going to wear that dress? I have zero fancy parties to attend or host. We spent our New Year’s Eve playing apples to apples with a side of HyVee door dash. Christmas day we spent in our PJ’s.

And I’m not blaming this influencer at all, but I do think there is a harmful system that pressures people to feel like they have to, well…

have it all.

So either you’re already wealthy enough to have all of those things, or you’re in debt portraying a life that isn’t really yours.

I don’t want to be a part of that.

I don’t have it all, but I do have enough… actually more than enough. But I’ve had a really hard time realizing that these last couple of years.

So I’ve decided to shift some things around. In my life, and on here.

First, I’m getting back to my roots of dabbling in minimalism. Three years ago I was very invested in minimalism, ethical fashion, and capsule wardrobes.

But circling back to my original point: I am a very goal oriented person.

One of the things my therapist has helped me to see is that sometimes it’s okay to just exist. The reason I stopped being so invested in those things is because I set too many unrealistic goals that ultimately made me feel not good enough. So I just moved away from them entirely.

My goal for this year is to pursue those things again in a way that feels organic and natural. I won’t label myself as anything, and I have zero goals set for what those things should look like moving forward.

But that does mean I’ve been purging like crazy (I’m selling about 2/3 of my wardrobe on Poshmark currently), I’ve let go of lots of stuff that I’ve very mindlessly spent money on this past year, I’ve reduced my spending at certain retailers I don’t feel the best about, I’m very gently looking into ways to incorporate more zero waist practices into our lives, and I’m very mindfully sifting through what it looks like to lead a slower life. I’ve also let go of other restricting practices I’ve held onto like counting calories/macros and strict workout regimens.

I’ve just started so I have no idea what this looks like long term, but I do know I still want to show up here. I still want to share style, my thoughts, some other passion subjects.

My goal is to limit myself to 1-2 blog posts a week. One outfit roundup, and one free post (style post, lifestyle post, passion post, etc.) – I will still send a newsletter, but I’m considering a monthly newsletter instead of a weekly one.

And Instagram. Oh Instagram how I loathe and love you. I love the community I have there, I love connecting with all of you and with other like minded bloggers, but I hate existing in a space that perpetuates ideologies I can’t get behind. So I’m not sure what I’m going to do about that. I have decided to take on less sponsorships… there are some brands I truly do love working with and purchase from frequently that I’ll still partner with in 2022, and if a small sustainable shop reaches out that I am really excited about I’ll consider a partnership. But I don’t know if I’ll still show up on Instagram every day like I did last year. I kind of want to get back to how I started – sharing (kind of) daily outfit posts, and maybe a few stories, but with no pressure to share every moment or to share a bunch of shoppable links.

I’ve also committed to being on my phone less around my kids so instead of taking a photo and uploading it right away to Instagram stories, I’ve been taking a few snaps and then uploading them once I have a moment away from the kids. I’ve also been posting early in the morning before the kids get up – and I plan to do my work at night after the kids go to bed… which will be doable now that I’m posting less and taking on fewer sponsorships.

So I guess all that to say, if you’re here for the style… don’t worry! It’s not going anywhere. I’ll also still share a variety of brands/pieces I’m loving… but you’ll be seeing a lot more repeats because I’m working with a lot less.

I don’t plan to change the substance of what I do here, but I do plan to change some of the methods.

And maybe I’ll throw in a few decluttering tips along the way.

Wow that got long… they always do when I just sit down to write. I’m a bit wordy if you couldn’t tell. I’m interested to hear if any of you are feeling the same way – if you are please leave a comment! I’d love to hear your perspective.

And with that, I’ll see you on Friday for my first outfit roundup of the year.

Until next time,
Karin

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26 Comments

  1. 1.10.22
    Ann said:

    This is awesome. My word for this year is contentment so I completely understand where you are coming from. I need to be content with my life. My life is good, I have everything I need the rest just creates clutter. I’m glad to see honesty. Thank you!

    • 1.13.22
      Karin said:

      That’s a great word Ann I’ve been trying to do affirmations every night to remind myself what I already have.

  2. 1.10.22
    Dee said:

    I’m with you – I’ve thinking a lot about the word ‘enough’ and the fact that that’s where I am – ‘enough’ clothes, income, house, work. I need to get out of the mindset of more=better.

    • 1.13.22
      Karin said:

      Exactly Dee! I’m trying to just enjoy what I have instead of focusing on what I don’t.

  3. 1.10.22
    Mary said:

    Hi Karin,

    I love to hear you’re shifting to a more minimalist approach to fashion & style! I’m a new, but enthusiastic outfit repeater myself. So, I get inspired seeing others do the same and I love learning about new to me ethical brands. I’m enjoying seeing more content creatives making their lives/families/blogs their priorities over IG. Plus, I enjoy blogs over social media, honestly.

    Congrats on the new approach and I’m excited to read more ??

    • 1.13.22
      Karin said:

      Thanks for the encouragement Mary! And good luck on your own journey!

  4. 1.10.22
    Kate said:

    Amen, sister! I feel like we are on the same page and I appreciate your honesty on all of this. I am wishing you so much emotional freedom for this coming year, and will continue to enjoy the content you post. Thank you!

    • 1.13.22
      Karin said:

      Thank you so much Kate! And I wish the same for you!

  5. 1.10.22
    Emily S. said:

    I’m right there with you! I also have 4 little ones and I find that simple living is one of the best ways to keep everyone (me especially) pleasant! Too much stuff / too full calendar and things get crazy. Also, I love the pre & post-Christmas purge!!

    • 1.13.22
      Karin said:

      I think the kids have really pushed me into wanting things to be more simple! There’s too many opportunities to collect stuff with 4 little ones. I’m glad to hear it’s working for you!

  6. 1.10.22
    Mary said:

    Good for you. Sounds like you’re being obedient to a God nudge. I read a book this fall called The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry and it really shifted my perspective. I’m trying to stay obedient to my own nudge. I wish you well.

    • 1.13.22
      Karin said:

      I’ve read that book too Mary! It’s so good!

  7. 1.10.22
    Jane said:

    Karin, I completely relate to this entry.

    I returned to Instagram in November 2021 after almost 11 months away, and soon after, I found myself obsessively hunting for the perfect crossbody/tote/belt bag to make any outfit complete. I ended up spending way more than I intended and purchasing more bags than I had planned. I can’t blame anyone but myself, but the pull of social media certainly wasn’t helping. I gave myself permission to read a few of my favorite bloggers one last time before I go on another social media/influencer break (in addition to a shopping freeze). And then I came across this entry. I appreciate you sharing your experience. I may just let myself read this one blog while I continue to pursue minimalism 🙂

    I hope you find peace in your journey.

    • 1.13.22
      Karin said:

      Hi Jane! Thanks for sharing! I also feel that pull as well, but I’ve found it really helpful to curate who I’m listening to. There are a lot of great creators talking about minimalism and simple living who are really encouraging to my goals! I hope to do a post soon sharing who I’ve been following.

  8. 1.11.22
    Hayley said:

    I enjoy your blog and admire the success of it. I think a lot of people are experiencing Instagram fatigue so I’m glad you shared this and are able to step back. I also find myself shopping way more than I feel good about so if you can offer tips for reeling that in, to save time as well as money, I’d love to hear how you manage! I love your casual style- I don’t have fancy parties either- and also value my comfort as a fashion-conscious mom!

    • 1.13.22
      Karin said:

      Thank you Hayley! I definitely have thoughts I’d like to share in the new year – especially getting to the root cause of things. ♥️♥️

  9. 1.11.22
    Andrea H said:

    I can relate to so much of this. Oof. Thanks for sharing Karin!

    • 1.13.22
      Karin said:

      I’ve noticed your shift as well Andrea! Hard to figure out the balance.

  10. 1.12.22
    Jess said:

    Happy New Year, Karin! Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. I am rooting for your new direction and hope you have some fun and feel restored!
    For what its worth, I have a tiny Patreon page and follow other creators there (mostly other cartoonists) but there is one ‘style blogger’ who is more of an accidental anti-blogger I follow on YouTube who also has a Patreon–you might like her free spirit. (https://www.youtube.com/c/yanghaiying/videos) She inspires me to be less fussy when I share my work online. A few years ago I deleted my IG, Twitter, all of it. Now I just share via my website and Patreon, and only connect there. It’s certainly a very quiet alternative to the ever-flowing stream of photos on IG, and it takes some time to build a little community, but I love the freedom of it. I like that I can support people I love hearing from directly, versus sifting through so much noise. If you had a Patreon I’d totally support it! I just found out one of my favorite recipe bloggers (Kitchenista) moved away from social media to Patreon so maybe this is what people might shift to to stay meaningfully connected on the internet.
    Whatever you do, I will keep checking the blog for posts! I enjoy everything you share and appreciate you. You’re awesome!
    Jess

    • 1.13.22
      Karin said:

      Thanks for all the info Jess! I’ll look into it!

  11. 1.12.22
    Kara said:

    Thanks for this..your post is right on for where I’m at and also trying to accomplish. Love your style which is why I follow you to begin with and also looking forward to any minimalism posts. I’m trying to morph into this….a process. 🙂 So glad you are doing what you WANT do.
    Cheers!

    • 1.13.22
      Karin said:

      Hi Kara! It sounds like a lot of us are moving in that direction! Good luck 🙂

  12. 1.28.22
    Tara Rasmus said:

    Karin!! I am so late to this post, but man I love it so much. I’ve been toying with the idea of minimalism for a long time…I follow minimalist bloggers, listen to minimalist podcasts, read minimalist books. I’m definitely someone who finds herself surrounded by piles all the time, haha! It’s hard because as I know you do, I love fashion and style and…stuff! It’s fun! I love variety and I will never be the person who wears the same pair of jeans every day. BUT I am really trying to find a balance. I want my home and life to feel calm. I want to be able to FIND THINGS and not have to sort through a million piles. I want to obviously not spend too much money on stuff I/we don’t need. And I want to be mindful of where my time and energy are going. It is such a struggle as a working mom! I think for me, sometimes Instagram/shopping really feels like a release/treat for myself after all of the selflessness that comes from being a working parent. There can feel like there’s so little left over for YOU. But what’s really bringing me happiness lately is slowly but surely purging/organizing my spaces…I need that way more than I need new things. So anyway. I have no answers yet haha. I’m sure I’ll always just be a wannabe minimalist. But these concepts are definitely things that I’ve been turning around in my mind for awhile. Thank you for sharing, I’m so looking forward to following along on your journey!! (Also, I do enjoy IG, but BLOGS FOR LIFE! Just added you to my bookmarks and I am so psyched to be checking in here more often!)

    • 1.30.22
      Karin said:

      Same here Tara! I’ve been “immersing” myself in the world of minimalism for awhile now and have even dipped my toes in, in the past, but I definitely feel like the timing is right! I totally get what you mean by it feeling like a reward – I’m trying to remind myself there are other rewards out there that would be equally as fun as a new x,y,z. Good luck with your own journey!

  13. 1.28.22
    Laura said:

    I completely relate to your post. It is so easy for us to get carried away from what is truly important in our own life. Balance is such a hard thing to find! I decided to step away from Facebook and Instagram for a month and hope to figure out a way to be more intentional when I bring it back.

    • 1.30.22
      Karin said:

      It really is so easy! It seems like it should be the opposite. It’s hard to find a balance, but I think it can be done! I’m just learning I have to be very strict with myself and boundaries that I have predetermined.

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