Noises Off

By Alison February 8, 2017 17 Comments 4 Min Read

I am struggling right now. My world seems noisy to me and I keep finding myself sitting in the creamy calm of the bedroom I have spent the past three days decorating. Prettifying. Beautifying. Soothing…
Now the room is pale and calm. My Mums yellow quilt pulled over the bed and two tall narrow chests painted cream standing like sentries guarding either side of the room. I am hiding here. Retreating here when I have delivered Finley to school and closing the door on the world, to sip tea, read books, weep a little and worry. Mostly about how to mow the lawn. While it might seem impossible, I have managed to get to almost forty-five without ever using a lawnmower. I feel rather stressed about the possibility of mowing the wire and electrocuting myself to a frazzle!
In times like this I have to resist temptation to re-invent my own wheel. To lay the blame for all manner of unrelated emotional muddle upon Brocantehome. (How odd that something I so adore should become my virtual punchbag). Blogging has seen me through so very much. Break ups and break downs. Death, drama and house moves. Above all it has been here to help me see the beautiful ordinary. To document my days and to remind me what matters. I love it. Even after thirteen years online, turning up here daily sometimes just to look at it, I love it. But at times like this, when my head feels loud, I almost hate it. Blogging you see is the most demanding of Mistresses. And as the years have gone by, it has become screechy, and complicated. Not what it was. Partly because of the nature of this ever-changing beast and partly because in my own madness, in times when life has felt secure – I have had enough energy to complicate it in a way I can barely manage when my world belly flops as it has right now. A fact I am utterly mortified about writing down but have no choice if I am to remain committed to telling the truth here.
Look in to the business of blogging these days and you will find an endless litany of advice about landing pages and email lists, analytics and affiliate programs. While bogged down in this endless mire it struck me that as bloggers we are no longer required to write, but to market. To be marketers. But do forgive my titty lip won’t you, but I don’t want to market. I want to write. I have never wanted to do anything other than write. Because I’m no good at selling. It embarrases me and from the moment I started selling furniture when I was nineteen, to now when I have to sell here to keep a roof over our heads, I still want to die the moment I actually have to say please buy this
A few weeks ago in The Living Room I asked my lovely community what they would prefer… for me to continue working on The Salon and The Living Room or for me to go back to blogging daily and release all my work on Kindle? An overwhelming majority said blog please. Write daily. Share pretty things. Let your work live in our Kindles. Stop sending yourself around the bend!  What little business acumen I have says that I have to listen to the majority and more than that, the part of me that IS going around the bend says the time is right to scale back all over again. That there is no shame in saying this didn’t work or that needs fixing and to simply go ahead and fix it.
Fixing things is my forte. I can fix dinners. Fix rooms. And fix technical problems. I can’t fix people, try as I might (and I do believe I am going to stop trying altogether), but I can fix myself. For myself. Can’t I? Last night on Twitter, a friend of mine, a Doctor, responded to one of my housekeeping tweets with the words, what about self? #selfcare and when I said I wasn’t sure I could manage self-care right now, he said peek in to it, try it out, see what happens… 
Peek in to it.
Peeking doesn’t sound scary does it? Peeking sounds like something I could do. Not going gung-ho as I am so very prone, but dipping my toes in. Testing the water. Giving up trying to please and experimenting with pleasing myself, Writing again. Looking after myself first. Avoiding muddle. Angst. And drama. And seeking peace and truth.
Yes. A spoonful of my own medicine. Just what the doctor ordered.
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  1. Shawna Frederick says:

    Oh, I agree! Please blog more! Discovering your site was such a revelation and delight. It is my first stop every morning and I am so thrilled when there is a new post. I own all of your Kindle books and will always buy more as you release them. Your voice is so beautiful and unique and warm and enveloping of all the parts of our lives. You say what we all need to hear and I am so grateful. Thank you.

  2. Carol-Anne Powell says:

    Well, what a pair we are. I have been reading your blog for the last 10 years and die of embarrassment because I can’t afford to pay for anything you offer, but love your writing, and you’re afraid to ask. Wow.

  3. Helena says:

    I agree–more blogging and Kindle books would be lovely. I can’t always be on the computer (trying to avoid it more these days, really), but my Kindle and I have a nightly date. 🙂
    As for mowing the lawn, I’ve had to learn and it’s not really so bad. But if you’re truly not comfortable, is it a task Ste or Finley could take on for you? I know it’s terribly stereotypical to see yardwork as “men’s work”–and I don’t really, as I said I’ve had to learn how to mow, but in general many men seem to be a bit more comfortable with power tools and heavy equipment such as lawn mowers than many women. 🙂

  4. Superorganiser says:

    Oh more blog posts please. Hope you’re doing ok. As for the lawn. I took on mowing my 5 lawns last year. I enjoy it so much. Especially if you have a mower with a roller on it. Such joy to finish and admire those lovely stripes. It’s such a rewarding job. Plus it’s good exercise and quite calming.

  5. Kathy Richards says:

    Please do blog more if you can dear Alison – I started reading your lovely blog after my darling mom died and your lovely words gave me great solace. I own all your Kindle books and would absolutely buy all your work if it was Kindle-friendly.
    Take care lovely lady xx

  6. Alane says:

    I am so glad to read you may be blogging more and turning out kindle books rather than keeping up your groups. I found your blog from one of your books and have been in love ever since. I loved the idea of your groups but don’t have PayPal so I couldn’t join. I would so love more blog posts

  7. Jane Grayson says:

    Try Blurt foundation on line. They have a brilliant free self care kit download. Theither monthly Buddy Boxes are a self care gift to yourself too!
    Love & prayers Jane x

  8. Anne says:

    Yes, blog more, please! Everything else on Kindle. Sorry to say, but the groups are confusing to me, like what is offered with what, and it has to be exhausting for you to keep it all organized. I know it would be for me. Keep it simple: blog/Kindle. There are some other bloggers I follow that use this same simple approach. I have some of your Kindle books and would definitely buy more. Wishing you the best for whatever you decide to do.

  9. Diane Shiffer says:

    Oh sweet pea… I understand. I so completely and absolutely U N D E R S T A N D. I used to blog myself but got so I could not stand all of the peripheral stuff that goes along with it. And yes, the mortification of having to commercialize everything and sell one’s self. *shudder* That said, I’m thinking of dipping my toe back in although I’m not quite sure whether or not I dare. Sigh.
    Alison dear, you have a marvelous gift; a lovely voice and lots to share. Please do keep sharing it in whatever way meets your needs and is within your comfort zone. You are appreciated!

  10. Amanda says:

    Alison, My 2 cents says to blog and Kindle. I, too have all your Kindle books and look forward to your blogs but can’t afford and /or don’t understand all the other avenues. I love to “puttery treat” my way through my days and miss you that was my “English blog friend”. Amanda from across the pond

  11. barbara says:

    Oh dearest Alison, Drop all the reins; sit, sip, read, putter, don’t run all the routes you keep going. One narrow loving track for yourself. It will heal us as it heals you. Your name in my in box is a joy each time its there Let yourself breath. Slowly. Gently, All is well. Unfold dearest Alison as your gentle soul allows and do not complicate another thing. Blessings and love.

  12. ShelliaJean says:

    Oh Alison sometimes you just have to take time for yourself. So do that if it helps you get through this time. Take care of yourself.
    I agree with the other posters, blog/kindle would be lovely. I too have all your kindle books and would buy any that you put out in the future. I would love to see the seasonal series in kindle format.

  13. Ali says:

    I much preferred the blog and books and was much less interested when you split Brocante into rooms. I still have the original Christmas Countdown and Puttery Treats for Vintage Housekeepers. I understand the need to monetise Brocante, after all a gal has to pay those pesky bills, but I think your authentic voice is in the blog and your Kindle books. Looking forward to seeing what direction you take Brocante this year.

  14. Sandi Moran says:

    I am in favor of whatever works for you. I love to read your work and will always follow you. And please, make yourself a priority. People who haven’t experienced it don’t realize how draining grief can be. Love, Sandi in Iowa

  15. Patti says:

    I’m for whatever is less stressful and more fulfilling to you. However, I prefer the blog and kindle books. I no longer use Facebook, so joining any of the groups which meet there will not work for me. I don’t use Twitter or Instagram either. I just blog, and I do very little of that these days. I started blogging in early 2006, but it has changed drastically since then, and I don’t care for the self-promotion necessary to “grow” your blog, which is what blogging has become.
    Your site is an inspiration as I devote my days to making my home a sanctuary for my loved ones.

  16. Mandy Hughes says:

    Dearest Alison, I have loved all of your creations, and dearly would love you to continue, when you feel able. The facebook group, feels like a little family to me, it’s special and it’s growing, which has been wonderful to see. I know I can dip in and out as my health dictates and feel only warmth, compassion and caring. Its a group of wonderful people with wonderful values with you at its heart. I am sending love, hugs and prayers to you and your family, much love Mandy x

  17. Jo Kneale says:

    As long as the Kindle books will generate the income you need, or the sidebar of the blog can sell stuff for you as well, then I would really rather have the daily blog (or nearly daily: don’t stress about the timing) and the products on Kindle. As long as that makes economic sense. But please… pretty please… can we have a way to be in the BrocanteHome Living Room? Such a beautiful group & well worth keeping going.
    I still owe you a visit. Are you in need of an evening with a friend soon?

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