The next chapter

cabin getaway in front of Cultus Lake, BC Canada

Hello from the lake!

As you’ve likely noticed, this little ‘ol blog had become quieter the past little while.

My time and energy simply took top priority to other things. We all have our stories, so I know you get this.

I promised myself that once I reached a certain achievement, I’d start to be a little more selfish with my time.

Meaning… I’d take better care of myself.

This Crisis Mode post is kinda Part 1. Welcome to Part 2 – figuring it all out.

Anyway, I am now there. However, my fuel tank hit empty at the same time.

So first up, I needed a getaway.

Of course, I investigated my default Maui to see how soon I could plant my feet in that sand. The dates conflicted with an upcoming work related event, so I tucked that one away for another day and searched a little more local.

The key being, not too much adventure… I wanted to rest. But just enough to fuel the senses.

12 minutes from my home, I found the perfect lake front cabin getaway, reserved it on the spot, and 2 days later I was planted in front of beautiful Cultus Lake, amongst a forest like setting, inside one of the most quaint white shiplapped cabins ever. It is perfect. And of course, I will share this special place and more on all this once I’m back.

I also told myself to not worry about blogging. I was going to just hang tough until I got my bearings, then got back home again before I posted. However, the lake pulled me in, having me question so many things, giving me the time to think.  I know many of you enjoy deeper posts. And boy, this girl is there!

So here’s what’s going on… 

What’s next?

It’s a big, loaded question, because it means everything from where to live, what to do, and where to travel.

I’m sure every single new empty nester goes through this. Thing is, I’ve been empty nesting for the past couple of years (which ultimately came with challenges), however, it hasn’t felt like it. I’ve been playing a huge advocate role which required every square inch of me. One day I will share some musings on the empty nesting perspective, as some of you have asked me to. That story is still evolving.

Anyway, I am now in a place where I can truly give some time and thought to me. Hi there me, it’s been awhile…

Over time, I ventured on plenty of trips and of course, nightly bike ride adventures through my fav forest surroundings. They all played a part in helping me stay sane during tougher times. And thank goodness, helped to instil some healthy habits that I actually love!

However it’s now time to do these things because they bring me joy vs. just running away from hard stuff.

Anyway, I broke down ‘what’s next’… and this is what I came up with.

Where to live

On my dream list forever has been to live water front in some way. Would it be a beach or a lake or perhaps even a river? Local or tropical?

Visiting a local dream cabin in front of a lake has been enlightening. From what I can see in such a short time, the lake certainly has mesmerized me. The ever moving motion hipotises you to sit, stare and think more, rather than just do do do.

I loved it!

However I wasn’t long term ready to stop and stare by a long shot. I was craving a workshop, much like I do when in Hawaii as well.

It made me dream, wouldn’t it be amazing for someone out there to create a getaway that came complete with a woodworking workshop and artist / craft studio so one could truly express their best while creating with local found things while resting up? What a vacay selling feature!

I think what this getaway taught me was, I’m not quite ready to make this big decision yet, that I haven’t experienced enough different scenarios. My must-have lists seems to always convert back to where I already live (small town, bike trails, store a short bike ride away, major airport nearby…). Maybe I’m already where I want to be, however just need to add lots of new adventures? Or maybe I need a whole new fresh platform with new memories and challenges.

I just don’t know yet. I think I need to do more of the below to figure it out.

These musings have been going on for some time. You may wish to read this ‘cabin on a lake’ dream post.

Where to travel

Before I can even contemplate what’s next, I need to see what’s out there. Homework travel if you will. How can you select a chocolate out of a box without seeing what’s inside first? You can’t. So I think this girl is going to get a little braver and more creative with travel. Local and far away.

I mean, who knew I had this amazing quaintness just a mere 12 minutes from my home?

There is so much undiscovered area in British Columbia I haven’t even given a chance yet. I’m working up the courage to make that happen.

Do you remember when I took that long drive for that wonderful cabin stay a few years back? It was a big deal and I made a series out of it HERE. It’s a great read.

What to do

Being creative has risen and continues to rise to the top in anything I love. Thing is, there’s so many ways to express this. Through art, photography, DIY, travel, lots.

DIY has greatly slowed down in my life because I just ran out of gas, being depleted of energy needed for other things at the time. I’m looking forward to seeing what transpires and speaks to me as my tank refills again.

I lost interest in my current home because it was feeling ‘done’. Maybe it is. Maybe we’ve all seen enough of it and it’s time for a new platform. Or a secondary one… I don’t know yet.

Isn’t that the beauty of not rushing progress? Just take things on as they come.

Right at this moment, I’m glad my house is NOT falling apart requiring stuff. My soul needs a breather, and some time to try new things. Which I think is really important. If we don’t strike out trying new things, how can we continue to grow?

Some are coaxing me to contact Canadian tourism areas so I can work with them. Something to certainly consider.


Isn’t it interesting how all those three big things tie into each other? They all lead to the same ultimate thing. I kept editing the info because one bled into the other!

I guess, quite simply put, I need to travel in order to know where to live, to see what ultimately inspires me.

Guess I’d better keep those bags packed, huh?


PS. There will not be a link party this coming weekend. I’m going to continue to recharge these batteries. Thank-you for understanding and see you again next weekend!

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Categories: Career building, Inspiration, Junk Drawer, Personal

23 thoughts on “The next chapter

  1. Hi Donna, this place looks dreamy…gotta love beautiful BC!

    I’m happy that you get to take some time for you, recharge and see what is next.

    I recently discovered that I need change as a creative, not necessarily a complete change, but something! When my dad got sick I lost my ambition to do a DIY, but found that I took to my camera for the first time.

    I believe as life flows it definitely affects how we create.

    I can’t wait to see what is next for you and travel sounds so good…it will feed your soul, inspire you, and you will find yourself once again

    much love,


    • You get it more than I even realized. I pick up something DIY and think, “But I’ve already done this before…” I leave things on the curb these days which is unheard of. Something is shifting and while frustrating, I’m also excited…

  2. Good for you for knowing when to slow down. Burnt out is not a pretty thing and you really need to take care of YOU; so much more important than keeping up a too fast pace. These things can’t be rushed; you might want to take more than one weekend to recharge 🙂 Don’t ever feel like you’ll be disappointing your audience; we’re right behind you 100%!

  3. Donna, your four questions make for a wonderful journaling weekend. Thanks for sharing them as you process. I’m saving them for when I can take a breath. I also run out of steam when things are too “done”, which is why I’m trying to buy our family’s 100 yr old farmhouse, to redo for a weekend place. Would love to open the ceiling to the teams, as your cabin picture shows.
    Oh, the ideas are flowing!

  4. Hi Donna, I too am an empty nester. I realize now that I have too much house to clean, too much yard to tend, and too much stuff to dust. It’s time for convenience. It’s time to downsize. It’s time to travel and do what I want to do, instead of doing what I need to do. I’m planning a yard sale that will not end until everything is gone! Wish me luck!

  5. Hello Donna,
    What a beautiful place and only 12 minutes away what a perk. Glad you took some time there sounds like it was the perfect recharge.

    When we decided to move it was less than 25 minutes away from our farm. We spend the weekend afternoons out here as we waited for our place to sell. It was the perfect recharge at the time.

    Then when we finally got here things quickly changed. I came to realize a place can’t make you happy or feel content… this begins within…

    After months of transition my DIY diminished… I’m still making stuff but it feels like I’m going through the motions.

    So when you said a place to create, a light clicked. It’s not so much DIY anymore… It’s the creative process of the artistic soul that’s seeking to surface.

    With so much DIY in the world it possible at this age which I think we’re about the same we could be seeking to take things to a different level.

    I’m rambling and that seems to happen more often now that I’m a empty nester…

    Looking forward to your next journey… It’s a growing process, an exciting one…. ENJOY! -Carole

  6. Hi Donna, As a widow for three years I can relate to the feeling of being at loose ends, low energy and lack of motivation. Feeling like I am not where I am supposed to be, but where am I supposed to be? Feeling like I can’t make an informed decision until some other big things I have no control over are settled also keeps me in this odd place in life.
    My husband and I worked together and the business could not go on without him (and I didn’t want to anyway). We are the same age and in the same boat, where to live and what to do? I believe the universe will show me some direction when the time is right so I am trying to pay attention.
    What I really just wanted to say is that I think you are a very gifted photographer and I hope you can find something to do with that gift. You travel photos are just amazing. I feel like I am there with you!
    With your creativity and generous nature you will be successful whatever you do but please keep taking pictures!

  7. I have enjoyed your site for years. I do not understand how you support yourself, did I miss something, before I started your blog?

    • Thanks Dana, for being a long time reader! I get compensated through the ads on my blog, writing for others (magazines), selling my stencils and affiliate links. I use to run a sign company however grew the blog on the side, then finally took the leap into full time blogging a few years ago.

  8. Everyone needs some time to themselves and you certainly earned it! Feeling comfortable with life choices isn’t something that everyone can say they do, so grab it and go for it!! Can’t wait to see pics of your shiplap cabin 🙂

  9. Ah, Donna, thank you. Thank you for your honesty in sharing and your bravery in facing life’s stuff. It inspires me to ‘keep on trucking’. You allude to factors in life that impact you personally, and boy I can empathize. So many, many facets and demands of life, that the story we carry with us is and can be exhaustive. It is so very important that we be open and kind with one another in this world. We can only grasp, in a small capacity, another’s burdens and joys. As Barbara Streisand sings in her song, ‘People who need people are the luckiest people.” And many of times your website has been my Barbara Streisand song. Thank you for your light and letting it shine. Some day maybe we’ll swap stories! Take care!


  10. You NEED to take all the time you want Donna. Please. You have given so much of yourself to everyone, it’s your turn now. You haven’t just earned it, you deserve it a million times over. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Your pictures, ideas and words will always be there to inspire us all. But when your jug runs empty then you have to take time to fill it up in which ever way you choose. Do me a favor, take those strong arms of yours and wrap them around yourself and give YOU a big, fat, loving hug.

  11. Oh how I hear you. My daughter starts her third year of college this fall. For the past 9 months, I’ve been living 2 hours away from home during the week teaching in a public school. Way more $$$ than in my hometown. But I hated not being in my home every night. But now, the school year is ending, the past year has shown me that my daughter, now 20 years old, doesn’t need me much, and I’m realizing I don’t have a clue who I am anymore. I know I don’t want to teach anymore – but as a single parent, I’ve got to keep a paycheck coming in. But teaching just destroys my soul (sorry to all those teachers who love it – I’m just not one of them anymore). So do I move to some new place (overseas, Vermont, British Columbia?!?)? Maybe on the coast, remote, agricultural…no big cities. And what would I do to make a living? So many questions to figure out…but I’m ready to be happy and other than the time I am at home with my daughter, I’m just not…

    • Aw Sunni, that’s a tough place to be in.

      I sincerely hope you find something you love to do. It really makes a difference. I fired up the DIY sideline and did that and my regular job for about 10 years. Who knew a hobby could actually turn into a career choice? It’s certainly possible! But does take some time to build.

  12. Refresh, recharge, and re-prioritize. Enjoy your solo time. You deserve to have a fulfilling life that makes you excited to get out of bed each day, no matter what that looks like! Enjoy exploring!

  13. I’m an empty nester too now. This summer is the first summer that no kid will be home! My momma heart is sad and happy at the same time. Empty nesting sure has its challenges, it’s hard watching your kids struggle at times and have them in charge of their lives. As excited as it is watching them fly on their wings, it’s hard being left behind. This summer hubby and I want to find a cabin to just relax and regroup and think what is next! Wishing you clarity of thought in figuring out what is next!

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