Here we are, two days before Thanksgiving, and incredibly it’s been more than three months since we’ve published a blog post (on August 22!). It is—I’m almost sure—our longest and most sustained blackout in the six-and-a-half-year history of No Gluten, No Problem. I’m not proud of that. I’m also not sorry about it, though maybe I should be.
A blog such as this is a delicate blend of the personal and the professional. On one hand, we are cookbook authors. We are professional recipe developers and food writers. Through that lens this blog is one arm of a business, and what business goes silent without warning for months on end? It’s a horrible business strategy, especially coming so closely on the heels of a product launch, such as our release of Gluten-Free Family Favorites this summer. Can you imagine Apple releasing the latest version of the iPhone and then disappearing and going dark without warning? Yet that’s what we did.
That’s because on the other hand, this blog is personal, and it’s certainly more than a business. For sure, it’s not our only business, and it’s not our primary business. You could call it our “side gig.” First and foremost, like many of you we are a family, and an increasingly busy one, with school and extracurricular activities and play dates and family activities. And I have a day job that in recent months has crescendoed to an unsustainable workload. Weeks for me used to involve a balance of family time, work, blogging, trail running training, and a little less sleep than I probably need. Lately, though, I’ve been working, working some more, and carving out critical family time when and where I can.
I’m reminded of the angle of repose. As a mountaineer I know it well, and civil engineers do too. It’s the angle at which a talus slope on a mountainside or a hillcut next to a highway will naturally stabilize against downward creep and major sliding. You know when you make a pile of sand, it forms into a cone, and then as you pour more sand over the top that sand slides downhill until it stops? That’s the angle of repose. Exceed the angle of repose, and the slope will release—sometimes slowly and sometimes catastrophically like an avalanche—to find its angle of repose once again. For me especially, and for our family generally, life had exceeded the angle.
The past three months have involved the avalanche, and then a more recent attempt to find and maintain stability. We’re not entirely there yet, but the sliding has slowed. I took some needed time to re-evaluate, set priorities, and start to act against them. This blog figures in that mix. It feels good to be writing for No Gluten, No Problem again. After the blackout, the light is returning.