Moody Blues

Coffee isn’t helping anymore


I’m actually blogging with a box over my head. If you could only see me. It’s a little hot and breathy in here but I can see my screen! This is all very silly and yet it’s getting me down. Let me explain.

You know how we have a whole wall of windows in our house? I love them. They are the best. Everything is always so happy and bright in our house because the sun is always shining. It’s even pretty bright here on rainy days.

This is great except during Baby Bug’s afternoon nap when I want to work on my laptop. Then I cannot see anything on my laptop screen because the bright happy sun is reflecting off my screen and rendering everything a dull shade of gray. I cannot see color, I cannot look at my photos, I cannot illustrate or work. All I can do is read blogs and while that’s all fine and good, I don’t want to read blogs! I want to make stuff. I want to catch up on my work. I want to blog!

Long story short it’s getting me down. Every day I go through this. Every day I sigh as yet another day of attempting to work goes down the toilet and Baby Bug comes walking around the corner with her messy nap hair. I tell myself, it’s okay. I’ll just drink a bunch of coffee and stay up all night and catch up. Well, guess what. That doesn’t work anymore. I’ve become completely immune to coffee! Apparently my body doesn’t feel stressed anymore it feels sleepy and it wants to sleep all the time.

Yesterday I had a latte (from Starbucks so it should be full strength) at seven p.m. (!!!) and I still fell asleep at eight when I was putting Baby Bug to sleep! I think I could sleep with an iv of coffee hooked up to me. I’m just immune. Time to (gasp) go off coffee.

I know everyone is going to offer all kinds of solutions like: get curtains, have Toby put Baby Bug down, teach Baby Bug to go to sleep by herself… etc. etc. You might as well just save them because they are not an option. This is my battle and I have to fight it.

So I have a box over my head and I’m blogging.

That is not the whole story though. I’m in a lull. Blogging is not making me as happy as it used to. Why, I don’t know because it’s more rewarding now than it has ever been. I think I’m finally becoming one of those moms who just doesn’t have time any more and frankly, it’s pissing me off.

I’ve always gotten emails from mothers asking me how I fit it everything in. I usually just shrugged them off and said something about not needing as much sleep or something. But maybe I do need more sleep. I’m sleeping more and more and more. I feel like I’m depressed but I have nothing to be depressed about. Well, other than my mother-in-law saga and struggling with the fact that middle-age is upon me and I’m not seventeen anymore but that’s just life. I’ve dealt with much heavier issues.

So I don’t know. I just wanted to check in and say hi, I’m struggling. I don’t know where I’m going. I hope my old enthusiasm comes back. Baby Bug is as cute as ever. (Which by the way I should write a post about how we got rid of the high chair. Maybe I will do that next.) But I just wanted to be honest with you guys and say that when you see me not blogging for three days or more, this is what is going on. Let’s just hope it’s a funk and it passes like all those other funks.


  • Faith

    Take your time. When you are ready you will know.

    Enjoy the time with Bug. She will only be this little once, and before too long she won’t want you to do anything for her. Get lots of sleep and pamper yourself. That is the best way out of a funk, or a depression.

    You know if it is too bad, you might convince Toby to take you back to Hawaii…you seemed REALLY happy there.

  • sizzle

    I feel that way and I don’t even have a kid. It’s ok to take time for yourself and to put blogging on the back burner. Of course, we all love reading you but you have to think of YOU first.

    I quit coffee about 10 years ago because it was having the opposite effect on me and now when I drink it, I get sleepy. Sad cuz I loved it so but tea is now my friend.

  • Kristen

    Just because you don’t have anything to be depressed about doesn’t mean you aren’t depressed. I’m not saying you are, but I know from experience. I have nothing to be depressed about and yet I take anti depressants every day of my life. Or maybe you just need a blogging break. Either way, we’ll be here waiting for you!

  • Spandrel Studios

    Good luck in figuring out how to balance it all – if anyone can figure this out, you can! I so admire the outrageously creative things you pull out of thin air time and again. Your blog is such an inspiration!

  • beck

    I know the feeling. I’m trying to just force myself to blog anyhow hoping that it’ll speed up me exiting the rut.
    Take care of yourself!

  • Lori

    hey you. hope you get out of your lull soon. sometimes i find it helps to just jigger up my routine and do something really different. that, or go to the bookstore and buy yourself a new notebook. and then jigger up your routine. xoxo

  • DeeJay

    Family time is much more rewarding in the long run than the blogging time is. And besides…there will be a time when she’s in pre-school and then school and before your know it she’s off living with her boyfriend and coming to you for money when her car is making a weird noise.


    Cherish these times…I’ve been quite lonely and depressed for about a year and a half now.

  • Kuky

    It’s so weird…sometimes when I read your blog, it feels so familiar. I read some of your posts and I’m in the exact same place. I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately too. And I haven’t even been reading my blogs like usual. AT ALL. Not even yours, gasp! And you’re one of my favorites. I had to drag myself to the computer to post today. I do enjoy blogging but lately I don’t know…it feels like a chore. Like I have to work my brain too hard to string words together properly. I don’t know…I’m just rambling now.

    I just wanted to say I know how you feel and don’t be so hard on yourself. You’ll find your balance again.

  • Bug's mama

    Hope you feel un-funky soon! In the meantime, just enjoy your girl, she is growing fast and it’s this time you will remember most. Blogging will be here when you get back to it…. but I’ll miss your funny and interesting posts… we’re waiting!

  • Amy

    OMG! you just made a seriously awseom custom couch cover and you can’t throw some drapes up?!?

    I have no drapes up. I am not judging. I am just saying you rock it so hard curtains would be an easy thing for you. AND you could make them that drop cloth stuff and you and bug could paint them and it would be so you!!

    Love ya! We all go through periods of different inspirations just keep being true to yourself.


  • BeachMama

    Sending you big giant hugs. I keep thinking I need an extra 4 hours in the day (when the kids are sleeping of course) then maybe I would get everything done that I want to get done. You are so creative and you spent so many years doing the night shift, it sure sounds to me like you are making the switch from night owl to morning person. I went through it and so did Hubby when we switched from night people to day people. All of a sudden one day it seemed normal to go to bed at 10pm instead of heading out the door at 10pm. Have you tried sunglasses ;)?

  • Bekah

    Your inspiration will return. We all go thru this. I am feeling crazy and sad lately too, but my kids are as cute as ever. I think the contrast between their cuteness and the mess of myself is one of the reasons it’s so hard too.

    Good luck sweetie.

  • Marcie

    Maybe you’re pregnant and that’s what’s got you out of whack?! I thought I was going through a funk; depressed, tired and not that interested in things. Turns out I was 4 weeks preggo. Just a thought!

  • She Likes Purple

    If you do need a break, you need a break. I’ve thought about taking a small one too. I’m just suffering from crazy writer’s block these days, and I think I may need some recharging.

  • Dori

    Aw, come on, why not curtains? I had the same thought as Amy…I’d love to read a SAJ makes curtains post!

    Though, I understand how you feel. You’ll come out of it, don’t worry. Life has to have these downs otherwise we wouldn’t recognize the ups. Hope you feel better soon.

  • Katherine

    I am feeling the same way lately. I think I have reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder, because every year around this time, I just get in a funk. Last year was the first time I talked to a doctor about it. She prescribed an antidepressant, which made life *so* *much* *better.* I know I need to go in soon to get a prescription for my med, but I just can’t bring myself to schedule the appointment and do it. How pathetic is that?!? I know what I need to do to feel better, but I just can’t find the motivation to do it. Ack!

  • justJENN

    Many people I know, who have been blogging for years, just up and quit. I think the blog world is saturated now anyway. I feel the same way. I am always on the verge of quitting, then I post again. HA. Neverending.

  • red lotus mama


    Its a funk. As a mom of a 2+ year old I have these moments too. It is hard keeping up with an active kid, keeping up with the internet, keeping up with work, keeping up with the house. Where do you fit in? Sleep is your body’s way of giving you that break you don’t realize you need.

    Take it easy. Sleep. Take a blogging hiatus. We all adore you and totally understand your situation.


  • Melissa

    Just remember…blogging should be real. Just because you have one of the cutest baby bugs on the planet does not mean that mommy always needs to be as peppy as her. We’ll understand ’cause we love to read the ‘real’ life of our online friends.

  • Gingermog

    Hi, don’t force yourself to be peppy and write everyday on our account, we don’t want to drain your creativity thinking of fun things to blog about! I think every creative person feel’s like this at some point or other, just drained. It’s the downside to the days when we are running around scattering energy, good cheer and ideas all around us.

    Meanwhile here’s Bagpuss, he’s a bit magic. It stop’s being black and white quite shortly. I love him he always cheers me up. It was on UK TV when I was a wee kiddy.

  • Joy

    Just a little hug from across the ocean to say that your posts always put a smile on my face (well, except the ones that are serious – I don’t want to be rude). Hopefully things slow down and writing brings you joy again. Hope you’re still taking lots of pictures. Maybe Baby Bug can guest blog for you soon!

  • Shawna

    Sorry you’re feeling down and hoping you work through it and get back to your normal cheerful self soon. (Normal? Is anyone REALLY normal?) Hugs coming your way from the east coast.

  • Jen

    Hi SAJ, please just take care of yourself & do what is right for you & your family. We will still be here.

  • Bokker

    Well for what it’s worth, I really enjoy reading your blog. It’s one of the most honest and genuine sites I’ve read, your creative projects are fascinating, and crucially, you blog without smugness. So even if you’re not feeling inspired, your posts are still inspiring.

  • Starryprincess

    I know you don’t really want suggestions but but but and I say this in total love for you and your family. It’s something I’ve noticed before , you never mention much about going to groups with other toddlers and moms.
    Looking after a toddler is so intense, been there done that 3 times. Somewhere to meet with other’s in the same situation can be helpful and then you’re not the soul source of Bug’s entertainment.
    Depression doesn’t have to have a reason or cause.
    And ,yes, get some sleep, when I had toddlers around all day I would fall into bed and my bed always felt like a hotel one, that strange, you know it’s a bed but it feels odd feeling.
    much love to you Tanya

  • Laurie

    Great post! Sometimes, I feel the same as you – hi I know my life is pretty darn good, but I too find it a struggle, so I know where you are coming from. About the windows, have you tried working on the floor in front of the couch? I was thinking that may give you enough shawdow to work with, I’d hate to put curtains up, too. Anyway, just wanted to let you know, we all go through it, but when you are in the middle of it, it seems hard – so good luck and I know it will work out!

  • Roz

    most people go through this funk every oncein a while – mom or no mom. Often, i’m unmotivated at work and tired and i have no idea why.

    I know you don’t want any “tips”, but i wanted to share a common myth with you – a lot of people think that espresso has loads of caffeine, but it actually has very little. The darker the coffee roast, the less caffeine it has. So, if you’re looking for a jolt, choose a light roast coffee. honest.

  • Kathleen

    I know you didn’t want suggestions, but I am compulsively helpful, so here it goes: SOLAR SCREENS. They will totally block the glare and UV but still let in nice light. has them way cheaper than the other “cheap” blinds places, and I think everything is 20% off and free shipping there right now. (And BTW, latte has MUCH less caffeine that brewed coffee — a latte will never keep me awake, especially with all that relaxing warm milk!). But you deserve the rest anyway. Sleep.

  • Amanda

    Hang in there… I feel like I get what you’re going through. I went through a little funk a while back and it was majorly affecting the blogging. While I was only posting 2-3 posts a week tops, I felt forced to do so. And I know very well that not that many people actually read. But the ones that do religiously, family mostly, were driving me nuts… for MORE and NOW! We want pictures! And stories! And I was busy and tired. And well, pregnant. Which explained a lot.

    But anyway, finally I just put out a post that said, just that. That I was tired and needed a break. So I eased up a bit. And nowadays things just seem to work out if they work out and don’t if they don’t, but at least it took some weight off of me. Anyway, I don’t know if that helps. Probably not. But the moral, of the novel of a story, is try not to put too much pressure on yourself.

    I love your blog. And like Lucia said, I look forward to reading whatever you can rustle up, whenever that may be :)

  • Kristabella

    In college, I worked for the sports information office for the athletic department. And I was a lowly student volunteer, so I would have to work at the track and field meets. Which meant we had to sit outside ALL day watching people throw heavy things as far as they could. Did I mention I went to school in Arizona?

    So we put the laptop inside a copy-paper box to shade it and it seemed to work.

    That’s all I can offer since I’m having the same blahs about blogging. Hang in there!

  • Gramma

    A while ago I had a third grade son who was struggling with “number facts” and we would drill every night, before breakfast, right after school, while he brushed his teeth. We had moved from the windward side of Oahu into Honolulu so he could go to private school. We felt, and rightly so, that he had to be occupied with something all the time. My husband, and a good friend recognized the signs… They shipped me off to rest thousands of miles away with my parents. I did not go alone, but travelled with four little girls: 7, 6, 4 and 2 to rest? My mother and father pamperd me. Delightely they took charge of my daughters. Sadly, it two months before I felt like a real person again. We went home to Hawaii…my son had conquered number facts, All that rest (sleeping until I was slept out) no responsibility, and soaking up fresh air and Pennsylvania Dutch style cooking did the trick.

    The answer for me was just plain REST!!

  • Annabanana

    I am so right there with you. About the blogging, absence reason and even the mid day glare. I should try a box! I could have written this, though not as well, it would have come across as garbley gook. Cheers my dear friend, hope the funk rolls on and away.
    BTW your package has been shipped and I threw the pendant in with it if you wonder why it hasnt arrived yet.

  • Susan

    Even the things we love to do can seem like a chore sometimes. Blog when you have something to say–don’t force yourself. And do what your heart tells you is right to make you feel better.

    I can totally relate to the screen problems. When I bought this darn laptop I had visions of sitting outside (when it wasn’t raining), working oh so productively in the fresh air. No–the only thing I could see on the screen was my scary reflection.

    I, too, can sew, but have no curtains.

  • Chris

    But you just finished a couch cover! You’ve been making things and blogging beautiful visual posts and reaching out to people over the inter-tubes, with a toddler to take care of (and you know she’s building it all into her neural connections, all the love and the activities together), and you have the nieces over for easter-egg hunts and baking — that’s a lot of creating and it’s hard to imagine you wouldn’t need a rest.

    Only you can say whether a blogging break will help you recharge, but I say you are in no danger of losing your creative mojo just from taking a hiatus if you want to. I feel as if you might not give yourself permission to take a break from something, when it might help a lot! I’m personally thinking that while Baby Bug is completing the Toddler Challenge, a good use of naptime might actually be to nap. You know people who read your blog are just desperate for you to do whatever you need to do to be happy and healthy(!), even if it means missing your contributions here for a while.

    So here are my entries in the Unbidden Advice Category:

    If you can trade some blog posts and browsing time for more sleep, totally go for it (if it has to be on the couch, drape a sock (clean!) or maybe a damp facecloth over your eyes). Even if you don’t fall asleep, just resting with your eyes closed, relaxing your muscles from your toes up to your eyes, and breathing deeply and regularly for a few minutes is a recuperative act. If you know you need more rest, then it’s absolutely an activity deserving of your time.

    If you ever need to work in analog because the computer screen is washed-out, concepts or rough sketches can be computer-ized by digital photo. It took me a while to figure out that my camera would substitute for a scanner in a pinch. But I’m not an Illustrator whiz so I’m conscious that this might not help your work-flow at all.

    There was a student in my old lab whose desk was facing a big upper-floor window. He surrounded his monitor with black Bristol board to block the sun from his eyes. You could rig up something more portable, maybe three pieces of cardboard taped together at the edges to make a free-standing screen (like a science project display) around your laptop on the table.

    If you think a blogging hiatus might help but worry that it will cause you to miss entries in the neat record that you and BB have of your doings and happenings, would it help to jot in point form once every day or so? You can keep notes for your future reminiscences without the computer if necessary, without taking the time to compose, and no need to think about whether people want to/should read. Luckily these days photos have dates saved intrinsically with the files (remember when they weren’t, unless your camera physically time-stamped on the photo? what a pain), so as long as you write down the date in each entry, you can cross-reference any photos with your notes.

    Reduce the coffee, but do it gently to avoid withdrawal headaches. It’s a challenge but I think it’s worth doing, to help regain your equilibrium. Do it GENTLY!

    Whatever you need to do. You’ve got a lot of backing!

  • Erica

    Could you be preggers??
    That is exactly how I felt down, tired depressed etc….. until I realized that I was.

  • sweetney

    been there, often. take a break — that’s my assvice. just let yourself breathe and be. the internet isn’t going anywhere. sometimes just getting away for a few days or a week or whatever clears your head, refreshes. anyway, hang in there. xo