From the Heart

Farm Life

“The cost of not following your heart, is spending the rest of your life wishing you had.” – Unknown

Today, I want to break away from farmhouse decor, styling, DIYs, and farm life and take a moment to speak from my heart. It’s purely coincidence that I decide to do this within the first few days of February, the month of love, but fitting all the same. Get comfy, pour yourself another cup of coffee, maybe even grab a snack, because (fair warning) this post is long.

Every new year I choose a word that I feel strongly about. It’s a word that I want to help define the year ahead. Yes, it’s usually something I need to work on from the past year, but it’s also a word to inspire me.

My word for 2020 is FOCUS. I spent a lot of time in January working through what that word meant to me and how I was going to better incorporate it into my personal and professional life.

I sat down at my desk the first week of the new year and I immediately became flustered with everything that was on my calendar and on my to do list. How in the world was I going to get all of this accomplished and feel fulfilled by the end of the year? My mind started going in a million directions and I quickly started feeling discouraged, sad, and frustrated.


I thought to myself, ‘These are not the emotions one should feel at the start of a wide open new year full of possibility!’ It was at this moment I realized I was more un-focused than I was focused. I had serious work to do. I also realized I probably should have chosen “hot mess” as my words for 2020. Because if I had, I’d be killing it two weeks into the new year!

My dilemma was this: I enjoy being a social media influencer and posting on Instagram and Pinterest, but I also love blogging. I LOVE to write. Writing is my passion and quite honestly, my love for writing is what got me into blogging –it also seemed easier than writing a book.

So, I started the blog in 2017 and quickly found myself wondering, ‘How do I find readers?’

Enter social media.

I started sharing and posting on it, which became a beast of it’s own. The next thing I knew, I was spending most of my time on social media promoting products and companies. Don’t get me wrong, I was flattered and humbled by the number of opportunities I was given, but there came a time when I suddenly realized I couldn’t remember the last time I blogged.

The bottom line was there wasn’t enough hours in the day to promote on social media, blog, and do the more important things like feed my family, feed the animals, clean out stalls, clean the farmhouse, do the laundry, and run errands. Oh yeah, and don’t forget about doctor’s appointments, dentist appointments, optometrist appointments, vet appointments, sports games and of course hair appointments, because I mean c’mon y’all…priorities.I also felt conflicted at this moment. I appreciated the opportunities and income I was receiving on social media, but I felt like I wasn’t being completely true to myself or my original purpose behind sharing. Most of all, I missed expressing myself through my writing.

I started the blog to share our new life moving from suburbia to a farm. A place where my lifestyle had drastically changed, for the better. There was no longer a major shopping mall nearby, cooking from scratch became a passion, and DIYs were a hidden talent I never knew I possessed until moving to the farm and it became more of a necessity.

Our new story is a great story and one that I am not only proud of, but I love to share. I knew from the feedback I had received from many people that they loved hearing about our adventures as much as I loved sharing them. In my self reflection during the first week of the new year, I realized that somehow I had gotten sidetracked. I also came to the realization that I wanted to return to my original plan, blogging.

So there I sat, week two of 2020 telling myself, “Focus.” I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t know where to begin. This is when I decided I needed to stop. I needed to stop what I was doing and take a couple of days to just breathe and re-focus. (I know, only two weeks into the new year and I already had to have an intervention with myself. Yikes!)

During this time, I reached out to a fellow blogger friend, KariAnne from Thistlewood Farms. She’s is a blogging mentor to me. She gave me a lot of wonderful advice. My favorite piece of advice however, was when she said to me, “Meeghan, you have everything it takes to be a great blogger. You’re biggest hurdle, is YOU. Get out of your way!”

I got off the phone with KariAnne motivated and inspired. Cue the “Rocky” theme song because I was coming out swinging and ready to FOCUS.

Not twenty-four hours had past since my phone call with KariAnne. Chicken parm was baking in the oven and I decided to check my email. I opened a message from someone whose name I didn’t recognize. (Don’t worry, the email didn’t have a virus attached to it, all is well!)

It was from a reader of Cali Girl In A Southern World. Now, I often get emails from readers or social media followers with product inquiries, styling questions, or fun farm antidotes. But, this email was different and unlike any message I had ever received before. It read:


I’ve been reading past entries on your blog and want to encourage you to write more. Your words paint a lovely picture and offer encouragement for people of all ages and in all places on life’s journey. Now, I do love your Instagram posts … especially Holly … but would love to read more about your love of cooking .. and the gentleness of your new life adventure … and about what you plant besides sweet potatoes … and how you recycle the things you already own so that your readers aren’t always tempted to head to Target, HomeGoods, or the internet … because most all of us want to surround ourselves with comfort and beauty but there are groceries to buy, and children and grandchildren who like to get presents in the mail, and haircuts that need to be paid for along with the necessity of highlights!!!
Blessings and encouragement!”

I found myself in awe after reading this email. The timing seemed extraordinary. So much so, that when I replied, I told her I was wondering if she had the farmhouse bugged. Of course I knew that wasn’t the case, but the timing was just too perfect. In my reply I thanked this kind and thoughtful reader profusely for taking the time to email me and share her thoughts.

I shared with her some of the soul searching I had been doing and let her know that I truly believed that the timing of her email was not a mere coincidence. It had a purpose, and it made the things I was thinking and feeling that much more clear.

All of this is to share with you that I am now focused and I am following my heart. I will be blogging more in 2020. My plan is to post more regularly, twice a week starting today. I will continue to share home decor, styling tips, farm life, gardening, recipes, animals, DIYs and more. Of course, I will also be working with companies and sharing products from time to time because, well, somebody’s got to pay for those much needed hair appointments.I also want to say, “Thank you.”

Thank you for being here to support me and share in this journey. I appreciate every comment and every email (especially the encouraging ones, but don’t be afraid to share your opinions either-I value it all).

Thanks to you, I am able to chase my dream and do what I love to do, write. The hope in my heart is that you’ll enjoy reading the posts as much as I enjoy writing them. I look forward to sharing more adventures of Cali Girl In A Southern World with you. I’m happy you’re here.

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