I can't believe I haven't posted in a few months again. This year has been an intense year with major life changes for my kids (plus the loss of my mom), and every time I have wanted to write and share, I feel blank. We have had huge losses and huge changes as a family - just like a lot of folks - and a lot of that hit my own system pretty hard. While I was already having stress issues, losing my mom toppled me right over, causing me to start experiencing intense health issues.
So, we as a family did some deep thinking and reflection and decided I need to make some major life changes to allow myself the time to focus and care for the needs of myself, my own health, and, the needs of my kids. Well, more like my family stepped in and said I needed to stop before all of the stress took me out, so I listened.
It is hard to step down, step back, do less, and change our entire schedule and daily life to accommodate the impacts of change, and, to find some kind of balance that allows me to release that stress. I'm so grateful we are so close to our teens, and that they felt comfortable reaching out and asking for what they need, to ask for more time and support from me, and, to support me in my own needs as they saw the impact stress and anxiety was having on my health and wellness.
With that, I have stepped down or am stepping down from everything. This is something I have thought long and hard on with the full support of my family. I think this fall is the perfect time. I will be turning 55, my youngest will be turning 18, my oldest will be starting some amazing life changes that needs my support and time. I feel like the slowing down of fall into winter is a good time to wind down, take some down time, and focus on what is important.
I have resigned as the Chair of the American Herbalists Guild. I have given my 90-day notice and will be stepping down from Executive Director of Herbalists Without Borders as well. I am closing my herbal practice work. I will still volunteer with HWB as the lead donation distribution person for the US network, as I have the entire lower level of my home dedicated to HWB donations and packing/shipping boxes out to free clinics. But, that will not be 40-50-60 hours per week, it will be a few Mondays per month for boxing/shipping, and 2 other days per month for inventory management, cleaning, prepping, organizing the donations that go out throughout the US. So, instead of every waking moment being this work, and 40-60 hours per WEEK being this work, it will be more like 30-40 hours per MONTH of this volunteer work.
As I am working on transitioning out of the roles and reducing my stress and working on improving my own health by stepping back and focusing on wellness, I am feeling a call back to my art - photography, writing, and painting/visual art - and know I will be taking more time for those creative outlets that help me feel who I am and calm my restless and anxious spirit. Having more time for my art, design, writing, photography, permaculture gardens, handwork, kitchen, and home, is just what I need. It is funny, because I was so busy managing and organizing herbalism, that I haven't had any time in over a year (or more?) to actually make herbal support from my own gardens and use the herbs I work so hard to grow (other than simple tea). I want to have time again to make things and ferment and tincture things and cook with things and share what we do.
I have already started supporting G on a new business endeavor that we are working on together to get him started in one of his areas of interest. And, I have started supporting A in some of the life changes that we are focused on over the next few years. Having more time with my kids in these key years as they enter adulthood and find their own paths is SO IMPORTANT. There is nothing I would rather do.
So, I will be here, hopefully more, but it will be different as I make major life changes and transition to a new stage of my life. As I try to look at my stress-related health issues, and return to the calm equilibrium I had for so many years before taking on too much. I look forward to sharing more about life, home, gardens, art, handwork, design, words, and things that make me feel healthy and strong and happy.
Looking forward to the fall.
I am a certified aromatherapist, clinical herbalist, permaculture designer, organic gardener, plant conservationist, photographer, writer, designer, artist, nature lover, health justice activist, whole foods maker, and mother of two young adults in south central Wisconsin.
©2007-23 Denise Cusack, all photos and text. Feel free to share my posts on FB or Twitter or online media or pin on Pinterest (thank you!), but please keep the links back to my website intact (meaning please do not take or copy my images off of this website and share them unattributed or without linking back here or use them without permission). Thank you! :)
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