This year has not gone according to plan — for any of us.
Alexander would call 2020 a no good, terrible, very bad year.
I hate that there has been so much suffering and stress and anxiety and I wish I could fix it all, I really really do.
I had 6 weeks of “summer vacation” from my job in an elementary school front office and I’m back to work at the desk this week. I will be sitting behind plexiglass and have promised Adam that I won’t take my mask off for any reason inside.
When March hit and we were in lockdown and I started working from home, I decided that I wanted something to “show for myself” during the lockdown, so I dusted off some writing that I had stopped and started over the past 12 years of working online.
I finally have published on Amazon what has been floating around in my brain.
Spoiler Alert: they aren’t crockpot cookbooks!!
I love my crockpots, and I always, always will.
When I wrote my very first blog post leading into New Year’s in 2008, I never expected to still be writing slow cooker recipes in 2020.
I am so happy and grateful and thankful for all of you and for reading and for this weird and wonky and extraordinarily exhilarating life I happen to be living.
The past few years I’ve been haunted with feeling like a fraud and of feelings of inadequacy and insecurity. The nature of the internet, and of cookbook publishing is to always produce something New and Shiny — and to “invent” new recipes —
even if a new recipe consists of only changing a few ingredients and a new title.
It began to really weigh me down. After a while I started to think: does the world *really need* another potroast recipe?
But I didn’t want to let anyone down — and I didn’t want to be a disappointment.
The pandemic has really gotten me to go inwards quite a bit and reflect on what I want to say and do in the world.
I’m proud to be and to have been “The CrockPot Lady.”
But there is more to me — and more I want to share with all of you and with my children.
I’ve self-published 4 books over the lockdown period and my summer break.
This is a re-write from the mom blogger book I published in 2015. That was more of a “how-to” and this incarnation is written as a memoir with personal stories of how and why I started the site and where it has led me. There’s still a bit of “how-to” but it’s written in a memoir tone.
I began Intermittent Fasting in March of 2019 and in that time was able to drop 10 pounds of excess fat I’d been carrying around after having my last baby and self-comforting with food as I went through some personal struggles. This is written in a friendly neighbor-next-door way with science evidence for back up. I enjoy Intermittent Fasting, and find it such a super easy way to stay structured and focused on nutrition and health. I also find the fasting period meditative and realize I’m much more productive when I fast.
How to Live Slowly has been something I’ve wanted to write ever since the Instant Pot hit store shelves. I get it that people REALLY LIKE their instant pot — but I just wasn’t one of them.
I began hearing this little voice that said, “just because you CAN do something fast, doesn’t mean that you should.” And I began to really become mindful and aware of my surroundings and the people I interacted with on a daily basis and came to the conclusion that we all need to simply SLOW DOWN. The pandemic really drove this notion home when the whole world seemed to hit the Pause Button at the same time.
If you love your instant pot, no worries, I’m not going to try and take it away from you. 😉 The instant pot was, and continues to be simply a metaphor for me.
It’s a bit embarrassing to admit how long it has taken me to finish this book. I began writing it 3 houses ago, and 2 children ago — I was querying publishers for my housekeeping journal: Totally Together: Shortcuts to an Organized Life and my then-agent suggested shopping a two-book package to try and sweeten the deal.
I had written a full outline and fleshed out all of my chapter synopses of this book and written 3 entire chapters before putting it aside. FOR 16 YEARS!
The premise of this book is to get all of the Have Tos done — chores — easily and efficiently so there is more time for the Want Tos of life.
I have created a book club facebook group for any readers of my non-cookbooks to gather so you can meet like-minded people and discuss the books and also ask questions to me. I just began it, so it’s still pretty lonely, but my hope is that it becomes a warm and welcoming community.
The books are all up for sale on Amazon and are available in Kindle and paperback format. The paperback books are short — roughly about 80 pages — these are not large and daunting texts by any means!
For the next 48 hours, to help get the word out, Amazon is allowing my to discount the kindle price to only 99 cents.
If you purchase the books in the next 48 hours, and invite your friends to do so, it will help push the book up in the Amazon ranking with then “releases” it to a wider audience.
If you have any questions, please let me know — I am always available via email at steph @ stephanieodea.com
Lots of love to you and your family, and please take care.