I have so much I want to write about: the quirky characters who frequent the shop every day; a fourth of July weekend spent in the presence of good friends; our Wednesday night Bible study which is slowly renewing my faith in the whole enterprise; the bats who flew through our chimney last week; the pre-cancerous mole I had sawed out of my upper thigh the same day as the bats' appearance, resulting in six inches' worth of stitches; and how the national news has me debating all kinds of issues in my own head (though rarely out-loud, for my own sanity and yours).
I want to write about how staffing a store is the hardest work I've ever done; how this summer is nothing like I thought it would be; and how community-building isn't going all that well, either. I want to write about loneliness and entrepreneurship, about home-making and faith-seeking and friend-making and The Bachelorette, but the truth is? I feel like I've written everything I know about those things. I've written about them until I just don't have any words, and I'm too busy, these days, living my life to write about it.
Writing about it, of course, is how I cope. Even if I don't get the words out well, getting them out has always helped. Imagine, then, these past few months when it's all I can do to make it home in the evenings and get dinner on the table (and even that is rarely -- if ever -- happening like it should). I am tired, and I fear I'm consuming so much more than I am creating, but what else am I supposed to do? All of my creative energy is being pushed into the store, so when I'm home, I'm binging Netflix and reading books -- and any friend-making is virtually non-existent, because the energy simply isn't there. Instead, I'm relying on monthly Skype dates and weekly phone calls with long-distance friends, plus visits and lunches and the occasional meet-up with an in-town acquaintance. I am trying, but it doesn't feel like enough.
So here is my current plan: grace, grace, grace, and more grace. Grace upon grace, for others, but for me, too. I want to eat better, to live better, to write better, to be better, but sometimes? Good enough is all I can manage. This summer was meant to be lived more slowly than our other seasons, and for the most part, I think that's happening. So dinner doesn't always include a fresh vegetable, and we have yet to make a day trip to the beach.
You know what has happened? I've finished two seasons of Young and Hungry on Netflix. (Silly, but whatever. I wanted to binge watch a show this summer, and BOOM. Done.) I read nine books in June and am happily building my reading queue for July, starting with Kitchens of the Great Midwest. I Marie Kondo'd my closets, which was honestly all I could manage, and it's working for our home, so I'll count it a success. We've seen a couple of really great movies in the theatre, and we're walking around town when the humidity isn't too unbearable. We've made a list of home repairs we want to finish before the year's out, and I bought a new computer with earnings from the store. I'm slowly assembling a new Bookshelf staff, and -- lest I forget -- we took a pretty awesome trip to D.C. and spent some much-needed time with Jordan's family. We had some of our best friends over this past weekend for the holiday, and I slow-cooked ribs without burning down the kitchen.
I haven't written this year like I wanted to, but I think when I look back, I'll realize I wrote enough: enough to get me through the hard months, and enough to remember the ups and downs I'll want to have on record when a new year rolls around.