Monday, May 26, 2014

on making lemonade.

So last week, I dropped my iPhone 4 just one month shy of being able to trade it in. This phone has been the bane of my existence these last few months, never having enough room for apps or music or pictures or podcasts. But that's okay, I thought. First world problems, as the saying goes. I had kept it in such good shape; I knew I would be able to trade it in and get an upgrade for next-to-nothing just as soon as my contract was up. Ah, innocent youth. I had forgotten the first rule of adulthood: Things break the moment you need them not to. And in groups.

Like the air conditioning in my car and the drive shaft in Jordan's car both going out in a span of two days. Or the crack in our ceiling that we thought was from, you know, buying a 200-year-old house, but as it turns out, was actually due to moisture. And a leak. Just like we had in our last rental.

This was also the week in which the cold water in our bathroom stopped working (I had no idea that was even a thing) and the week I had a meltdown from oh my word where are all of our friends. (Followed quickly by what are we going to do about church and why did we move to this small town.)

No worries, I'm fine now.

The truth is, last week was hard. But there are always hard weeks. And frequently, the hardest things have very little to do with appliances breaking or cars sitting in the mechanic's shop. Those are just icing on the cake, small troubles that are simply magnified thanks to the more serious problems, the heart problems: a family member's cancer, a friend's struggles, your own loneliness.

I started reading Marina Keegan's The Opposite of Loneliness on Saturday and had to stop, it made me so sad and nostalgic and self-reflective. Do books ever do that to you? Put you in a fog? I never mind, really. I always learn so much from the fuzzy head, and the books that leave their mark that way are often excellent, and the book fog is worth it. But I knew this weekend, it was the last thing I needed.

So I snuggled by myself on the couch watching the Travel Channel, and then, on a whim, Jordan and I drove the backroads across the state line to another tiny town, and I felt like I'd escaped. And sure, it was hot -- no air conditioning in your car when it's 90 degrees outside can feel, at first, unbearable. But it wasn't anything a cold Coke couldn't fix. And we rolled the windows down, and we explored and drove and talked and listened to music and got lost and prayed ourselves down a dirt road or two.

And it was just the doctor ordered, if doctors were looking for cures for book fog and adulthood and small town loneliness.

I have high hopes for the summer. (Jordan says I have high hopes for everything, to which I say: There are worse things.) We're going to sit on our front porch and drink lemonade. My cousin is working at the store, and therefore spending part of the week in our home, which should help combat some of the alone-ness I feel. We're re-watching Friday Night Lights, and we think we've come up with a peaceful, though temporary, solution to our church search.

So much of life is seasonal; I've said this before, you've heard it before. But it's so comforting to know this won't last forever. So we're approaching summer -- and really, much of our current situation -- with the idea that this is seasonal. For a season, we will seek a spiritual haven in a church we didn't anticipate. It's temporary, and it's a little silly-sounding when we say it outloud, but so be it. This is what we need, in this season. 

This season, we will visit old friends and take a much-needed vacation traipsing around Florida together. We've got plans for baseball games and more road trips to tiny towns. I bought a new swimsuit because retail therapy is a real thing. We're finishing Jordan's courthouse project, and we're dreaming of Savannah. I've got some fun changes planned for the store, changes that should make us function better when sales pick up this fall. I'm going to invest time in my staff, who I love, and if that's where the friendships are found for now, then okay. This is my season, my station, for now.

Life is seasonal, and I am so grateful for that. And you know, yes, there are hard weeks. But the life we lead is still really good. And sure, we're driving and walking around town in a perpetual sweat, and the store is stressful, and sometimes I wonder if small town life is really for us. But one thing I do know? This season is good for us. Summer is going to be good to us, I think. And I am ready.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Retail therapy is SUCH a real thing!

I'm so thrilled I magically stumbled across your space here. Who knows what links sent me this direction, but when my eyes first scanned "Kathleen Kelly in cowboy boots," I knew I was home.

I completely admire your big move to a small town. Such strength and faith. I can't wait to learn and read more about your journey and the upcoming seasons!

xx Katie