Monday, July 6, 2015

19/52 :: enough.

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. 

That's okay. 

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. 


Abby said...

I feel like I could have written this today. I don't know if it helps, but you're not alone in having this experience at this moment.

Kiki said...

Hi Annie!

So I've been reading your blog for a few months now--I was instantly hooked when I read that you own a bookstore; being a children's librarian was a childhood dream and even though I'm a preschool teacher, reading to the kiddos and children's lit is my FAVE.

Anyway, I cannot tell you how much I needed this post. I've been a blogger (who loves to write) for a few years now and this summer I've felt that same feeling when it comes to writing. I, too, need to write to cope and it's been tough to sit there not feeling the itch, not producing the quality work I can be proud of, etc.

So reading about grace? That was EXACTLY what I needed. I needed to remind myself that I can take a break (that's what I'm doing at the moment, as well as evaluating how often I will blog so that I choose and live out quality over quantity). And grace is what I need to give myself so that I can really just live and enjoy summer. :)

p.s. I also soooo relate to the friendship making thing. I'm an introvert and making friends is SO hard for me right now!

Keri said...

Did you read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up?! I'm finishing it tonight and it has changed my whole perspective on my home. The only downside is that I'm in the process of moving & now I want to unpack boxes to go through them. Also--that mole removal--ouch. Hoping you make a speedy recovery!

Keri said...

P.S. It is entirely possible if you have read Marie Kondo's book that I added it to my reading list after seeing your reading recap post...if that's the case, disregard my question ;)