image: Steven Alan
image: 100 Year Party
image: Fern Studio
Much has gone wrong in the last few years, the last six months even. I’d love to stop talking about this “difficult season” but it’s not one of those things that resolves itself quickly. I keep thinking I’m over the hurdle, that surely now I will have something positive to talk about, something good to report. But there’s always one more thing, always something to stress and worry about no matter what our lives look like. Recently I’ve referenced vaguely a lifting of physical and emotional burdens, but almost immediately I’m knocked back down with difficulties creeping their way in again. It’s discouraging to glimpse a time and feeling that wasn’t always so elusive only to have it crawl back into hiding soon after. It sounds wildly melodramatic when I type out the words, but I’ve felt stuck for so long.
I’m practicing being thankful this week, which is so hard to do despite saying you want to. It’s no surprise that I’m still working on it, chipping away at my stubborn, ingrained negativity, succeeding and failing a little every day. It’s easy to overlook good things in the midst of challenges, pain, and sorrow, the ups and downs. In an effort to overshadow some of the darkness I’ve been experiencing and work towards being a more loving and gracious person, I’m going to take time daily or weekly to reflect on the things I’m thankful for, actually putting them front and center in my mind and writing them down. Instead of saying, “I want to be more positive and thankful,” a very abstract and overwhelming task that doesn’t come naturally, I need to give myself a specific catalyst for refocusing. It’s not that good things don’t happen, rather it’s difficult to notice them because I’m used to not even looking. I expect the worst so I see the worst. It’s my hope to change that–to see the good first even amongst sorrow, to be guided by a spirit of hope and not despair–and I’ll share some of my thoughts here along the way.
This week I’m thankful for my sweet, bad dogs, the hand-me-down gift of a second car (an older model of the car we planned on getting anyway!), the good business we’ve had at the store. I’m thankful for the check reimbursing us for a small portion of my medical expenses (every little bit helps). I’m thankful for little things: fresh flowers, hot tea, good movies. I’m thankful for the Lord, knowing he is never absent from my life, especially in those moments I’m in over my head.
Bright spaces getting me through the wait on the renovation. What I love most is how simple and unfussy they are. I’ll definitely be channeling these calm and cozy vibes when we move. The concrete bathroom sink is actually pretty close to how I’ve planned ours to be. So good.
It’s hard to believe January has come and gone and February is more than halfway over. I don’t know where the time goes. David got sick again and I haven’t been feeling well myself, so we’ve inevitably spent a lot of time watching television even though it leaves me feeling unproductive and drained. We added Netflix to our arsenal so my list of reasons to leave the house has been short. We just started Peaky Blinders because Cillian Murphy, you know?
I was finally able to get our “Read Instead” print from Book/Shop framed and I love it–the white on white has been a favorite lately. Sometimes even bookstore owners like us need a reminder to read more (see above) and I’m happy to have it in a frame now instead of pinned to the wall. In January I just barely stuck with my plan to read at least two books a month. I finished up What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami on the 31st, and prior to that I read Before I Go by Colleen Oakley, a writer from Atlanta who recently had an event at the library where we sold copies. They were both nice, easy reads, which is great, but I’m eager to get lost in something weightier. We’ve started waking up earlier to read and encourage thoughtfulness and purpose in our mornings. I haven’t been perfect at it but continue to remind myself (though it goes against my natural all-or-nothing mindset) that change doesn’t happen all at once.
We have a lot to be excited about coming up. Soon we’re taking a day-trip to visit family friends and before long it’ll be my 28th birthday, a friend’s wedding in North Carolina (I tear up just thinking about it), and David’s and my 8th wedding anniversary. It’s been a while since we were able to travel anywhere, and now that I’ve had what I hope is my last medical procedure for a long while (just yesterday), I’m feeling better and it shouldn’t be so stressful to go somewhere fun. I’m pretty sick of talking about my health and desperate to put it behind me. I only hope my body cooperates with our plans.
A friend asked in a letter recently (thank God for friends and hand-written letters) if I’ll be attending our 10 year high school reunion in May, which I didn’t even know about (that’s life without Facebook, I guess). It’s strange to know that much time has already passed yet feel like hardly any has gone by at all. I’m not sure what I thought back then my life would be like now, but, despite our sorrows, it’s pretty great.
I’m looking forward to errands, being active, and seeing friends free of pain for the first time in a month. Here’s to a relaxed, satisfying week.
I love the look of these beautifully designed goods at The Line and may have to give them a try. I certainly appreciate product and packaging that doesn’t neglect aesthetic, doing away with the need to hide things away. I can imagine all of these items neatly displayed in the bathroom of our new house. They’d complement the matte black shower tiles, concrete counters, and marble hexagon floor tiles so well.