I haven’t written much this summer. I would apologize, but it turns out that like most things, in the scope of millions of years and seven billion people, it doesn’t really matter if someone like me gets overly busy or has writer’s block and doesn’t write a blog. Your life went on; my life went on – the sun came up every day.
The simple fact of the matter is that last fall I left a long term relationship, and bought my own house, back in the area I’ve always called home. I got back in touch with my business, and got to be more involved in my sons’ lives, with the oldest experiencing his senior year. I did football, band and choir concerts, and about 100 different activities in May for graduation. There has been financial aid paperwork and trips to tour campuses and orientation. Then there was baseball, a sports accident with a torn ACL, and surgery for my son. I played nurse. I played hostess at a graduation party.
I accidentally fell into a new aspect of my business, and decided to pursue it. I started dating a man. The man had a child that I needed to get to know. The bottom line is that I have been a busy, busy woman, and stressed out. It is hard to sit down and write something for the masses when you feel that you yourself are bouncing off the walls just trying to hold it together. What could I possibly offer the readership?
Today, I realized that THIS is exactly what I can offer the readership…. the acknowledgement that some periods of life are transition phases; some seasons are busier than others, and we don’t always perform at our highest level all of the time. ALL of that is not only ok, it’s to be expected; and long term, it only makes us better. When we take time to do what is important, when we focus on that which matters…. even if we slack off in another area, we grow and become better.
Sometimes our jobs are critical. Sometimes our kids need us. Sometimes a relationship requires extra time and care. Sometimes, we need to take care of ourselves, and get sleep, sunshine, and relaxation. We can’t be all things to all people all of the time if we ourselves are floundering.
Several weeks ago, while keeping an eye on things at work, trying to move the new business one more step in the right direction, playing nurse, loving my youngest, and trying to nurture the new people in my life, all while ensuring there were groceries and clean clothes – while gearing myself up to take on a few new responsibilities…. I decided that this little, tiny house of mine didn’t have enough storage. I had a case of water on the dryer, and six-packs of pop on the washer, with a blender I’d used once sitting on the counter – it was messy, crowded, and in its own way, uncomfortable for me.
I had a beverage, got online, and searched kitchen pantry’s. I measured. I picked five, debated, and ordered. UPS dropped off two enormous, heavy boxes, and the project began. My helper and I carried everything up to the main floor. We organized 35 pieces of wood according to the sticker letter on them. We figured out from the package of hardware which were big screws and little screws.
All of you have probably put together a piece of furniture. I know you won’t be shocked when I tell you that on this six-foot-tall kitchen cabinet, one of the doors hangs a little lower than the other. Despite a level, and a mallet, and delicate coaxing, one door hangs a little lower than other. Likewise, the drawer, which looks perfect on the outside, will come completely out in your hand, if you yank it too hard. Finally, when it was mostly put together, my helper said, “You should take a picture of this and send it to the company. This was scuffed in shipment.” Yep, there were scuff marks. On the inside wall, where you can only see when the cabinet is open and empty.
Here’s the thing. It is scuffed. But it is mine. I picked it. I spent a few hours putting it together, like I was gluing fine china together, and I am so glad that it isn’t perfect. I don’t want perfect. I want functional. I want comfort.
It turns out that I’m scuffed too. Years of wear and tear, and hard work, and heartaches…I’m scuffed. So are my kids. I have reached a point in my life where I understand that the very best things have marks. Wrinkles, scars, bruises…. we have marks. I don’t really want anything in my house or life that doesn’t have a mark indicating that it has been well used and well loved.
Love your marks, and love the scuff marks on those around you. There is a certain feeling and pride surrounding driving a Ford F-250 Lariat off the lot. However, that truck doesn’t really feel like yours, and isn’t really comfortable to drive until you’ve gotten it muddy, and maybe scraped the paint or put a dent in it. Then it’s yours. The same holds true with those comfy shoes you like to wear, your favorite jeans, and comfort foods. “New” is pretty and often exciting, but slightly worn and comfortable is what most of us find ourselves leaning towards as time goes on. Antiques aren’t typically sought after because they are pristine. We want them precisely because they are used and carry satisfying history.
I enjoyed scuff marks this summer, and I hope you can find the joy in yours.