This began as a post about where I was with our little homeschooling adventure, but I rethought it. Today is my birthday and seems to be a better day than most to assess where I am.
A year ago I was running my shop, ferrying my kids to lacrosse and Scouts and church and horseback riding and school, and feeling buried in the process. I loved my shop so much, my customers and employees, I loved the process of considering what lines to bring in or drop, anticipating what my customers would love or loathe. I loved providing a place of community for them, watching them gain skills and confidence, and grow friendships around the big table. It was very rewarding in so many ways.
I loved seeing my kids grow, too, but somehow they could be put off in favor of the shop. That sounds terrible but it is true! Our house continued to grow messier and messier while I focused more energy on my business. My friendships outside of the shop suffered greatly, too, something I am still very sad about. I don't know how to recover from that.
But during this last year I realized how very busy I was, with things outside of my home. Ecclesiastes tells us that everything has a season. I was running away from my season of child-rearing and home-making. Maybe that is too strong. But the shop had become my catch-all excuse for leaving things undone at home and anywhere else.
Moms who work, my hat is off to you. I don't know how you do it. But that is another thought for another time, or post.
The last year saw so many incredible blessings. We had some fantastic vacations (and here and here), genuinely wonderful times to relax and enjoy each other. Somehow my husband's business has continued to prosper in spite of the economy and increased government interference. We've gotten to help start a new church and form new friendships there. Of course, the biggest event in my life this year was selling my shop, a remarkably seamless transaction with a dear friend and excellent businesswoman.
So this year finds me starting new adventures: I am homeschooling our youngest child, and I bought a horse for myself back in July. My girls and I are looking forward to competing more as the year goes by. I am paying far, far more attention to what my other three children are studying and reading at school, unfortunately for their teachers! My house needs a lot of work; nearly three years of benign neglect doesn't sound like much but with this many people the clutter and mess can quickly be overwhelming. I even find myself sitting down at the piano and playing more, something I had all but stopped a year ago.
As I write this, I have to stop and observe what an extraordinary man my husband is. He is steady as a rock, and not only tolerates every wild hare I have--he encourages them! "Enable" is probably a better description. He offers advice and support, and even when things don't go so well he is always my biggest cheerleader. I am so lucky to have him.
So there we have it: a quick take on my life over the last year. I would say that this looks like one very very good year. I wonder how the next year will pass, what in the world God has in store for my family. Happy Birthday to Me!