I didn’t even ask permission to post this blog, but lately, with how busy we’ve been, I don’t think Laura will mind.
As some of you know, it’s been a hectic few weeks here. We returned from Nashville and jumped right into the holiday ordering and decorating for the store. If you work retail, you know how stressful that can be; it’s even more stressful when almost the entirety of the work falls on two peoples’ shoulders alone. In and of itself, that would be manageable, even with the kids’ schedules. But we’ve recently added new services to our store, and thus are in the midst of a kitchen cabinet refinish and several custom barn door and table builds. Life is very quickly becoming busy. Nay, darn near unmanageable.
However, I’m not here to complain or brag or talk about how busy we are, or how life is one thing after another. I’m here to say two simple words: thank you. Every kind comment, email, facebook post or tweet is lifeblood to us, especially my perfectionist wife. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve walked up to the edge of giving up, looked into the abyss, and contemplated the leap. And yet you are the reason we continue. Each and every one of you, whether you read her words and respond or not, inspires Laura to be who she is. She is demanding on herself to a degree that is nearly toxic, but always finds the will to persevere and endure late nights and long hours. She does so because her desire is to inspire. To help others find their inner joy, their inner artist, their inner strength, their own inspiration.
I’d bet that most of you are in the same boat we are. Every day seems to wind into the next, time marches on, and the band changes the tune just when you feel you’ve learned the dance steps to the last song. Please understand that you’re not the only one facing the drudgery. We’re all there. And when you need it most, look around you for your inspiration. Find it in the beauty of the leaves as they change outside. Discover it in your daughter’s joy at her Halloween dress. Seek it among inspirational quotes on Pinterest. Draw it from your Creator. Wherever you find it, let it lift you up to the task at hand. And when that work is done, breath for a moment and rejoice in completion – even if the next mountain is staring you in the face.
Ultimately, life is about the choices we make, and most of the time the most difficult choice is whether to give up on something or not. We’re all facing those choices now and then. Right now, Laura and I are facing several life-altering and scary decisions, and we draw strength from you. I only hope that, in return, you can draw inspiration and strength from us sometime in the future.
As we face our decisions, I say from the bottom of my heart, and I know it comes from the bottom of her heart as well: Thank you.
I’ll leave with the words of my favorite poem (which is a bit of a cliche, although most people only know the final three lines).
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
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