I know April is supposed to be the cruellest month, but September has not been kind. And I do not want to write another angsty, we’re-having-a-hard-time-blogging-and-these-are-all-the-reasons-why-post.
After watching the meltdown over at Young House Love earlier this month, I don’t want to go there. I just want to say this:
Like John and Sherry, we’ve been missing an earlier time, when working on our house and blogging about it was mostly light and we had a lot more fun doing both of those things. Even our challenges and strife became the stuff of laughter and (ultimately, anyway) good feeling.
When we began writing here three years ago, we were full of excitement and hope about all kinds of things. In the last year, however, we have fielded a series of deflating challenges.
We have not wanted to admit that things have changed. That our work has changed, our family has changed, our life has changed, the world has changed. That we have changed.
But they have and we have, and it means we cannot write the same blog we once did.
I, particularly, have so missed the way we first lived and wrote here on the blog that I came to feel I’d have to let this whole thing go. I’ve been so attached to what was that I haven’t wanted to transform it into what it might be next. I’ve got a long, stupid draft of a good-bye post in the queue, and I’ve been poised to click “Publish” more than once, but I just couldn’t pull the trigger on it.
Somehow, giving up on this blog would feel like giving up on us and the life we hoped to live in this home. That we cannot do. We’ve invested too much to turn away from any of the things we’ve created, imperfect as they may be.
As Cane and I have been talking lately, we’ve wondered if the story of a home/life–or that of any creative project–must follow the same trajectory that a romance does:
There is the heady, intoxicating first stage of love, in which we are fueled largely by endorphins and dreams and idealized visions. Our home’s (and its humans’) quirks are its charms, and we whitewash imperfections with new paint and fabric and finishes.
Then reality sets in. Those feel-good chemicals stop coursing through our bodies and we are left with clear vision. We see the cracks in the walls, we feel the drafts under the doors, we’re no longer able to deny the needs that are so much more than cosmetic.
Work on the home and the life lived in it no longer feel so much like fun. It feels like work. It’s hard and dirty. We flounder. We get discouraged. We wonder if we have the tools and skills we need. We wonder if we’re in over our heads. We find ourselves fantasizing about brand-new construction, where everything is shiny and clean.
But we know that’s the place where true love grows. It’s where our real bonds are formed. It’s where–if we stay–we make our histories and root ourselves into our place in the world. It’s where we forge our characters and travel the path to a deeper sort of joy.
It’s a quieter place than where we’ve been. It’s more somber. It’s weightier. It’s more private.
It’s hard–we’re not gonna pretend it’s not–but even on the cloudiest days there are still moments filled with light. That’s when we can see that we, too, are the luckiest sons of bitches in the world.