I’ve been given myself a breathing week. A take-a-step-back-from-the-desk week. A wander-the-farmers’-market week. A dive-into-the-archive-and-remind-yourself-what-you-love week. (A rest-your-aching-back-for-heaven’s-sake week.) It’s been something like an impromptu Reading My Tea Leaves staff retreat, except of course, the staff is only me and I’ve yet to find the open bar or the free massage.
In lieu of trust falls and obstacle courses, I’ve been thinking a lot about my work: What it is, exactly. What I’m doing here, precisely. In January, this blog turns ten. It will have been a decade of waking up in the morning and figuring out what I’d like to say. (And a decade of waking up in the morning to see what other people have said back.)
What is this work? Where do we go from here? I’m still figuring it out, but I think that’s maybe exactly the point. I’ve always been an imperfect tea leaf reader. I like to try things on for size. I like to ask questions. (I like it far better to find answers.) I like to write down lists and check them off. I want to know if there’s the best of something. If I see something that needs fixing, I can’t help but attempt the tweak. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail and when I find something that works, for a while at least, I like to share it.
There’s a lot of pressure to have it all figured out, isn’t there? The wardrobe. The apartment. The career. The climate! The children. The finances. The will. The childcare. The marriage. The in-laws. The siblings. The toys. The underwear. The mascara!?
A neighbor recently found out about my blog. We both worked in the same shared office space for a few months and one morning she stopped me at my desk to say she’d read through the archive. She was matter-of-fact:
“You take something that’s okay and try to make it better.”
It was such a terribly lovely thing to hear that I’m sure I mostly only blinked back at her, stunned by the kindness, but more so by the understanding. This week, I’m trying to focus on that work (and that kindness). In this humid, cusp-y week between summer and fall, before we enter the season of magic (and mayhem), I’d love to know what you guys are hoping for, too.
A few things in the works:
+ On the heels of this post (and this one!), I’m starting to put together a series on smart, simple finances for this fall. I’m hopeful to invite a few other voices to join me in this work and to offer a bit of guidance where I can’t. If anyone has particular resources you’ve found to be helpful, don’t hesitate to say.
+ I’ve also been gathering a list of potential folks to interview for a rekindling of the Simple Matters interview series. I love to learn how other people define simplicity: what their version looks like, or sounds like, or feels like. I hope you do, too.
+ I’m planning to dust off my newsletter again, retooled a bit for a new season and a fresh start. If you’re not signed up already, you can head here to sign up for occasional recaps, favorites from the archives, and brand-new things to add to your no-pressure to do list.