It’s a Monday. I like Mondays. I typically try not to schedule anything on Monday. It’s my day of recovery from the weekend, which makes it sound like we are party animals! Far from it, but often our weekends are busy with family gatherings, outings with friends, and church activities. Weekends are when I push the honey-do list. Every wife knows that you only have your hubby’s undivided attention for a very short amount of time and the chore list is long. When the kids were younger our weekends were crazy busy with sports and dance competitions, but Monday always arrived and everyone went to school and work and I could catch my breath. These days a Monday means I can linger over my coffee as I plan my week. I can enjoy my view of our Little Woods for just a bit longer. I can indulge my Pinterest habit for a few more minutes. Yes, I am well aware that I am lucky.
For many years my Monday’s were about recovery of a different kind. In 2007 we opened our historic farmhouse to host weddings, parties, and other events. We had just finished a year of complete renovation of our crumbling 100 year old beauty. My husband and I had watched this house for years before we finally had the opportunity to buy it. We launched gleefully into the renovation and found out that everything they say about old houses is true. It was a money pit! But it was our money pit and we put our hearts and souls into bringing it back to life. And not only did we have plans to open the business there, we were making it our home. For 11 years we lived in our business. Mondays after an event-filled weekend were days of exhaustion. And clean-up…lots of clean-up. There was not a lot of coffee lingering during those years.
I loved the work I did at the farmhouse. I loved working with a bride to plan the most important day of her life. I loved celebrating 50th wedding anniversaries. I loved hosting milestone birthdays. I loved sharing my house to create a special memory for someone else. And that house had a life of its own. We embraced its family history and took responsibility for keeping that history alive. The town and our friends supported all our efforts. Those were amazing years. I was getting to live out my dream, but there was a price to pay.
For one thing, it just about killed us physically. It was hard work to prepare for an event and then clean-up after. Weddings were particularly brutal when we might be on our feet 17-18 hours a day. We hired younger event day staff, but for the most part it was on us. Anyone who has ever started a business knows that you have to be willing to make big sacrifices in order to succeed, including sometimes your own body. We could feel ourselves aging! And then there was the family sacrifice. We were empty nesters by this time and three of our four children lived out of state, as did our parents and siblings. We quickly realized that our ability to travel and see our family was totally controlled by our business. And if our aging parents needed us, well, you can’t just drop someone’s wedding day to run off to Texas or Maryland. This eventually came to weigh very heavy on us.
So in 2016 we began phasing out our business. This was painful for me. I was giving up my dream. I did a lot of soul-searching during this time period. Was I a quitter? Was I not up to the task? Would people judge our decision? Yes, shamefully I was worried about what all our supporters would think about us. For my husband, who held down his own very demanding career the entire time we had the business, he could actually REST on the weekend. Slowly we began to see that our future might not include living in the farmhouse. Once this ball started rolling we felt the need to simplify our lives even further, so we put the house on the market.
Fast forward to today…because everything between then and now is a story for another time. Suffice it to say my life is full of parents and grandchildren. I am a big believer in God’s timing. Sometimes you have to listen to that inner voice that is nudging you. That voice led us to now. To this house in the suburbs. To this Monday. And I’m ok here.