It's December 19th. The skies outside my window are a dull winter white. In fact, the weather folk are calling for record low temperatures for Christmas Eve night. It's a rare occasion when the foothills of Northeast Georgia are expected to dip to a mere eight degrees Fahrenheit. This record low feels most appropriate.
I've survived 2022 just like I have all the years before. By the Grace of God. I battled health issues, internal wars, and did my very best to dropkick each and every thought of inadequacy that crossed my mind. The clearer days remind me of how much I've loved, how the wit and kindness of my child brings me so high, I might as well touch Heaven. Unfortunately the lows to those highs settled a fog around me. The disorientation I feel may very well be the product of the last few years or simply the storm before He clears the path.
The good news is that recalling the highest highs is a cinch. Earlier this year I drove out of the daycare parking lot for the last time. While it wasn't quite as soon as I'd hoped, it happened nevertheless. If you're a working mother, then you can empathize when I say that while our bill collectors were thankful for daycare, it's never a mother's first choice. Some career gals may see it differently but for me, I endured four years of agony for 8 to 9 hours per day. Four years of missing her only little life.
Ultimately the reward for daycare graduation was the experience of walking my baby to her first day of Pre-K at her new elementary school. The reward for my misery was holding her confident and ready hand.
Another important high for our family was witnessing breakthrough career moments and the overwhelming appreciation by my husband's employer for his intelligence, perseverance and grit. I'm such a proud wife, I can hardly stand it.
The lows remind me of the mud stained muck boots lying in my garage. Memories creep in of tearfully lowering three bright yellow daffodils and shovels of red Georgia clay into a shallow grave. The absolute lowest of lows was the inevitable explanation to my three year old of how and why her dog wouldn't be coming back. Consequently, it will be a low Christmas without her.
Spring highs included the construction of two new four-by-ten foot raised garden beds in which Caroline and I ecstatically grew tomatoes, peppers, summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers, strawberries, and more. The curse of my black thumb in my younger days was forever cured; I was a legitimate gardener. The plants knew. They've always known.
The end of Summer brought a final decision that I'd wrestled with. Initially, I considered it a low but as time passes I find that it may actually be a high, incognito. After being in business only one year, I summoned the courage to admit to my peers that I just could not continue in the ventures of fabric sales. For the first time in my life, I admitted that I'd gotten in over my head and I really couldn't "do it all". So I announced the end of my fabric sales journey and sold my inventory.
In the wake, I received the most overwhelming support from friends I haven't even met yet. The online quilt community remains unmatched. After my final fabric sale, I began working on the Color Chaos Quilt pictured above. I had to dust off Penny (my Janome 6700p) but we quickly fell into our old shenanigans. With each stitch, my confidence lifted just a smidgen. I didn't have to plan or coordinate fabrics, I just stitched together the beauty of someone else's genius. An honorable high for me.
When I decided to pivot, God didn't whisper ideas of a complete closure so I gather He still has plans for me. The highs subsequently dip down as they do but, my goodness, how those lows claw their way back up. The fog eventually clears, friends.
It has to.
Pattern: Color Chaos by Then Came June
Piecing and Binding - Penny and Yours Truly
Long Arm Quilting - Melody Copelan
Pantograph - Fletching by Urban Elementz