I’m gonna be honest with you guys; it’s been kind of a crappy week.
It’s not that anything in particular happened this week that doesn’t happen every other week. Life is challenging all the time, for everyone, and usually I’ll grin right through it. But Alastair and I are building a business, and that means long hours, in addition to the other long hours we put in elsewhere to keep the lights on. We love what we do at StoryWonk, and it means the world to us that we get to do it, but I’m not gonna lie to you… twelve+ hour days happen. A lot. And after enough of them in a row, you get tired. You get worn out. Last week was Spring Break, and we were gonna get ahead while I didn’t have to teach at the university, but the ice dams fell off the side of the house and pulled down our gutters. And I’m not being hyperbolic; they literally ripped the gutters off the house. On the other side of the house, the ice was melting nicely, but leaking in through the wall. So there were unexpected additional expenses and house repairs took a day out of our work schedule, and then somehow our automated payments for the health insurance didn’t automate properly, so we had three months of that bill to pay all at once, and I had copyedits that got delayed in the mail and needed doing right now, and the kids kind of wanted us to check in on them from time to time…
You know. Life.
And trust me, I’m not complaining. There isn’t a moment in the day when I don’t know we’re the luckiest people in the world. Alastair and I fall into bed at night, exhausted, but always amazed. “Can you believe we actually get to do this for a living?” We don’t always get to finish the sentence before we crash to sleep, but it’s always the sentiment we end every day with.
And the way things are going, it won’t be too long before it’s all we do for a living, and that will be a huge relief. Right now, keeping the lights on while we put our time and energy into the podcasts is making things kind of lean, in terms of time, money and energy. And that’s okay; we don’t have too much farther to go. But still… some weeks are tough.
I was having a tough week, and then Alastair came back from getting water (oh, did we mention there was a water main break on the street today so… no water?) and he hit the post office and came back with two things. One was a check donation from a listener with the sweetest letter about how much what we do means to her. And then there was a box of goodies from Australia. From Australia, y’all. A listener took the time to shop and pack up amazing treats for the whole family and send it all the way across the world with the most amazing, touching letter inside. I still can’t think about that letter without wanting to cry.
I have never forgotten my incredible good fortune for a moment, but I have gotten tired. Really tired. Cranky and unpleasant and, “If one more thing happens, I’m gonna burst into tears,” tired. And it’s okay; it’s what comes with running your own business. We created a job that has never existed before, and it’s not going to be easy to find a way to make that work, but we’re doing it and we know how lucky we are to even have a shot at it. And the fact that I get to do this work with the most incredible, intelligent and wonderful man on this planet, and to have it inspire people to the point where they give us money to do it, where they go shopping and buy us treats and send that box all the way across the world… I can’t express what an honor it is. I just can’t.
So thank you. Thank you for telling your friends about us, and for supporting us on Patreon, and through PayPal donations, and with checks and cash in the mail, and with your postcards and e-mails and tweets. Thank you for making it possible for us to do what we do, and thank you for helping us keep the lights on. We hear so often from all of you about what our work does for you, but I don’t know if you can ever fully know what you all do for us. Who else gets to go to work every day to a deluge of appreciative e-mails and messages from around the world? I mean, what kind of miracle is this life I lead?
So, yeah. The water’s back on but we still need to replace the gutters and I’m still cranky and tired, but my gratitude even in this low ebb is so overwhelming, I just had to share it.