The risk versus joy of pausing

the risk versus joy of pausing

Remember the scene in You’ve Got Mail when Meg Ryan decides to step on the podium and fight Tom Hanks with his Big Bad Fox Bookstore? She’s got her hands in fists, taking little punches and jabs at the air. She’s ready to fight, not just for her store, but essentially everything she believes in.

I adored that movie when I was in high school. It’s funny now to see how my own story mimics Meg Ryan’s. I have a small bookshop, a journal shop really. I have dreams and ideals for living a life that’s about passion, not money. My goal is helping people celebrate their stories and themselves–both my customers and the people who manufacture my raw materials or work for me at Gadanke. And every day, I kind of have to keep swinging, too. I don’t have a Fox Bookstore to battle with, per say. But like any business person, I think I’m not supposed to stop. Ever.

I wonder if I should really be telling myself, “It’s not personal. It’s business. If you want to succeed, you can’t let it be personal.”

But the thing is: I want the things I do to be personal. To me, that means intentional. That means heart, soul, joy, and fulfillment.

It’s hard to be intentional when you feel like you have to keep swinging. Jab. Jab. Jab. Where’s the beauty of silence? Punch. Punch. Punch. Should my goal be the bottom line? Jab. Jab. Jab. Forget about unfair factory labor? Pollution? Ethics? I can’t do that.

Over the past few months, I let this blog go silent. Really, this blog let me go silent. It let me pause. I stopped swinging at the air; I quit feeling like I had to. That was the greatest gift. My husband and I have switched up our roles at home and in work a bit, as our son has become a very busy toddler boy. Our son helps me unload the dishwasher and the washing machine … well you know: “helps.” We read books. We swim at the hot springs and feed the ducks. We wrestle a giant stuffed moose at the library. I journal; he colors or tries to eat the crayons. I think about the next steps I want to take with the journal shop, Gadanke. And I start working toward them when I am not busy being Mom.

Confession: this blogging break has been perfect. In today’s world, are we allowed to say that?

Pausing gives you the chance to think. It gives you perspective. It reminds you why you’re doing what you do.

Inevitably, Meg Ryan had to put down her fists and close her bookshop. One person might say it was a loss. But what happened when she paused? She found new life … she began thinking of writing. Instead of selling children’s books, she was going to write them!

Now don’t compare the specifics of her bookshop course with mine. I don’t want you to draw any conclusions about Gadanke going anywhere. (Although if you get the storycatching newsletter, you know that we’ve made our last run of the beloved Jump Up kid journal.) You can know that of course, it’s going to change and evolve, just as we all do. I just want to say how much pausing filled me up.

It also gave me the opportunity to begin something new, something I knew I needed the moment our family sang Happy Birthday to my baby boy. Suddenly, he wasn’t a baby anymore. But my gosh was he loved, and he always will be. With all of this pausing and celebrating, I wanted to create a Gadanke product especially for him and other kids so deeply loved. (You know, besides the mother son journal!) And I was able to do that with this birthday journal. It’s an insanely cool time capsule; I’ll tell you more about it later. The point is that I was able to think through this journal in a totally different way. Now it’s not just a physical product you hold in your hands. It’s also adding the experience of online courses and printables, too. I’m excited to put it out in the world, and out to you and the kids you love.

I hope you like it. I wish all my blog pausing is worth it to you, with the fresh experiences coming to the journal keeping and intentional living I can offer you. I love blogging – but even more, I love living.

I hope you join me sometimes. Now if only pausing could result in snagging Tom Hanks for all of us!