Okay, you know how you tell yourself (or maybe you announce to everyone you know) that you’re going to write a huge, important novel. Or maybe you’re going to build an addition onto your house. Or take a picture of the sunrise every single day for a year and make a flip book at the end. Whatever–you know what I’m saying. You have grand plans, you immerse yourself into them, and then life takes over and those grand plans sometimes fizzle out. Sometimes. Other times you stick to them and at the end of the journey, you’ve got 14 stellar chapters, a new sunroom or a flip book of sunrises you can show off to your buddies. That’s what happened with The First 365–last year’s blog. It was a great idea that Beth and I had while we were still in Atlanta fighting our way to the opening of this beast we call FOODE. We wanted to document our first year day by day so that we would have a tool. A history. A flip book of lessons if you will. And about 50 days into it, I was drowning in the reality of every day and couldn’t fathom one more thing on our To Do list. So, I fizzled out. Beth didn’t. She bonded with writing it, and bonded with those who bonded with reading it. She said she’d do it and she did. She is like that. So when we reached the end of that first year and the end of that first blog, I should have let us stop. I should have said, “that’s AWESOME! Glad that’s behind us and that we (read: Beth) kept our word.” But I didn’t. Instead I said something like, “Hey, now let’s snap a picture of sunsets every evening and then we’ll have TWO awesome flip books.” Beth begged me not to. I insisted. She said, fine. You do it, Joy. I agreed without hesitation.
And then I fizzled. We’re busier this year than we were last year–and hopefully not as busy as we will be next year if all goes as planned. My to do list has changed as we’ve hired more staff, but it certainly hasn’t gotten smaller. And neither has Beth’s. So once again, the responsibility began to swell on her shoulders. I didn’t have time and she stressed about how to do what she could to help me. I made the promise, she tried to keep it.
Now, I try to be the best partner I can to Beth in this business. And that’s the truth. I really do try. I make a solid effort on a consistent basis to balance our loads. I try, but she’s better at it. So it would be really, really easy for me to look at Beth, look at The Second 365, look at the unwritten days and ask her to pick it up. She would. But that would be beyond shitty of me.
I don’t like disappointing the readers–the folks who laugh and comment and care about the journey. I’m continuously amazed at how Fredericksburg embraces their town and how they take a personal ownership in the businesses they support–the folks who follow our blogs are a perfect example of that. But I have to be honest (I have to be honest because honesty is what these blogs have always been about.): I especially don’t like disappointing Beth. It’s like nails on a chalkboard to me. It just feels wrong if for no other reason than she goes out of her way to make sure things are perfect for everyone else.
So, I’ve kind of been hiding. I don’t have time to write the blog. I’m unwilling to hint that she should do it, and I don’t want to end it because I don’t want to disappoint her. Until she looked at me and told me that not ending it was disappointing her. Day after day of not being able to meet the commitment was disappointing her to the point that the best option was to end the commitment. She feels we’ve let down the folks who were reading and we have to stop doing that on a daily basis.
So here I am, pulling the plug on The Second 365. I’m ending it not because the journey has ended, not because we don’t still want to share. Not because we value the lessons any less or that we aren’t continuously moved by how much we have learned, how much we still don’t know, and how wonderful it feels to be siblings in the Fredericksburg family.
We (read: I) just don’t have time. Yank goes the plug, but I promise this: we will continue to keep our commitment to FOODE, to Fredericksburg and to everyone who graces us by walking in our door. We (read: I) won’t let you down again.