Dear Diary

I’m sitting at my desk, surrounded by stacks of unorganized but shelved books. A man in our church installed sturdy shelves stretching the length of two walls in my tiny office here. Yesterday, after working from 6 AM to 3 PM, I unpacked all but four boxes of books. (I started with twenty four, I think.)

Honestly, this room looks like one of those really unkempt claustrophobic used book stores that you walk in and straight back out again because you’re scared a book avalanche might maim you.

For the first time in my life, my desk sits under a window and I can peer outside from my keyboard. The lake is blue–I have an obscured view on either side of the across-the-street-neighbor’s house which is pale yellow. The leaves on the trees range from mustard to gold and green and brown. Today, the sky is blue as well and it’s fifty-five degrees according to my phone. Weirdly, it’s supposed to be 80 degrees tomorrow.

The neighbor’s tree as seen from our kitchen.

I’ve been working long hours these days in retail. I worked a job at an office supply store a long time ago and while I really liked it, I never could afford to work retail again. However, this particular large arts and crafts store pays its full-time employees pretty well, especially considering the cost of living here.

Anyway, so I have unexpectedly changed careers again and find that I am enjoying the change of pace as well as the actual unbelievably fast-pace of every day at work–we race from one end of the store to the next and I perpetually have a sheen of sweat on my forehead. I look at the time and find I missed my morning break, then accidentally miss my afternoon break as well and only my aching feet tell me that I have worked a long day in the blink of an eye.

Yesterday, the manager asked me if I would be willing to be the new sewing department head. Of course, I said yes. It’s really the perfect spot for me. I love fabric in a way only fabric-lovers will understand. `

Of course, the only bummer about working is that it takes up so much time. I have so much reading to do, so many places to explore and projects galore–not to mention that I’m still not settled in here. I want more time in my days and my weeks.

Every time I move I’m extremely impatient about how long it takes to get to know people. In the time of COVID it’s even worse. I always remind myself that my friend Diane told me it takes a solid five years to feel you belong someplace, so I try to give myself grace but it’s hard. I want to be comfortable and fit in and have friends.

Even introverts want friends, you know.

Well, it’s time put on shoes and head to work. That’s the other thing about retail–some days you start at 6 AM and some days you start at noon.

3 thoughts on “Dear Diary

  1. I worked retail in a toy department many years ago, and after that, in a Christian bookstore. I also enjoyed retail. It’s a lot of fun to stock new merchandise and meet people, and have relatively frictionless connections to co-workers (Compared to offices).
    I took a quilting class many years ago, and learned how fun those fabric finds can be. My mother made most of our clothes, when I was young, and it was so fun to pick out the material. We didn’t realize how rich we were. I wish we had saved some of those dresses.
    I’m glad you’ve found such a good job.
    Your view is beautiful, too. May the land of a ten thousand lakes be good to you.


  2. I’m a bit jealous, as I have always wanted to live in MN – the majority of my mom’s side of the family is from there. I’m ready to re-invent myself, I think – sounds like you are having fun at your job – sounds like a Hobby Lobby or Michael’s?


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