Pruning | When the Bones are Good
In Masterclass, I tell this true story about my life. It’s Christmas Eve, Joey is 6 months old, and Adam and I are dead broke. We sit at the dining room table and talk about me getting a job, and I apply for some online that night. In tears, I tell Adam how much of a hypocrite I am, how ashamed I feel, and how I am failing at my own fight of entrepreneurship.
Needless to say, we bounced back and made it work. I tell that story, too, during Masterclass. The redemption. The rise from the mud story. We all love those.
But the story that hasn’t been told is the one about the falling. Again.
Things have not been all rainbows and butterflies since that day. Are they ever? We have struggled, a lot. Babies are expensive, yes. But it so much more than that. Dreams are expensive. Goals can take the cake when it comes to budget. And mompreneur seasons only cover so much of the grief it takes to pursue this life.
Outside of “real life” there is this thing called money. And when you work and work, and don’t make any, are you really working? Or do you have a hobby you call your career?
These are the questions I so heartbreakingly asked myself a few days ago, as Adam and I yet again stood up front against this idea of being broke. Actually, not an idea. A real situation we were eminently facing.
Without sharing the heartwrenching details of our finances, the gist is pretty clear. We took a huge risk last year. Actually, a series of huge risks. Changing Joey’s childcare situation. Me, moving home to work instead of my studio. Launching the JoJo. Getting pregnant. And then, most recently, emotionally deciding to go all in with Mompreneur and Nicole&Co., and substantially scaling back on the breadwinning business of the family, Studio 22.
All this to say, we’ve run the gamut of Mompreneur seasons around here. Grow, to move home and stay home with Joey. Hustle to launch the JoJo and Mompreneur Masterclass. Rest, during the holidays and when we got pregnant. And now, Pruning. Cutting it all back. What’s working, and what isn’t. Dialing down our budget, our spending, our recreation. Trimming the excess off the ends, making the room and the space for things to grow next. A new baby. A busy season of work for Adam. And what is hopefully a growth, changing in my business.
Maren Morris has a new song, The Bones. The first line says,
“We’re in the home stretch of the hard times. We took a hard left, but we’re alright. Life sure can try to put love through it, but we built this right, so nothin’ is ever gonna move it.”
This is what Pruning season feels like. We are on the home stretch after taking a really hard left and going through some rough stuff.
Like really rough.
We don’t share a ton about our personal lives publicly. Much of it gets saved for things like dinner time conversation and a future book or lonely tears while driving to the gym. We all do this, I’m not unique. But it feels raw, and the wound is itchy and part of me wants to wrap this rough stuff up with some vet wrap and get on with it.
Pruning is HARD. Like, the hardest season of your life. At least, this one has been for us.
During this Pruning season, I’ve had to make some choices to cut things I really, really did not want to cut. I’ve had to watch, closely, as the pieces I cut off of my own trunk fell to the ground, and slowly, ever so slowly, became dull in color. Their leaves wilted, and I wanted to so badly pick them up and tape them back to my limbs, hoping, praying that my livelihood would heal them. Would transmit some sort of life back to them. I wanted to give up all of my own life, blood and tears and sweat and wellbeing, to make them whole again.
This is the hard part about pruning your life. You can’t tape it back together. You can’t superglue the leaves back to your limbs. You can’t pretend you never made the cut. Never spent the money. Never said the words. Pruning is permanent. That’s why it’s the hardest.
Part.. ok the all of… this season has felt like intense loss. Grieving. Pain. Suffering. All the while, I’m growing life. Growing a human inside my body. Reminding me at every roll and every kick that soon, just around the corner, is Growth.
So badly, I want to finish this season. Tie it up with a neat little bow of hay twine and put it away. No… throw it away. But that is not, cannot be, right. I want Pruning to be over because Growth is exciting. And fresh and new and not full of pain and permanency. But there’s more to prune. There is more to cut back. There has to be, because I can see the light, but I’m not in it yet.
We are on the home stretch of the hard time. We took a hard left, but it’s alright.
Home stretch. Not home.
I used to drive home from college in San Luis Obispo almost every Friday night, three horses in tow and no XM Radio to keep me company. I listened to audio books, because this was pre-podcast days. And I talked on the phone.
One late night, I was on the home stretch. The 505, a highway that connects the two busiest interstates in the state, is desolate and long piece of two lane road that is terribly bumpy and dark. It was late, really late, and I was tired. I could see lights, the lights of my favorite gas station. The lights of the busy highway. Almost, so far in the distance, the porch light of home.
And I was being followed. Some jerk had decided to tailgate my horse trailer, and follow me. I was scared, and wanted to pull over. I wanted to stop, lock my doors, and call for help. I was alone, young. And I wanted to be home.
I kept driving, and of course called 911, and eventually the guy took an exit as the lights approached in oncoming traffic.
That’s what this season feels like. Being tailgated by the devil, tempting me to stop. To lock my doors and hide. But I’m on the home stretch. I cannot stop now. I cannot pretend this is it. I see the lights.
Today, again in the car, I cried while listening to Maren’s song. “When the bones are good, the rest don’t matter. The paint can peel, the glass can shatter. The house don’t fall when the bones are good.”
My bones are good. My faith, my marriage, my literal home. The bones are good. Let the paint peel, let the glass shatter, let the trees fall and the blossoms fade. Taping it all back together doesn’t leave good bones. I want bones that don’t break when this season comes again.
It’s ok to sit in the mud, tears making rivers down your face and wondering if you’ll make it out. It’s ok to sit there for a while, too. Until you’re ready. Ready to walk out of the mud, stronger than you were when you fell in.