Chelle Summer


Sitting In Darkness...With Others

Michelle Rusk

I will be the first to say that I hate darkness. I believe darkness is important because we need to rest, living things needs to rest, and it reminds us how much we appreciate daylight. But I thrive in the daylight, in the sunshine, in seeing the sun come up over the mountains.

However, a long time ago I learned that you can't impose your light on someone else when they need to be in darkness. It's not that they are planning to stay there long– we should know this from our own experience when something happens to us– it's about processing through what has happened.

When someone dies, when we learn disappointing news, when we feel defeated by life, or whatever it is, sometimes we need to stand in the darkness and mull it over before we can move forward with the journey.

When it happens to someone else, we should remember the same. They will move forward but in that moment they don't need to be reminded of all that they know. They know it, they just need a few moments to rest where they are. Let them be there, sit with them, and remember just because you're in their darkness doesn't mean you have to be stuck there. You're there for someone you care about, your light is still with you.

Soon they will pick back up again and head towards the light, tired of darkness and ready to move on. Then you can remind them of all that they have and how much you appreciate the light.

Staying the Course

Michelle Rusk

Sometimes I forget to follow my own advice.

Recently, a friend's daughter had gone out for her high school cross country team. She ran track in middle school but only the short sprints. After her first race, when she finished almost completely last last in the field, when we were back at our house after the meet to eat pizza, I pulled out the clippings from my high school days. The very ones where I finished dead last on my team and near the end of the line in the junior varsity race. By the end of that season though, I had moved up to last spot on varsity and I wanted Hannah to know that working hard would pay off. I also wanted her to know that everything I have accomplished today is because of those lessons I learned back then.

As I work at Chelle Summer, trying to get the word out there to sell the hand bags I have made as well as make more and get ready to sell customer swimwear in the spring, along with all my other responsibilities (including a full-time research job), sometimes I can be sitting at the sewing machine and I'll begin to wonder, is it worth it?

I wrote several weeks ago when we launched the store of the web site that to me this is the harder part of starting up something new: actually getting people to buy what you've created. Anyone of us can create something and throw it out there. The hard part is making people see that you're different than the millions of other products that we're bombarded with (and see all over social media). 

It's also a challenge to keep going when you're alone and have time to think. It's easy to wonder if it's worth the time and effort, if it's what I'm supposed to do, and if there is something else I'm supposed to be doing.

But then something comes along and reminds me, yes, this is the right direction on the map. I don't always get there as quickly as I would like. But, yes, I'll get there somehow. I've done it before and I know the rewards are great. I just need to stay the course.