It's more than possible, more likely...it's probable.
At some point, as any kind of business owner or overachiever-y, go-getter-y sort of person...
at some point you will have a wake up call.
It will come at the most ridiculous time, you will hate the crap out of it. And if you are very, very, lucky it may not kill you.
I realized just this very minute that aside from a blog post I wrote for a paint company, I have been silent here on the blog. This is not an indicator of how many words, stories, and anecdotes that are running on a loop in my brain as that loop is constant.
But since June, the last time I posted here, this little shop of mine has been motoring full speed ahead. I won't bore you with the daily details or constant stress of what it means to run this business the way it is run.
If you are running a physical shop currently, you already know.
Everyone is counting on you.
Your amazing customers, your fantastic designers, employees, family.
Every email must be answered NOW.
Every custom job must be completed YESTERDAY.
The store must be full, so you must find, and buy, and fix, and create.
You must sell enough to live.
Your shop is your sole financial support.
Events must be planned and executed.
Money must be spent that you don't have to spend because you don't believe in credit cards.
You have to make miracles happen and you have to do it with a smile.
And there are unending rewards to this 24 hour a day work.
Laughs, friendship, being able to pay basic bills, giving back, living a passion. Even winning an award.
Then suddenly, without warning and like Ralphie as an adult narrates in A Christmas Story:
Oh, life is like that. Sometimes, at the height of our revelries, when our joy is at it's zenith, when all is most right with the world, the most unthinkable disasters descend upon us.
Oh it was not unthinkable really. Or even a disaster.
It was this:
Monday we were on television, winning Best of Western Washington...over the moon.
Friday I was in the emergency room...FML.
I had been having dizzy spells, falling over, dim vision, confusion...and I thought my bum neck was giving me fits, so I went to see a trusted family friend that happens to be a Chiro. He says to call my doctor. My doctor tells me to not bother coming in but to call an ambulance immediately and go straight to the ER.
Now. I know my bad neck is causing my issues. But there is a little bit of worry in my head now. And even more so, I am irritated at the hiccup in my super overly filled day.
SO instead of calling the ambulance, I called my husband to pick me up where I was...a decidedly cheaper and less ridiculous option.
Moments later I found myself with an IV in one arm while making lists for the next day's holiday open house on my cell phone with my other hand, going over staffing and organizing the logistics with my mom and my husband who were in the room with me.
What? There's sh*t to do! (This is me not "getting" it)
The tests start and they wheel me in to have my MRI. In the claustrophobic nightmare that is the MRI machine, during the clanking, bonking, and visions of how I was going to do six hours of missed work in the morning...I nodded off.
First time I rested in over a year.
Then I woke up, was sat up slowly by the large MRI tester dude, and promptly passed right out. Cold.
Then the CT scan. Super short, easy peasy test.
A nurse on either side of me, they sat me up.
The room spun and I passed out. Again.
And then...panic. I cried my eyes out. Not because I was embarrassed, well maybe a little.
I was not in control.
And that was not ok.
I started to think very bad thoughts.
Regardless, I was sprung from the hospital a few hours later with some pills, some referrals, thankful of course...yet no less worried about the event in the morning and the hours I missed by being a jagaloon stuck in the ER.
STILL NOT GETTING IT!!!
The event was awesome, thanks to the help of my buddy Denniel, who also stopped everything to work while we were all having our little surprise hospital interlude. I owe her a lot. I owe a lot of people a lot. Thank you to Denniel, my Mama, the husband, and everyone that answered my frantic call for help to keep the shop open while we were gone.
I am telling you all of this because gaining perspective could have come at a much higher price, and I am sort of just now "getting" it.
Self care is last on my list, and I am sure I am not the only one of us who can say that.
Your brain never stops but your body makes the determination that stopping is all that can be done.
I have control issues.
Creating boundaries between work and self is hard when your work is your whole self.
My drive comes from wanting to create something that makes people happy, and more so to support my family. More than ANYTHING I want to be able to take care of our folks when they get old. Help the designers and contributors to the shop support their families. That's why I can't stop. That's why I have to control and be IN IT every single second of the day.
Because it's too important. Too important to lose. But that means I gotta get right.
I want to enjoy every blessed minute of it. But I need to choose those minutes more wisely.
So, I am making myself accountable by writing down some things I know I must work on and will share them with you. Maybe there are things here you may find helpful, or ridiculous.
1. Don't stop working hard. But do it during set work hours, whatever you decide those hours are.
2. DO NOT WORK during one full day a week.
3. Create rules for health, and keep them. Mental health included.
4. Exercise. (PS: I NEED A PERSONAL TRAINER. That will work for, um, painted furniture? )
5. Ask others to be respectful of your choices and your time.
6. SAY NO. Sometimes. And kindly.
7. Communicate your needs and trust those who are there to work to do the work.
8. Fulfill your dreams and goals in a way that won't kill you.
9. Create genius things even if you are the only one that loves them for no other reason than the joy you get from seeing them come to life.
10. Never stop thanking God and those you love.
11. Love the living crap out of everyone of all kinds of kinds.
12. Once in a while just blow your own dang mind.
12. And just calm the F down, already.
Thank you for being awesome and reading this. Thank you to the moon for your friendship and support of not only the shop, but all of us in it. Without you, there is absolutely no us. Thank you.