Monday, December 20, 2010

What a difference a month makes...

A month ago, we were filled with anticipation, getting the little seasonal-only shop ready for the tree hunters. By the Hearth had just been released a week or so earlier, and we were flying! We were swamped with wholesale soap orders, and coming up with new products for the websites daily.
On the 10th, the Jan/Feb issue of The Essential Herbal went into the mail. I don't remember too much since then. It's been a blur.
Today I sent out the last orders that were obvious gifts, and from now on they won't have the same amount of pressure attached in terms of delivery time.
Today 4 wholesale soap orders went out, and the 2 that are sitting in the shop waiting for pick-up are not time sensitive. The soap shelves are moderately well stocked - although we're not really sure how we managed that.
The tree farm is done for the year.
As thrilled as we were going into the rush of the season, that's precisely how thrilled we are to be finished with it and returning to normal. I am not missing the symbolism of how this happily coincides with the full solstice lunar eclipse... of the return to light, and the seeds that have been planted during the darkness. Nor am I ignoring the idea of the current retrograde phase of Mercury that slows things like communication down. I welcome that with open arms. The timing couldn't be better.
I know I've written about the subject of self-employment before, but there is no season quite as telling as this one for small retail business owners. It is pure craziness.
Taking a few hours off to celebrate my sister's birthday last week meant working until past 11 that night to get orders packed. Every morning before my eyes opened, my mind was turning to what requirements lay before me that day, and how to accomplish them in the most efficient way. The smallest glitch or unexpected issue (whether good or bad) could throw the whole day into chaos, because it was just that busy. I don't mind admitting to an element of fear each time I checked emails, wondering what sort of orders would await, and whether they'd be able to fit with today's run, or if they'd have to wait until tomorrow. That little spark of fear... that's when we start looking forward to the end.
I can set the alarm and go watch the moon turn red in the middle of the night tonight without worrying about oversleeping tomorrow.
When I wake tomorrow, there will be the bliss of knowing that only the typical activities of living will fill the day. There are only a few things that need to be done before the weekend brings Christmas Day, and I will be able to do them with full enjoyment, not having to squeeze them in or begrudge the time spent.
So in review, the past month was wonderful, crazy, busy, and fun. I expect the next month to be full of its own kind of wonderfulness. Thanks everyone!

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