They tell me I should find contentment. Be happy to live a life filled with pleasures of the everyday. They say that quietude is the path to happiness. Satisfaction, the road to success.
The say that those who are too busy driving for greatness miss out on the small wonders of life. The uninhibited love of a child. The way fleecy clouds upon a piercing blue sky move like waves over the ocean. An unexpected kiss. A moment in time which can never be recreated. And from what I’ve learnt while on this planet, I can see that they are in all livelihood, correct.
Why then do I yearn for more?
Why does the sound of this keyboard clacking not mollify my need to write but instead tease me into tugging out something more? Something greater. Something superior. Something permanent which I have yet to find. How come I have a constant grating on my soul that whispers sweet somethings about moving forward and making goals and always, always reaching a bit further than I did before?
I am Mother, wife, writer, and business owner (at least this is how my Instagram profile identifies me) and yet I still want more. And because I dream of this elusive “more” this indefinable objective of striving for something greater, does it make me less than?
They tell me I should live a gratified life, surrounding myself with the day-to-day beauties which make me happy. They tell me that our existence is short and precious and should be savored by the minute. They tell me that it is the journey that counts, the small things, the infinitesimal which makes up the whole.
As I listen to them, read their words and mull it all over in my brain I still have dreams of grandeur flit through my mind’s eye like fireflies at a camp-out. If we are being honest here, which I believe we are, I long for these words to be lit up in lights. Perhaps I still have more to learn about life. Maybe the youthful pipedreams of the past have not yet withered away into reality. What if I am never really relaxed, but still manage to seek happiness throughout this life anyways? Is it possible to be happy while striving for excellence?
Is it possible to be content while still dreaming of future days?
Walking along a precipice, each edge unknown, you balance ever so carefully. You do not want to fall over one way or another. It has been this way for as long as your memory can recall. Blue sky, thick white and grey clouds cluster at the forefront of your vision. They hang there like cotton candy hangs off a sticky finger. As though it was the definition of forever. You dare not look down. Dare not take a peek at what could be in store if you happen to drop over the brink of your current existence. Because surely you will plummet if your eye line moves from its current course. So instead you continue to place one foot in front of the other. Prudently employing your surefootedness, although there is no finale in sight.
In fact the triangle skyline in which you balance seems to be decreasing in size as you move towards it. Hot fire flicks in your belly as fleeting horrors of forever tightrope walking begin to spark through the brain. No end in sight. No stable ground. No cartwheels or somersaults. No running. No sprawling. No victory jig once reaching the finish line. The memory of these simple wonders begins to ebb from your conscience with each foot over foot gesture you make. Fear sidles up your hairline like a snake in the bed at midnight.
The slightest breeze washes over your shoulders, just enough to move you slightly to one side. There is not only a shift in your body but your mind as well. In the before times you would have sprung your arms horizontally. Steadied yourself. Heart pumping wildly and praying to a god you barely believe in to not let you fall off the cliff. Do not let me plunge through oblivion, you’d plead with enunciated piousness.
Yet now, as the gust flows through your body you keep your gaze on the blue. Your arms do leave their respective sides but not to steady yourself. This time they aim for flight. The blue, like the triangle skyline begins to decrease. Falling away from you. The previous aim for poise and perfection is sifted out and discarded like clumps of flour too cumbersome to make it through the mesh screen.
You are falling into the strange. Dropping away from what once was and upsurging into openness. Into grand beginnings. Into possibilities. Unmarked exploration. No turning back, no changing course now. Soon you will meet the future and you welcome it with air born arms.
Hello one and all! Wishing all of my blogosphere friends a wonderfully fantastical Christmas! I would really like to wow you today with some perfectly produced prose or valiant verse for this post, alas I’ve drank about a bottle and a half of red wine throughout the day so the words escape me. They flit haphazardly through my brain like rogue chickens on slaughter day…. apparently my inner farmer comes out when I drink as well.
It’s been a wonderful day of lazing around, feast fixin’ and family togetherness! The best kind of Christmas celebration in my opinion.
I hope you all had the same kind of perfect Christmas too!
I am so much warmer than I use to be. The blanketing heat of self-assurance, confidence, comforts me like the safe embrace of a mothers hug. Before starting 100 Words a Day the thought of writing would cause a deep stab of guilt and regret to course through me. I knew I should be writing but, oh whoa as me, I did not have the time, I could not find the words, my fingers were broken.
It felt as though sitting down to write would be the most difficult thing in the entire universe to do. I’ve birthed babies, nearly died from blood loss, raised a family, built a business and slapped a smile on while doing it all but writing? God no. No thank you Ma’am, that…that will definitely flatten me.
Writing was the easiest thing to push to the sidelines. How could I make time for something that I was not receiving immediate kickbacks from? What I didn’t see was that the rewards we draw from our creative enterprises are more beneficial to our souls than our pocketbooks. The prospect of a healthy soul is difficult to put a price on. We value our inside, our in-inside, differently than we do our physical body and external world. If we can see it, we can sooth it. No point in wasting time with the places that aren’t apparent to us.
It is an easy practice to fall into, one that I took on wholeheartedly. All the while the small nowhere-space next to my heart was crying out for a little kindness.
In times of chaos our creativity can seem as though it is a useless thing. A washed up nothingness that is better castoff for later days. We push it to the side and say, “I don’t have time for you now, Creativity.” Even though there is a slight longing in our voice as we toss it to the proverbial can.
I’ve discovered that it is precisely this creativity that helps to smooth out the chaos. Round out its edges. By shoving the meaningless things, the Facebooky and gossipy things to the side it was simple to make room for some souly things. And I am already so much warmer because of it.
Our creative ventures are worth it. They cradle us unlike any material expedition could. As humans we forage creativity like bees to nectar. It is our nature to nurture the in-inside. But the external world, the sensible money making, “I have a million things to do” world tells us these prospects are a waste of time. Stop fighting it. Take a few minutes each day to do a little of what you love and then allow the rightness of it make you warm again.
I look at the day ahead. I am reeling with anxiety. Timelines and schedules disco-hop through my mind’s eye in a fashion that leads me to believe that my brain has an evil ulterior motive. My hands quiver as I type and I have to wonder if I should even be taking this time to type at all because, damn, I just have so much to do today.
I am the sort of person who gets overwhelmed easily. Can you tell? I have a very difficult time dealing with too many responsibilities over one 24 hour time period. For example, raising children isn’t a stress factor (well it is, but not in the same way) because this endeavour spans an entire lifetime. If I want to feed them popcorn for dinner or skip homework one night it’s going to be okay because I have a plethora of child-rearing days to make up for the misstep. Having three business meetings, a large quantity order going out during the lunch rush and having to do it all before 3pm when I pick the kids up from school…that gives me the spine chills. These are the days I am an anxious ball of pent up stress that is undoubtedly radiating a gross amount of sweat and negative energy. An absolute treat to be around I’m sure.
And yes, oh yes, I’ve tried about every possible remedy for this fretful behaviour. From calming teas to lavender oil…to actually attempting to will away the busy onset of events—nothing seems to work.
Except there is actually one thing.
And that is, simply getting on with it. Just doing the shitty, stressful, wholly unwanted thing with a smile on your face and a can-do attitude in your heart. Yeah, yeah, lamest thing I’ve ever written. I know guys, but the truth of it is this is life man.
Sometimes we must simply get into the car and drive to the place we’ve never been. Despite the worry about getting lost and the stress of not knowing anybody there. Sometimes there is no simpler solution than to just do.
I find when managing my time efficiently and using up the leisure time I do have with productive ventures such as reading and writing I am more willing to participate in the tougher stuff with a positive attitude. As a general rule, a can-do ‘tude is one of the best qualities one can have…even if you are feeling the shit storm of obligation encompassing you like that mighty claws of a great griffon, sometimes you just gotta smack that griffon on the talon and say, “let’s fuckin’ do this!”
We humans are resilient and we typically thrive in high pressure situations, revealing to ourselves and others how remarkable we truly are. As we continue to “just get on with it” each time this feeling of conquering the beast becomes easier and easier to overcome.
We do not have the ability to learn or live well without experiencing a little trepidation in our lives. Anything worth doing is going to cause stress because it is new and unknown. In most instances, we must just get on with it or else life will get on without us.
My reflection hangs in the protective glass of a topographical map of Middle Earth. My husband has made it recently and it is an amazing piece of work. A stab of jealousy, or is this envy? Courses through my chest. It is not jealousy over his time nor envy for his talent. It is something else that I cannot quite name. Perhaps his resolve? His willingness to put his own hobbies before the meaningless hubbub, the monotonous pretexts of life. He loves creating these maps, therefore he just does it.
It seems to me any time I have an inkling about “doing” something for myself a flood of excuses washes over me and stops the notion in its tracks. I can’t write that book because I’m not smart enough. I can’t work on my short stories because I don’t have the time to put in the heavy editing that needs doing on them. I couldn’t possibly start up the spoken word poetry again because nobody listened to it in the first place.
My heart hurts when I think that these are the reasons I’ve held myself back from engaging in the thing that I love. Yes time is a factor, I am busy. We all are busy. But life is also flexible. It is an unending corridor of possibility an unrelenting miasma of options if only you learn how to wrangle it for your own.
If we do not allow ourselves to make the time for the purists which make us happy, what are we doing here? I suppose work and making money and being financially accountable are the “responsible” things to do at this point in our lives, but there must be something else. We must be able to mark and create the designs that live in our souls doing what makes us feel whole in order to live a rewarded life.
Ray Bradbury said, “Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.”
Somewhere between all of the worldly concerns of growing older I had forgotten his advice. I swept all fervour away and practicality became my main driving force. Admittedly, at the time this is what I needed. Sometimes to get on track with our professional goals we must batten down the hatches of our own whimsy and get down to business at hand. But I think I’ve come to a point where I have room for a little whimsy to creep back in. To be truthful, I believe it is exactly what I need.
So here we are, same blog, different name, new content. I would like to tell you what this thing is going to be about but, hell if I know man. I think it is just going to be the place where I come, every day, to write one hundred words…and maybe a little more if the muse decides to take me.
Ahh the joys of customer service. *she says as an involuntary twitch travels over her left cheekbone.*
I suppose this vocation needs no real introduction because all of us, at some point in our lives, have probably partook in such means of work.
Except, maybe that’s not true. Maybe, there is a portion of human beings who have never had to take an order, clean up after someone or do anything remotely of the sort. Because, correct me if I’m wrong here, I feel like if everyone knew what it was like to work in customer service, well, there just wouldn’t be as many delusional asshat customers as there are.
But that’s not the way we humans work is it? I’m as bad as the next guy. Just a few weeks ago I was a total jackass to the cashier at the gas station because they had changed their pumps to prepay and they hadn’t thought to reach out personally to me and let me know this vital information in advance.
Why did I feel the need to stomp around like a friggen maniac because I had to go in the store and pay before pumping my gas? Now looking back it was outrageous of me and I hope to God that the gas-bar attendant got a good laugh in at me on account of my temporary insanity.
However, I received all of that bad juju and more in karma today at work. It was pretty much a day from hell. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. I need me some redemption, I need to make things right again in the universe. I can’t deal with anymore “hell-days” so I’m here to right my wrongs.
So here it is. Redemption.
A list. Because everyone loves lists.
8 Ways to be a Good Customer (and avoid the bad juju):
When entering a business location if greeted, it is wise to greet back in a friendly/polite manner…as is, and has always been the social norm since, well, pretty much forever ago. When one does not greet back it is awkward and makes actually no sense at all; leaving the greeter to conclude that they must be in the midst of a total fucking chode-monster.
Do not, under really any circumstances, ask the person behind the register if, “anything is good here.” It’s a completely senseless question. Like, I’m not sure what you expect the answer to be but in pretty much every scenario, whether it’s an employee/owner/volunteer, they are probably going to tell you that the product is good. Even if it is some little shit employee, they aren’t risking their job to tell you all the gruesome truths and malevolent corporate secrets of this establishment. Sorry to break it to you, but nobody is going to think twice about spewing out some rehearsed line, “of course it’s good…Everything is good here at Daisy Dukes Dildo Shack.” So save everyone a lot of weirdness and just don’t ask and judge for yourself.
This one is more for just the food service industry so it pretty much involves everyone on the face of the planet. Do not, I repeat DO NOT, go into an eatery during lunch/dinner to inquire about anything other than eating right then and there. No, they do not want to hear about your cutting edge new knife product. No, they are not interested in your organic vegetables. NO, they cannot give you a minute of their time. Why you ask? Because they are balls to the walls busy with people who are actually spending money at their establishment. Try again in the downtime…or don’t, nobody cares.
Do not treat a cashier any different than you would treat the owner of a business. Plain and simple.
Many of us like to talk about only eating and shopping locally. It’s great. It’s actually fantastic because it is a community minded way to be. I applaud you for that. The thing is, when you shop/eat locally that often means you are doing so at tiny Mom and Pop businesses. Sure they may have fantastic food and yeah, I bet every lunch hour that you go in there they are just hopping busy. That doesn’t mean (even in the slightest) that they can afford employees. So, before offering your breadth of knowledge just know that the last ten customers probably said the same, “looks like you need to do some hiring” spiel before you. And despite the general consensus of these people who have never come close to seeing the financial books of this establishment, unfortunately, that doesn’t make their suggestions even a little bit more attainable.
Sometimes businesses run out of stock. Don’t argue with the staff about it. If they are out they are out. No amount of “well this is ridiculous!” will change that.
If you notice a customer in front of you being a right ol’ bag-O-dicks to the cashier, please by all means, say something. It is in fact your business as a human being to stop the blatant verbal abuse that customer service people endure daily. Be the difference.
If you’re sort of shy and non-confrontational, that’s okay too, once the cashier has so aptly moved the smacktard on his way, show the person behind the till your solidarity by rolling your eyes and saying quietly, “what a jive ass turkey that slime ball was” and then promptly pull yourself out of the 70’s and continue on with your day.
Heed these words my friends! And know that out there somewhere there is a retired front desk associate wearing an avenger’s shirt that is two times too small bottling up karma, watching and waiting for the perfect moment to throw it in the face of some twittlefuck who has told off his last cashier.
In other words, the bad juju’s a bitch, and she’s coming for ya.
There is one thing you need to know before you carry on reading this little thing of mine. One thing that may or may not change your thoughts on whether this relationship of ours is going to go any further. One thing that might indeed change EVERYTHING.
Well this is awkward, it seems I’ve amped it up so much that I can never make it sound as awesome as it needs to.
So here it is: right now at this point in my life I have exactly three things on my brain. My kids well-being, the panini palace and writing.
A while ago Sophie told me she wasn’t exactly fond of me writing all of these, she says “embarrassing” I say “adorable” stories about her. So I will respect her wishes and the tales of the children will have to be kept to a minimal. Which leaves us with paninis and writing.
Hence, if you choose to continue frequenting this account you will probably be reading about a whole shit-ton of misadventures which Jamie and I find ourselves getting into daily at the shop. That and my ridiculous obsession with pop culture, I will probably throw that in here somewhere too. Example, Vampires. Another example: my love for Mindy Kaling…She’s so fucking cool.
Ahem, allow me to paint you a little picture here.
It was lunch-rush and busier than we’ve ever been before. INSANITY to be exact. But good insanity. Exciting insanity. We were running into each other like chickens tend to when their heads get cut off except babbling back and forth so perhaps more like a pair of challenged baboons. I was panting for the love of God! Panting! I’m so out of shape.
Then everything froze.
Now everything did not actually freeze to be literal, it’s not like there was some kind of super natural force which actually stopped time or anything. This was more of an emotional freezing moment where I looked at my husband and this sandwich kingdom we have assembled and I couldn’t be more honoured to be in this thing with him. Like, how did I become so lucky to have found a partner who I can raise a family with but build a business alongside too? It is nothing short of a miracle.
Time jumps back to reality and Jamie runs past me clutching his hand. He returns to the line a few minutes later with his index finger wrapped up like a mummy and two clear plastic gloves on over top.
“Did you cut if off? Do you need stitches?” I ask with not a hint of yarn in my voice because my husband has literally cut off the tips of his fingers several times before in his career and had to get them sewn back on. So this was a serious and vital question at the time.
“No I just sliced it down the middle.” He said. Then we disinfected what needed disinfecting (becasue a restaurant is nothing without clean and proper health standards) and continued on with the lunch-rush because stopping just isn’t an option these days.
I’m not going to lie, it’s been a tough go of it lately. We are feeling the debt that we created when setting up the shop and it’s proved to be a lot more difficult than we anticipated to begin paying it down.
Of course, it’s all part of it. This is the big shebang of starting a business. Them’s the ropes, as they say. We get it. But if you’ve ever had debt hanging over you, if you’ve ever felt that suffocating fear of relying utterly and completely on your next day’s sales, your next week’s paycheque, I’m sure you can feel where we are coming from.
So today, this fantastic day that we were not expecting but eagerly hoped for had finally come! At one point as I slid in beside my husband on the line and poured a bowl of soup we caught each other’s eyes. He looked at me and smiled this smile that just said, “I may have just sliced my finger open but that’s okay because we’re doing it! We are making this happen!” and it gave me a stomach full of butterflies.
It was a long day, twelve hours to be exact with even more paper work and planning to be done once I arrived home that evening. When they say starting a small business ain’t for the faint of heart, believe them, they wouldn’t lie to you. **I don’t know who “they” are but they sure know their shit.
When Jamie got home we cracked a couple of beers and talked about the day. It was in fact the busiest one we’ve had yet and despite our aching feet and weary brains it was our day! We had done it. Sure there were a few mishaps but we recovered. We moved forward and now are ready for another day, and that my friends, feels fabulous!
(So I wrote this essay for a friend who is thinking of opening up a small business…And then I thought I would share it with you guys, becasue well…that’s what I do.)
So you’re opening a business.
Well you’ve come to the right place. *She says while looking around maniacally and rubbing her hands together in a untrustworthy manner.
Who I am kidding, I have no clue why you came to me for advice! I’m not suitable to give a cat clad in denim overalls business consult. But here you are needing some encouraging words, and if I can do one thing, it’s string together a few fancy sentences. So here goes nothing.
Not to mention, we’ve have had our fair share of “learning curves” worth of wisdom that I’d love to impart on you.
To start off strong and brash let’s begin with finances. The biggest thing that we learned (the very very hard way) was to over-estimate EVERYTHING. So you go ahead and make up your business plan and say you work out that you are going to need forty thousand to get everything started, you are probably actually going to need around upwards of sixty. Otherwise six months in you will find yourself pimping out your pets to the crazy cat lady next door to pay the electric bill and savaging through couch cushions for rent money. Well, it probably won’t come to that (**looks around awkwardly) But in all honesty there are so many hidden costs around every corner when it comes to something of this magnitude. We are still (and probably always will be from now on) discovering new things in which we knew nothing about and yet having to fork out dough for – no pun intended, actually, pun definitely intended.
Because in the end, everyone (EVERYONE) wants a piece of the pie…again, pun most certainly intended.
Which brings me to the next point. If you are having to get contractors in make sure you do your homework. We got screwed around something awful when it came to our contractors. Sometimes they were just downright ripping us off, or simply not installing things correctly, or—get this—not pulling the permits that they were supposed to pull before working on our bay! So, make sure that you really know your shit when it comes to the contractors, your permits for the work that needs to be done and so forth and so on. This was definitely one of our sorest spots when getting everything up and running, it ate away a lot of our budget and threw us for a loop. *revert attention to pet pimping comment.*
The first few weeks we were open we had at least four or five people trickle in a day telling us how we should run our business. They wouldn’t buy anything, or even surrender a kind comment about our hilarious puns or funky decor. No, apparently their job was to tell us that they’ve “worked in the industry” for thirty years so obviously they have some valid points to divulge upon us. They would proceed to nitpick at every tiny detail that we had put into our place. From the fact that we were charging TOO LITTLE for our product to how they make chicken salad and their recipe sounds much better than ours does.
Finally when we would ask them what restaurant they owned they would say, “oh no, I don’t own anything, I’m a line cook over at the Ramada, have been for the last ten years.” Or something similar. My point is, once you have a solid plan and have begun proceedings on your business everyone with a mouth and two cents is going to want to tell you how to run your shit. Just remember that you are the one who has had the wherewithal to move forward with your plan, trust your instincts and do your thing! Of course if you hear some good advice, take it gracefully but also with a grain of salt. Own your ideas, your goals and your creations. Because they are yours and yours alone.
Man alive there is so much more I could tell you! I could fill a book with all of the mishaps that went on. It seems to me that the things we were really stressing about in the beginning we’ve yet to find trouble with in the now! And all of the things that we never thought of are what is wreaking havoc in our lives daily. I know it feels big, like unimaginably big, like so big that you really have to wonder why the hell it is called a “small business”. But as you move forward, every day you will conquer another few things on the long list of have-to’s. Eventually, you will have jumped more hurdles than what you have in front of you.
And man, that’s a good fucking feeling!
But as for newly-fresh, still in the idea stage of things; make sure you have a strong foundation to build on (did I just say that? Ew, gag me with a spoon).
As a general overview when starting out I think it is important that you build good strong relationships with, your financial adviser, lawyer, accountant (if you don’t have one, get a recommendation from someone because they are your LIFELINE to a business! Although Jamie and I are pretty brain-dead when it comes to numbers so that’s why we are so reliant on him)
Even before you really start building your actual business it would be wise to form relationships with all of these professionals because they are the ones who are going to help you achieve what you need to…but don’t rely on them too heavily because they are expensive as all fuck.
Well hope you enjoyed this ridiculous essay I ended up writing on just some of the crappy things that may happen to you when opening a business.
It really does feel like a lot, it may seem insane and completely unattainable right now. It’s not. It’s just a matter of organisation and planning.
But most importantly rummaging up the courage, having faith in your goals and taking the leap.
If my life were the water that fills a five gallon bucket I would currently be overflowing. Between my beautiful husband, kids and our family business I have about a 2 inch depth left for writing. And that’s okay; that is more than enough to work with…until I want to focus on growth.
A few days ago Sophie told me that she didn’t want me to write on the computer about her anymore. It came to me as a shock and at first I wanted to cry because that is what The Blogging Mama’s foundation has been built upon. It’s right there in the name for fuck sakes. What the hell am I going to do now? I thought.
I always told myself that as soon as the kids said that they wanted me to stop writing about them I would. No questions asked. But I just didn’t think it would be this soon. Well it is and now I have to come to terms with it.
However it’s a good thing someone up there is looking out for me and my compulsion to string sentences together or I’d be a bloody headcase right now. The entire point of writing is, A) because I couldn’t not write and B) because everyone needs something that reminds them of who they are.
A few months ago I really started going strong with some fictional short story writing. It is going well despite the fiction market being a tough barrier to breach-worlds more so than non-fiction platforms. After all anyone can write a funny blog about parenthood (well, mostly anyone) but it takes some special (Steve King) talent to transform an entire world into fictional lore over someone’s home computer screen. Ahem, challenge accepted I do say.
Which brings me back to the damn bucket. Yeah of course I could keep writing funny stories about me, Jamie and the shop. I could perhaps slip a few quips in regarding the small humans. I could keep doing what I’m doing and stay the same forevermore.
Or, I could try something different. Hone in on a new set of literary skills. Follow every urge in my body that is screaming at me to challenge myself to see what the results could bring. Maybe I am not made for fictional writing. Maybe I just won’t make the cut. But if so, at least I will have tried. At least I will know as I lay dying and decrepit on my hospital bed in 60 years from now (I’m very healthy) that I put myself out there and I did all I could do.
So with that my friends I bid you adieu, for now at least. I am going to take an indefinite hiatus from The Blogging Mama in hopes of finding the time, energy and creative well in which to pen a new kind of story.
Adios Amigos, I’m sure we will meet again (because I’m going to use most of you as fictional characters in my cool new stories. MWAH MWAH MWAH—evil laughing: going to have to work on that.)
I’m not socially awkward in a wearing dark clothing and mumbling in tongues kind of way…actually, it is quite the opposite. Which may be worse. I don’t really know yet.
I’m okay at taking orders and playing it cool at work. You know, mention the weather and talk about the weekend festivities, boring monotonous small talk I can do—begrudgingly.
It’s when that special thing happens and I feel a click with a fellow human being that things tend to get a little strange.
Have you ever met someone and within minutes of talking with them you’re thinking, “I like you! Now Imma be your best friend.”
You start imagining the two of you on a bowling team rocking out in eighties style bowlers shirts with a wacky name like, “Lord of the Pins” or “Ball Burners.” High fiving and drinking beer. Oh how wonderfully odd it would all be since you don’t even like bowling!
No? This never happens to you? Huh, I see. I’m sorry. I’m so so sorry.
Happens to me on the daily. I get super creepy about it too. I start making all kinds of deep and intimidating eye contact. Really just getting right in there because I feel like if I look at my target hard enough I will be able to tell if they want to be friends too. I’m not going to lie, hasn’t worked yet, but I’m pretty sure I’m close to perfecting the method. I’ll tell you about it when I do.
If staring at them wasn’t bad enough, I start babbling. Small talk doesn’t cut it when it comes to the friendships of Lindsay’s. I don’t want to know how your damn weekend was Best Friend. I want to know what your political views are; let’s fight about it for a while then agree to disagree and come out of our conversation both a little better for having expanded our brains and mindsets.
I want to hear about your views on all of the hot topics in the world today. What sparks passion ablaze in your soul? What gets you talking and doesn’t allow you to shut up? And more importantly than most anything else, do you watch Doctor Who? Are you a 10 or an 11? Me, personally I’m an 11 kind of gal. I just can’t get past the whole Doctor, Amy, Rory team—greatest trio in television history. Oh how my hearts (I wish) swell when I think of those three. And well, now that we’re on the subject, can we please talk about the fabulous River Song? I mean, if I could be one woman in all of the fictional world…Yep obviously it’d be her. Oh the adventures! But I shan’t say too much because, you know, spoilers.
Wow, okay so that paragraph sort of got away on me there. Ahem, I apologise especially if you have no idea who, in fact, the Doctor is. That was just a bunch of wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey stuff. Jesus, what am I doing here? I’m sorry I have a serious fandom problem—nothing a little fish sticks and cust…OKAY, I’m seeking help.
Back to the question at hand though, so what does one do when they are trying to drag out all of this intimate and vital information from their future friend of fantastical proportions? Well duh, you start talking about really really personal stuff that’s happening in your own life. Obviously, they will reciprocate the sentiment and the two of you will become the Bestie Bests while revealing your innermost secrets within the first few hours of meeting. It’s not brain science guys.
I do like to make a habit of taking my own advice whenever possible. So when attempting to befriend a person I fancy I will begin by staring at them in an intense manner. keeping in mind to smile, because people like smiles.
I then proceed to ramble about what brought Jamie and me here to the city and what our goals and aspirations are in this great big universe. Often I will tell them my woes of living with psoriasis and how I forget things quite often. I will divulge my love for watching cats videos on You-Tube right off the bat because, who doesn’t love a good ol’ cat VS cucumber vid?! And I use words like universe, humans and fantastical a lot while engaging in said conversation.
So in conclusion you guys, if you ever happen to be in my midst and I start acting like this, I’m not having some sort of an episode or anything I simply want to be your friend.
I’m not saying that my friend finding technique works every time, but there are a group of select weirdos peppered throughout time and space who’ve succumbed to my peculiar bonding rituals. For that small wonder I will always be thankful.
We sail through this life with premeditated and superficial conversation at the tip of our tongues. It’s called common courtesy and I suppose it’s something we must all pander to sometimes.
But isn’t it a beautiful thing when, occasionally, life plops in front of you a fellow human who wants to chat about something a little more significant? Never take that for granted. It could be the beginnings of an exquisitely unusual friendship.
“I hate having to do small talk. I’d rather talk about deep subjects. I’d rather talk about meditation, or the world, or the trees or animals, than small, inane, you know, banter.”
Something sad and not at all nice is going on guys. I’ve been noticing it more and more as I progress deeper into my role of Panini Provider for the People.
But before I get into that I want to tell you about a “study” I read a while ago—I put this in quotations because quite frankly I’m not sure if one can consider it a “study” when the suggested posts under it had titles like, ‘drinking copious amounts of beer now reveal health benefits’ and ‘scientists can now tell if someone is gay or straight by the dilation of their pupils’. If I was ever going to use the hashtag #facepalm it would most certainly be right now.
Anyhoo, regardless of what you want to call it, the thingy I read told me that it is no longer politically correct to ask someone what they do for a living…Like, are you fucking kidding me right now?
No no, it is now bad form to inquire as to what your new small talk buddy partakes in during the daily grind because their answer may or may not be “cooler” than your answer. THUS hurting their oh so fragile feel-bads.
There are reasons upon reasons why people choose the jobs they choose. Sometimes it’s for the passion it evokes in them. Sometimes it’s for the security it provides. Sometimes it’s because they just really really like working with small rodents or dynamite or whatever. Most of the time, if you ask someone what they do there is usually a pretty sweet/funny/semi-interesting story to go along with it. Humans are remarkable that way; we are forever selling mundane antidotes as interesting tales of adventure. Writer of this blog…prime example.
If you ask me, as long as you’re earning an honest living, then you’re doing pretty damn well in my books.
However *holds pointer finger up in exaggerated motion* not everyone feels this way.
Not everyone deems “The Working Joe” as a respectable way to earn a wage. I know this because I’ve seen it first hand and it makes me realise how innocent questions like, “What do you do?” can be made into a hurtful faux pas.
For the most part when a customer comes in, Jamie and I are able to talk with them, get a few laughs and all around have a glorious 5 to 10 minutes of chatter while we cook them up the greatest sandwich in the world. And sometimes the exact opposite thing happens.
A customer will stroll in and look the place up and down. They will see Jamie and me awaiting their arrival from behind the counter and begrudgingly address our cheerful, “HELLO!” with an uninterested, “Hey” of their own. They will look at the menu boards and choose a sandwich all the while trying their damnedest not to make eye contact with us because that could mean talking and stuff.
They will stare awkwardly out the window pretending not to acknowledge our presence. Even though both Jamie and I are undeniably loud at existing. Always have been, can’t help it.
And that’s fine. Sometimes people just really don’t want to deal with the small talk of strangers. I get that. I can admire that even. Here I am HAVING to be the chipper chicken (where did I come up with that one, I astound myself sometimes) day in and day out! It’s exhausting.
But what I don’t get, what really burns me up, is when the people who come in acting this way completely and utterly change their attitude towards Jamie and me when they find out that the shop we are working in is actually ours.
All too soon we’ve become exciting. Now we seem worthy of their conversation. And it makes me gasp, gasp I say, with shock. Why is business owner Lindsay more appealing than cashier Lindsay? Why is it now in their interest to be civil and kind to me when moments ago my reality bored, perhaps even annoyed them? How could the mere title of my job have changed their opinion of me so drastically?
So my end conclusion is that “studies” one finds on the internet are weird but sometimes can hold some weight when splattered onto the right framework. But mostly they are probably lame. But *again with the exaggerated finger* being the asshat that belittles a fellow human for working a job that in their stilted definition deems ‘dead end’ is by far a thousand times lamer.
So please, next time you find yourself out and about rubbing shoulders with society tell your stories, be weird, make the mundane look beautiful and most importantly show the asshats how spectacular the human condition truly is.
My parents are coming, my parents are coming!! This is the single most looping thought I’ve had all morning. They are coming to see me (I guess the kids and Jamie too) and I couldn’t be any more excited. Well, I could be but I have to save some energy for work today.
Colleen and Dan Sawyer are pretty much the greatest parents in the entire fucking universe! The proof is in the pudding (did I just actually use that phrase!?) when it comes to how unbelievably supportive they’ve been through our current year’s life changing events.
As you well know these last few months have been trying. There were times when we weren’t sure we would be able to pay the bills and moments where failure was a precipice we tottered on often. I would call my sister-in-law and tell her my woes. I would cry to my brother about how scary this thing we were doing was. I would straight up avoid talking to Mom and Dad because I didn’t want them to see how unsure I was about absolutely everything in our life.
However, like families do, when Dust and Ashley would be over at my parents for dinner the topic of Jamie and I and our panini problems would surely come up. Nothing malicious, just general concern about how we might be doing all the way down here in the thick of the Southern Alberta heat. Literally and metaphorically.
Except Dad, he would hold strong in his resolve that we will be just fine. Dad is and always will be the voice of reason when things start getting dramatic (something that can happen quite often with me and Moms active imaginations). He would say, all they need is to get the word out, it is going to happen for them. It’s all about word of mouth.
One thing about my dad is when he is not dreaming up some outlandish plan of action he can be impossibly logical. He’s wonderful like that.
So the day I phoned my parents to tell them we had to close early because we sold out of all of our food at the shop, the words did not come as a surprise to them.
As I told Daddio how busy we’ve been and how the people of this city seem to be falling in love with our sandwiches I could hear a smile on his face. This was quickly interrupted however with ideas and thoughts on how to keep up stock and prep so closing shop early doesn’t have to happen again. Better to be open and making green than closed because we were not prepared adequately. Oh how I adore that guy!
As usual Mom had a plethora of questions to ask about the shop. From how early I go in in the morning to what kind of characters we meet on a daily basis. My mom, like me, is a junkie for people. Who will they be? What quirks make them tick? She wants to know what fascinating history has brought them to where they are today. And she will indeed get this information out of them, in the most subtle of ways all the while making a person feel like they are undoubtedly the most important human on the face of the planet.
Her enthusiasm when it comes to me, Jamie, the kids and astounds me. She has this unbelievable way of making us feel like we are doing god’s work. Even if it is just pressing paninis for a living. We spoke for hours that morning on the phone. After I hung up I realised that I need to call them more. Talking with them brings me this extraordinary feeling of triumph. An overall sentiment that is better than it was before I heard their voices.
Besides the hundreds upon thousands of life lessons my parents have taught me, one that sticks out as I sit here today is the lesson of generosity. This, they have shown me time and time again. Generosity doesn’t have to come from a bank statement or a wallet. The kind of generosity my mom and dad have so aptly doled out to my brother and me over all of these years comes from a kind and steadfast spirit. That extra push saying that you can and in fact will do what you’ve set out to do. Their generosity has been as simple yet profound as building our confidence up (sometimes to, perhaps, obscene levels) when everyone else is rooting for us to flop.
Generosity is an art. If you give and then immediately feel you need something in return I’m sorry to break it to you but you’re doing it wrong. Generosity is about giving what you can without expectation. It is about being rewarded by the knowledge that you’ve done something good. And true generosity is a beautiful thing. It proves that there is still so much good in this world, in the human race.
Now, as I sit here and read over these words my heart is eager to see the two people who have selflessly had a hand in giving us the strength and confidence to make it to where we are today.
It was less than a year ago when The Hot Wire was just a silly idea drifting in and out of two dreamer’s brains. But when dreams become reality; this is the stuff of magic. My husband and I are dreamers you see, we always have been. We sit up late, sometimes drinking beer and eating popcorn, and always talking about the things that may be one day. It is some of my favourite moments with him.
Do you know that feeling that comes over you when you just know that you are on your (and I really mean your) right path? I don’t know about you but it will start out as the faintest tingling in the very deep of my gut. A flood of positivity becomes my brain—waylaying the creatures who say I cannot achieve what I am setting out to do. They are left where they stand, ignored and forgotten–just as they should be. It is a strength that resides firmly in my chest. Said strength moves me to reach further, do better and try harder in achieving my goals. It is a resolve that is impossible to ignore.
And it is one of the very greatest feelings a human being can have.
Some people will live their life telling you to, “get your head out of the clouds” or to, “stop dreaming your life away.” I say NO! Absolutely do not remove your head from that mass of condensed water vapour floating in the atmosphere! Dream and imagine, write it all down and back it up! BACK IT UP FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! Then, once you’ve got your game plan, once there is nothing left to imagine, go out and do. Be the dream because as impossible as it may seem sometimes, “there is always a way out” (that was a Doctor Who reference for all the laypeople out there).
Anyways, what I’m really trying to say is please, I beg of you, follow those beautiful, impractical, adventurous, tentative dreams.
There will be shitty, I mean REAL shitty days along the way. There are points in which I worry that we might fail. Maybe we will fail. Maybe we will fail at achieving this dream in this particular way. Perhaps we will have to pack up and begin again. We will have to look for the alternatives and brainstorm and inspire to be better. But that is just part of the game. That is the process.
Whether you attain what you are looking for the very first shot or you must try over and over again until you get it right—I promise you, it will be worth it. To know that you had only a glimmering of an idea in your mind and to bring that minuscule thing to fruition is a true marvel. It is a striking thing to know you’ve achieved.
The other day Jamie and I got this little note in our comment jar.
I can’t really explain to you how much significance this piece of orange paper with words on it holds for me. It WAS me only a few months ago. It was us. Unsure of how to move forward but hopeful that there was something to move forward to.
Now there are so many moments where I find myself silently thanking the forces that be in assisting Jamie, Lars, Sophie and I in what has been our most crazy, uplifting, insane adventure yet. And we will keep on doing what we do. Despite the pit stops and the delays. We will find a way to keep moving on.
And my hope is, that the writer of this note along with anyone else who has ever had a dream can find the grit and guts to do the same.
The house has a muggy calm about it this morning. Today is supposed to be devastatingly hot and I’m not entirely sure I am ready for it. I’m not entirely sure I am ready for anything anymore. For someone who used to be chronically prepared for just about everything, I’ve sort of dropped the ball lately.
Maybe it’s the heat. Or maybe it’s my brain being overloaded with menial tasks. Perhaps it’s my brain being overloaded with all of the non-menial tasks that’s getting me down. The worries and what-ifs about the future. I find myself daydreaming all of the time about what’s to come.
Like, I wonder when that multi-billionaire is going to stroll through the doors of The Hot Wire and give us an offer right then and there that we can’t refuse. He will say something along the lines of, “Boy Howdy I do declare this is the best éclair I’ve ever eaten!” or “Well, I tell you what, I’ve never seen a more original and downright delightful sandwich shop in my whole dang life.” I am imagining this person to be from the Deep South with an accent reminiscent to Foghorn J. Leghorn.
However right here and now I am reminded that none of this has actually happened yet. A wall of heat is currently pressing up against my back and I feel as though I may be slowly melting away into oblivion. I do hope it’s not so hot there.
Usually I don’t mind the heat. I like to bask or whatever. But working in a kitchen when it is 30 above, I’ve come to discover, is most likely the closest impression of Hell that any human being will ever know.
I literally just turned around to see if I could physically see what the “heat” looks like. I am assuming that because it is so god-damn hot in here (at 6 am) that surely I would be able to spot its wrath. I’m really considering stripping down to the buff and going to sit in the cool garage for a few before I head off to work.
Okay by now I’m sure you guys are asking yourselves where in the good and glorious name of Jeebus am I going with this blog post?
Well, to put it right out there; I’ve been a bit of an asshole lately. I’ve pretty much been the assholiest asshole in the history of assholes (but not the literal kind…because that would be shitty. Ha!)
In these last few weeks I’ve pulled away. I’ve withdrawn because let’s face it, things got scary and things got hard. We were struggling to get the business where we needed it and doubt plus many misgivings were running rampant. I stopped calling my friends and family because I just didn’t have anything positive to say. I didn’t text, and when they texted me I shot back with insincere one word answers.
Assholery I tell you, pure assholery.
Now, it is time for an apology! I’m sorry dear loved ones…I love you all. Love, love, love, love and some more love. Yes, this is in fact my idea of an apology. They’ll get it.
The smouldering and fiery facts—that accompany my current state of sweltering alive—are that I was a little depressed for a brief moment there, and it scared the holy molies out of me.
But then one day not too long ago something happened and although it doesn’t solve all of our “starting a business stresses” it gave me that little bit of oomph I was in need of to get up and get on.
A dude sitting in the shop so very nonchalantly muttered to his Panini one random day, “I love you. I never want you to end.” And in that moment our suspicions about failure vanquished. We realized that we have something here, something good. It was about at that time when grandiose delusions of talking roosters paying us millions to franchise our panini palace came into play.
Maybe that’s a little much, I don’t know.
What I do know is that I cannot allow the down days to affect the relationships in my life. Our humans, the ones who get us through the everyday, are our everything. There are going to be bad days. Days when the bread doesn’t rise and the cakes all fall. There will be days when the equipment brakes. When the kids act up and lash out. There will be days when we want to tell the whole entire world to just fuck right off.
And then, there will be days when we find a grown ass man telling his panini that he loves it. There will be days when we feel invincible. Some days we will find that we have the ability to do just about anything.
These are the days we must hold tightly to. The days that remind us that we are doing something wonderful and fulfilling.
Some may even go as far to say; these, are the days of our lives.
So going back to work has been a bit of a learning curve.
You know, I really didn’t think it was going to be that difficult to get back into the swing of things. I imagined I would breeze in there all like, oh yeah I’m Queen Bee of working and moming and I am the master of both my domains!
**followed by exaggerated maniacal laugh. **
Except this is not at all how it has been going.
Every day I drag my tired screaming body out of bed and wonder what the fuck I’ve gotten myself into. I think about how easy my previous life was in comparison. I fondly reminisce about all of my worry-free days of stay-at-home mom-ery and I fawn over those memories with longing.
However after a cup of coffee, I punt myself back into reality while I slather on some mascara and get on with life-as does every other person on the planet.
I do the mornings at the shop while Jamie does the long afternoons. I can’t complain. Jamie typically bests my nine hour shifts by two or three hours more each day. He almost lives there. But I do complain, a lot. Not about the fact that I’m tired and I am having a difficult time getting into a routine—these things will come. I complain about the tiny, minuscule things I miss about the ‘before times’.
I miss Sophie’s haphazard and dazed look when she awakens and trudges her way upstairs in search of cereal. I miss the way Lars would hide around the corner of the kitchen only to yell, “GOOD MORNING MOM!” as loud as he possibly can in those wee hours as I myself would be trudging into the kitchen. I miss Jamie rolling over still half asleep, putting his arm around me and whispering that the kids can wait just five more minutes as he nuzzles his cold nose into my neck.
These are the little things that I complain about not getting enough of anymore. And although they are small, the price seems like a big one to pay.
Aside from the mom-things that have been effected, there are a few other aspects of this new life that are quite daunting.
Let’s begin with the fact that Jamie and I are business owners! Do you know how different that is than being an employee?! When I worked outside of the home I always considered myself a pretty star wage earner. I’d show up early and stay late if needed. I went the extra mile. I was always friendly and courteous. I was one hell of a trainer when necessary. And I felt like I treated my position with as much respect as I would if I owned the place.
Except I didn’t. Not. Even. Fucking. Close.
The truth of the matter is, one doesn’t know what it’s like to be a business owner until you are, in fact, a business owner. Before, I never understood exactly how much was on the line if something (anything) happened to screw up. You don’t realize what one bad review of your company could mean. You have no clue how completely and utterly accountable you are until it is only you, you have to answer to.
We’ve done well thus far but the sneaking knowledge that our entire future is riding on this venture is always weighing in the back of our busy minds. It’s a large burden to bear to say the least.
So there’s that.
And about a hundred other things that continue to make me look back on the days before The Hot Wire, before moving, before everything changed, with fond recollections.
How easily it would be to slip back into those days of carefree living.
That is, until I dredge up how ‘carefree’ it wasn’t. Perhaps before the Panini shop (which now feels somewhat like a lifetime ago) we may not have had such *pressing* (see what I did there) issues but we did have issues none the less. We felt like we were standing still and not progressing in the life we were living. We felt like we were teaching our kids to sit and complain about all of the woes in life rather than going out and doing something about it. We felt lost because we simply weren’t doing what we were meant to be doing. We didn’t feel in control of our own lives and there is actually nothing worse than that kind of a thing weighing you down.
Now, those feelings are but a mere story of how we started on this current journey.
I think anywhere we go in life there will always be the learning curve. There will forever be challenges and worries that we aren’t doing right for ourselves and our family. There will be doubt.
It doesn’t matter how far you move, what new challenges you face, there will sometimes be moments of suffocation. There will always be moments of victory. I don’t think any successful human being can have one without the other.
So whatever it is you are doing, keep doing it. Keep trying the new. Keep yourself on your toes. Be scared and excited and thrilled by anything. And do it every single day.
Life is weird and uncertain and totally terrifying at times. But at any given moment it can also be very very magnificent.
Some days I can do three loads of laundry, make a pancake breakfast, and get a week’s worth of writing done all before nine a.m.
Some days I find myself huddled in the corner of the bathroom with a bucket of Nutella attempting to scarf it down as fast as I possibly can without the offspring locating my whereabouts.
It’s all about balance you see. It’s about having the ability to discover what kind of day you’re going to have before it has even started. Will it be an “I am Wonder-Mom” kind of day? Or, more likely, will it be a pajama pants because you can’t even bring yourself to squeeze into the yoga pants kind of day? It’s about accepting the plight that is parenthood and giving into it gracefully.
Because when it comes down to the nitty gritty we can’t do the Wonder-Mom thing every God-damn day. Well not without a vessel of Valium and about thirty-five martinis that is. And you know how the Granola Moms frown upon that these days. So we are left with having to accept that some days we just can’t do it all.
It is either one or the other—slobby do-nothing Mom or Wondrous Wonder-Mom. Black. White.
Or at least that’s what everyone’s been telling me.
There is this strange mentality that I’ve noticed popping up lately and that is that everything seems to have to be all or nothing. Perhaps it has always been like this and I’ve just been too wrapped up in myself or apathetic to notice. But I’m noticing now, and it’s weird and makes me feel uncomfortable.
As parents we seem to categorise ourselves into these sections. Like “hover moms” “free range parenting” “no preservatives” “McDonalds parents” and we hang on to these stereotypes like they were our first born child.
Let’s get real here people. I try my damnedest to feed the Lars and Soph clean healthy food, however when I’m pressed for time or simply having a PJ pants kind of day they are getting a big ole box of KD with extra ketchup. I let my kids play in the backyard unsupervised because I’ve smashed “stranger danger” into the farthest depths of their brains. However I still go and check up on them every single night before I turn in to assure they are breathing. I’ve been doing this for eight consecutive years now and in all honesty I can’t see myself stopping any time soon.
Picture this if you will: me, sneaking into Lars’ apartment when he is 25 years old and stealthily popping my head over his bedside to investigate whether or not he has breath sounds. It will be when I ever so gently place the small mirror I’ve brought (because I like to think ahead) over his mouth to see the breath in question that his girlfriend at the time awakens. Resulting in extreme awkwardness. For them.
Motherhood is weird and poor Lars will never be able to keep a steady relationship with my crazy shenanigans.
I think as a society we need to expel this notion that when it comes to parenting there is only wrong or right. In most cases at least. Obviously some things are just downright wrong and some things are gloriously right. Like Tacos.
Ain’t nobody gone tell me tacos on their wrong list.
Ahem, Oh look once again I’ve been sidetracked by the fabulous thought of tacos.
Anyway, it’s the ego’s downfall that we are constantly at war with each other over issues like which parenting methods are best and what colour a dress on the internet is-I don’t know why I’m still on that, it was like a million years ago.
If we could for one moment set aside those big pulsating ego’s we could see that in most cases there is a middle grounds that we can all come to reside in and be overall contented with. And if there isn’t? Then allow your self-image a few moments of humility and try to see something from another’s point of view. The stubbornness we exhibit does not progress us as a society. We stay stagnant at an impasse because none of us can agree on what’s best.
If we open ourselves up we may learn a thing or two, moving forward into new potentials.
Or, you know, just go sit in the bathroom and consume copious amounts chocolatey Nutella, whateves.
Quickly I run the mouse over the red X in the right hand corner of the screen. If I am going to get anything done I have to pull myself away from the tantalizing grips of my Facebook world. As I watch the screen disappear I feel a momentary melancholy because all I really want to do right now is mindlessly scroll through a sea of Selfies and dumb political opinions. I don’t want to think, or read or have to conjure up anything from the foggy depths of my brain because I am just too damn tired for that.
It’s been about two weeks now since I’ve sat down at this computer and wrote anything at all. I force myself to put my fingers to the keyboard because whenever I happen to go this long without writing a sneaking fear begins to burrow its way into the better judgement section of my brain. What if I forget? What if I lose the ability to sling sentences? What if I lose interest in the art of wordsmithing altogether? What the hell then?!
As much as I don’t actually believe this will happen, there is a small part of me that will probably never let go of this completely irrational worry.
So here I am, writing. I don’t really know what to write about at this very moment but my hands seem to be clicking away at a good pace so I will just let them do the work I suppose.
Everything has been going pretty swell at the Panini factory. Our doors are open and every day we seem to be gaining more happy customers which is truly a beautiful thing. I think one of my favourite parts of this new adventure is meeting all of the people who walk through The Hot Wire’s doors.
A few have been back several times and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to know that our little shop is a place that people just like hanging out. This is what Jamie and I always envisioned when we talked about opening The Hot Wire. Now, it is coming to fruition and we couldn’t be happier.
Of course it hasn’t all been a pleasure cruise. For the first few days we were pretty dead. Like I mean NOBODY new about us at all. Here I was thinking I was such a marketing wizard with my awesome Facebooking skills. What I’ve learnt about Facebook advertising is that a whole lot of people can “like” your page and that does not mean jack when it comes to them coming into your shop.
On grand opening day we were packed to the roof with prep and bread from the hordes of people we imagined would be fighting each other (literally just destroying each other) to get a mere taste of our sandwiches. In reality we had about ten costumers. It was not very glorious at all. So in the days to follow Jamie and I would be mentally willing the people who walked past the front of our shop to pop their head in and take a whiff of the delicious treats we had on display.
Now, by “mentally willing” I actually mean awkwardly staring down anyone who came near our doors as we wore ridiculously large smiles and expectant expressions on our faces. We were probably scaring more people away than anything. I would have been scared.
However a few humans did brave the weird vibe we were giving off and ended up loving the food. This is exactly why you shouldn’t judge an oddball book by its cover people!!
And there it began, the infamous word-of-mouth advertising. Seriously it works like a charm!
Each day our numbers are growing. We are becoming more confident in this huge endeavour we’ve taken on. And damn does that ever feel good!
As mothers we stress. I think it must be something in our chemical make-up. If I told you how many times a day I find myself getting all worked up in the feels about some random thought…Well, I just wouldn’t tell you because it’s embarrassing.
Jamie is a stress-case too, which you would think would make things super awful pretty much all of the time with us both riddled with anxiety. However that’s not the case. My husband is an entirely logical man. He looks at the world through rational and balanced eyes, which is one of the hundreds of reasons why he is so good for me. So when Jamie stresses he stresses about issues that are right there in front of him and how to fix those things that need fixing.
I stress about different stuff. The stuff that has no real value in this day to day life because if it were to happen it may probably change the course of history as we know it. I stress endlessly about zombie apocalypses and how I would save my brood from an undead army. I stress about that time I said a snappy comment to that cashier and she looked like she was about to cry. I stress about make-believe conversations I might one day have with my arch-enemy. Then I stress about the fact that I actually have an arch-enemy.
I stress about what the hell would happen if we ever lost Sleepy Bear.
This last thought hits a nerve. That bear is Sophie’s world. Literally, her entire existence revolves around one grimy disgusting bear that wears a pink and white polka doted hat.
I’ve tried to teach her that we shouldn’t rely so much on physical things to make us feel happy and content. It is our loved ones and our inner happiness that truly keeps us satisfied. Whenever I say this she just looks at me with a blank look and squeezes the bear tighter as if I am about to yank him out of her little grasp right then and there.
Last night as I was tucking her in I asked her if she was enjoying her new after school program. She said she loved it but she wanted to bring Sleepy in her backpack tomorrow.
“I don’t know if they let you play with toys from home there sweetie.” I said to her thinking that a little time away from the bear may be good for the kid.
“That’s okay I will just have him in my backpack.” She paused but then realizing that I needed further explanation continued, “Mom, I just feel better when Sleepy is with me. Even if I can’t play with her I just like knowing that she is near me. She’s like my kid.” The frankness in her voice was beautiful for a child of five years old and in that moment I had two emotions punch me in the gut.
First, pride. Pride that my little girl could so eloquently explain her love for the small stuffed bear that she holds so dearly. How amazing it is that she can open up to me and effortlessly describe her feelings when it comes to her plaything.
Secondly anxiety. Which brings me back to the stress of losing the damn thing. She referred to it as her kid for the love of God!
And so there it is, just one more random thing to get pushed into my already crammed brain when it comes to things that keep me up at night.
I think life would be a lot easier if I was a normal stress-case and worried about typical things like money and the economy and whether or not Trump is going to one day take over the world.
Whatever type of stress you have it can be a really scary thing. But I think the answer to all of it remains the same. Confront it head on, let it know you won’t be scathed and move forward with confidence.