I Feel… Free!

It’s normal for me, in January, to randomly let the next six months float through the ether in my brain to see what settles out.  This usually includes must-dos, events, trips, holidays, etc.  This afternoon, I was in the shower, letting the steam mix with the ether as all these thoughts drifted in and out of my head.  (I don’t know about you, but I do some of my best thinking in the shower.)  Let’s see…

January…  Inventory is just about finished, and it’s time to restock, maybe order more ingredients if restocking depletes me too much.  Gotta get all those wine soaps stocked and run through top sellers for that other account to make sure I’m good there.

February…  Second weekend – taxes.  Ugh.  but then by the 4th weekend of February, refund, so it’s all good.

March…  April…  Soccer.  Open house – maybe?  Hopefully – at a friend’s house.  It’s already in the planning stages.

May…  Pender Spring Fest.  Mother’s Day.  I’d really like to take Mary on that “just us” beach trip that didn’t work out a few years ago.

June…  Father’s Day.  Maybe ConTemporal.  Peter’s birthday.  Blueberry Festival.    Wait.  Hold on!  I’d decided not to vend Blueberry Festival this year.

Oh.  My.  Gosh!  I feel so…  free!!!  Blueberry Festival is almost always the Saturday before Father’s Day, and with prepping and vending, working all the day long in the sun, by the time Sunday rolls around, I’m still in “Where’s my weekend?” recovery mode, which is hardly conducive to helping the girls facilitate a special Dad’s Day celebration.  Not vending Blueberry Festival means being completely present for that.  It means spending time with Mary before she goes to a week-long mission camp.  It means not having the application deadline cluttering up my mental space.  It means more time for me, more time for my family, more time for trips to the beach and stuff.

This is the year that I’m allowing last year’s developing attitude and mindset to grow a little bit more.  I said last year that 2014 is not my year; it is a year of preparation for 2015, which would be my year.  And hear it is.  I have been taking steps to owning my business more, instead of letting it own me.  It will be a good year, a saner year, a happier year.

What can you give up this year in order to free yourself for more pleasurable things?

The Week From… Well, You Know

If I were to be honest, I’ve had worse weeks.  Way worse weeks.  Weeks when I was sick, a child was sick, a cat was sick (which usually translates to icky messes all over the house), and my car died while orders were stacking up on me.  Coming back from Christmas break and sailing into the New Year should really be a LOT smoother, wouldn’t you think?  This week is either the worst week of the year, and I’m thankfully getting it out of the way early, or this week was a warm up for the rest of the year, in which case, my cracker jack problem-solving skills will get a great deal of exercise in the next 51 weeks.  I’m hoping for the former.  After all, I’m a mom, so I use problem-solving skills every day.

It started last Friday.  Even though I was technically “off” for Christmas break, I still kept up with my emails.  I had an email from Paypal, which handles my credit card processing, informing me that they’d put “limitations” on my account.  In plain English, that means they’d put my account in jail.  I had visitation rights, and that was about it.  Nothing could flow in or out of my account until they had certain documentation from me.  So started the back-and-forth.  I didn’t have one of those pieces, so would they accept this equally legal document from the State?  No, of course not.  I went ahead and scanned in two of the items they required and called the State Department of Revenue to make arrangements to get a copy of the third item – which will go into the safe when I get it.  I uploaded the two items I had, thinking, Myeh, at least that’ll be done, they can get started on their end, and I won’t have to worry about these later.  Well, imagine my very happy surprise when I received an email yesterday evening to inform me that they’d lifted the limitations!  Unfortunately, it still meant losing a few days of business, but I was expecting another week or two of being in Paypal jail, so I’m glad such wasn’t the case.

Now that year-end inventory is done – woohoo!!! – and colorants and awesome additives are on the way, it’s time to kick the production back up.  I decided to start with some wicked cool heart soaps that are heading to Pass-a-Grille, Florida for Valentine’s Day.  These will take a bit of time, and I figured I could get the first part started.  Mixed my lye, melted my oils, and went to the rack to grab my heart column mould.  Um, where the heck is my heart column mould?!?!  I searched high and low for that mould.  I looked on my secondary rack.  I looked in my stash of moulds and found every other column mould I own – holly leaf, pig, apple, Davidic star, fish.  Everything but my heart.  OK, OK, so on to plan B.  I go after my silicone guest soap mould, thinking I could line a bunch of small soaps up very close in the mould.  It was right here a few days ago…  UGH!!!  Where the crap is THAT mould???  What’s going on?  Did some evil little imp steal my heart moulds for shits and giggles?  Or was it a certain little five-year old princess?

I cover my containers and start the search.  The girls helped.  It was the end of the day, and I was just about to give up, when my eldest moved one thing and voila!  There it was!  Whew!  That mould is now sitting under a larger wooden mould, 9 of its cavities filled with rosemary lavender, bright pink soap.  Those will be embedded in a surround of lavender, and I can’t wait to slice the loaf and see what I get!  With my usual luck, the column mould will magically appear as I’m wrapping the very last soap.

In the midst of all this, we’re trying to get back into the swing of our school schedule after enjoying that break.  I also had to get a large order shipped, and the hassles of the week put me behind there.  My eldest daughter really came through to help me there!  She did such great work, and I didn’t even have to ask!  It takes teamwork to make a business succeed.

How is your New Year starting off?