Monday, September 17, 2007

September blur

When the calendar paged flipped from August to September, it seems as though time and activity has sped up exponentially. Not just for me, but for lots of people. I've been so buried in my own little pile of overwhelm that I could barely look up - working around the clock, rushing here to there and back again. Weekends are a mirror of weekdays, not a moment to spare.

In one late evening fit of burnout the other night, I decided to quickly check in with a few of my favorite bloggers, and just see if anyone else was having a life. And it turns out that most people are all in the same pickle - of one kind or another. Major transformations, huge projects, big life changes. And almost everyone was racing through this month too - just trying to get through it in one piece. So much to do, do, do.

I am disappointed to say, that for the first time in 12 years of business, I've run out of a bunch of soaps and have to actually put the little "temporarily out of stock" message up. Well, I know it's not the end of the world, but for me, it sort of feels like it. I've always tried to be more organized, more professional, more . . . well, just not such a mess. But this month got the better of me, and we've still got a ways to go.

I've been filling orders madlly, running stuff over to the shop, and bringing heaploads of everything over to the fair. There hasn't been much time to even make soap either. With the minimum month-long curing time, when I get short, it's scary. And I've been in that scary phase all summer long. To be honest, I haven't been quite as disciplined as I could have - with a string of lousy shows, I slacked a little on what I could have been doing. But money was tight, things looked ok, I waited a titch to buy a lot of supplies for fall and move too quickly. Now I'm having trouble keeping up. Isn't that always the way?

Several soaps are just plain out - and I've got more batches going, but it takes a while to catch up and wait for them to cure. The list is French Lavender, Sacred Smoke, Cinnamon Spice, Vanilla Bean & Honey. With another week of the fair and a second show this coming weekend, I don't know where I'll be next week.

No, I'm not tacking my first "million" on the wall. I wish I could at least celebrate the great sales success after all this hard work, but this whole year has been such an up and down mess, I'm hoping to just eke by. At the moment, it feels quite desperate and disappointing instead of triumphant. A professional blogger wouldn't admit all this stuff on their business blog. It should be all cheery and horn-tooty. You all know me better by now, and this is the unvarnished version - not the ready-for-primetime show. Am I in denial that one person can run this whole thing by herself without hired help? Did I just not plan it out well enough? Or do things sometimes just happen? I don't know. If I could think straight without the endless list of what I gotta do next chanting through my head, maybe I could figure out where I went wrong. But for now, I'm just blearily putting one foot in front of the other, trying not to forget my pants when I leave the house.

So I'm off to work all day at the fair again today, with a truckload trip to the Post Office first, and a list of stops on my way home. Such is the life of September - a quick wave as we race past each other, headed in so many different directions. Next week, maybe, there will be time to breathe, yeah?