Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday afternoon

The National Debt clock has run out of numbers. It's been spiraling so fast and out of control lately, and now there's no room left on the sign for it to register the 10.2 trillion dollars of debt we owe.

Bankrupt. That's a bit how I suppose we're all feeling right now. Frustrated, angry, depressed, hopeless about the whole situation. I never would have imagined that smack in the middle of my lifetime I would be living through an epoch event as great as any in the history books, like the Great Depression. But here we are.

I faced my financial statement Friday - the small amount I've scrimped and saved for my entire adult life to retire on, and it's so meager and sad. I suppose I should be grateful that I even have anything at all - so many people are in such worse shape. Sure, it will eventually come back, or at least most of it. But that's not the point. By the time any of that happens, I've lost the big window where all that compound interest or whatever is supposed to happen that actually makes it worth doing. We were all taught to put in as much as we could early on, and that over time, the continued investment would grow. But now I'm back to where I was over a decade ago. Bleh. It's just paper money anyway. We're all in the same boat.

My intention wasn't really to whine about my own situation today, or rail in rage over the state of things, or wring my hands with worry about what's about to be either. It's all just so surreal. I have some of my biggest shows and sales in the next few weeks before the election even happens. Between October and December I usually do almost half my sales, half my entire business for the year during this time. And I'm facing a complete what the frack.

Do I just carry on as if things will be close to the same? Which, by the way, means investing in a lot of supplies and racking up some credit card debt? Because if it doesn't happen, and sales are really slumping, then I'm in trouble come January in more ways than one. Extra debt plus lack of funds. Or do I cut back and take it slow, seeing how the first couple of shows go and decide then? The trouble with that last one is that I can't. The first show is this coming week, and then I've got my little storefront the following week. But all at the same time, I have to put out the winter newsletter and do four more shows all in the same week - the major bulk of everything for November. It's either all there, or I cut back. But if I cut back inventory, then I can't spread out the smaller amounts of stuff among that many shows. I don't feel like I can cut a show, if I need every penny.

I'm going around and around with this. Basically trying to achieve as much as possible with as little investment as possible and making it all work. And then just waiting it out with fingers crossed. Again, bleh.

So I guess the bottom line is this: I will pretty much carry on business-as-usual and hope for the best. I write this blog so that outsiders, customers, etc. can know what it's like on the inside of this tiny business. And as much I would prefer to just sit silent and not worry out loud, I've kinda committed to letting it all hang out, warts and all. Putting on some smiley face that all is well and the factory is just humming away in blissful ignorance is not my style. I'll continue to do the sales-y blog posts about what's new and where I'll be each week during the next couple of months. But I'm going to also try to add a few starkers journal entries on how the business is actually faring in this new state of crisis as we head in to Christmas. Just because that's what I'd rather be reading if I was on your end. I think.