Sunday, November 09, 2008

Tightrope

Balancing on the high wire.

Last week's marathon is over. And the new week's marathon has already begun.

Yesterday was long. Up at 5, loading the car at 6, setting up the show at 7. Working the Eastlake show from 9-4. Rushing home to throw everything out of the car, grab a sandwich and rush up to Maltby to tear down the Echo Falls show by 6. Rushing from there to the Hollywood Schoolhouse by 7 to tear down the 3rd show. I could barely squeeze a path through the house this morning, with all the piles of props and inventory. Special thanks to my parents who helped me at the end. I couldn't squeeze another bin into the car and was seriously pooping out.

I've unloaded it all, inventoried it all, re-packed what I could for this coming week's show (Best of the Northwest - which I'll blab about tomorrow). And did a million loads of laundry and food shopped and tried to squeeze in some time off my feet in a chair. It's all good. The orders have been piling up all weekend, and that's tomorrow's task. There's another mountain to do tomorrow, but it seems doable.

The final tally is ok. For the marathon of 3 shows last week I ended up right about the same spot as last year. Two shows were up (just a teeny) and one show was down (just a teeny), so it's all a wash. Which is a miracle and way better than I was expecting, given the state of the economy and all the rotten consumer spending and sales reports that have been coming out the last couple of weeks. I'm grateful for every penny, and met some of my lovely and loyal customers, which I so enjoy.

I've scheduled myself a little bit less than last year with the shows this month. It was a decision I made at the end of last year, to not run myself into the ground in November and early December. I realized that I just try to squeeze too much in, and don't do the job I'd like to at any of it because I'm spread too thin. And realized that I'd actually like to have a bit of a life - to remember what those two months are like instead of just being a blob of stressed out stupor that doesn't experience any of my own holidays any more.

So that was all good . . . until the economy went belly up in September, which I guess I didn't see coming, even if everybody else did. I've been thinking that my great plan was going to be really stupid, and that I would need to do twice as many shows this winter to make half the money I had before - and that maybe I had set myself up for total failure. Well, the good news is that I think I'll survive, and it might just have been a good idea after all.

Oh, the money will still be really tight. But I've been much less stressed out this week than usual. And I'm not dreading next week or the week after. I've got enough inventory to cover all the bases, and not run out of this or that and freak out about how to make it all work. It's a little early to know how it will all turn out. But I'm hopeful and optimistic. At least right now. Even if my poor feet still hurt and I'm bone tired. I'll go to bed early -- and tomorrow is another day. Oh, and that dratted cold is on it's way out - almost completely gone. Yahoo.