I’ve learned a lot about myself during my month off. I know that I need to work for my own sanity and self esteem. I can easily rise to the challenge of juggling multiple projects at once with gusto and tireless energy, however when I’m not working, I can be just plain lazy and unmotivated. I’m finally working again on a few projects and coupled with the upcoming holiday season I should be crazy busy until Christmas. Remember how stressful and sleep deprived last year’s Holiday!Cookie!Madness! was? Looks like we’re headed down that road again. This, however, hasn’t provided any relief to my anxiety as it normally does and I’m wondering if, for the first time I would be better served with a stable staff job somewhere that would bring in a steady paycheck with benefits. With both kids able to go to school full time next September, it seems like it could be financially possible to work on staff even though it wouldn’t be my first choice. The cost of full time childcare negated it before. There are other questions though…will I still be able to run W&S if I did work a staff job? Sure, there are many months where I work full time freelancing, but I don’t have a commute (which cannot be underestimated!), I can switch gears during the course of a day when I need to and I can do most of my work at night.
For the first time, Mark and I pretty much decided a few days ago that we need to have our own kitchen and open up a store. I’ve been really ambivalent about it and the thought of being married to a store with expensive overhead, debt and a huge initial investment makes my stomach churn. But where else is there to go from here? We certainly can’t continue like this for much longer. It’s sort of remarkable that we’ve been able to do every aspect of the business ourselves to date without any outside help at all. This includes volumes of cookies and orders, manning tables at fleas and festivals, designing, packaging, marketing, customer service, waiting at the post office with packages and delivering orders all over the city – all while holding other freelance jobs and taking care of 2 kids. It can get crazy. Why not get help, why do you do this, you say? Simply because we have to. They say that it often takes a business a few years to turn profit. We’ve been turning a profit practically from day 1 because of financial necessity. We’ve been resourceful and lucky in keeping our overhead low and we’ve worked hard. But even I can see that this can’t continue forever.
So the timeline for the store is 2 years when Claudine enters Kindergarten. 2 years is a long time. But it’s also not. Anything can happen, really. It can go both ways. Maybe Mark will throw his hands up in the air and want to quit. Maybe I’ll really warm up to the idea of a store and I’ll charge ahead with enthusiasm enticed by visions of the children hanging out behind the bakery counter after school. I don’t know. The food industry is not easy. Having a store will not necessarily make our life easier or make us more money, but at least we have some sort of plan, however vague it may be at this point.
Until then? I need a swift crash course on taking things one day at a time. It’s a harsh reality when you need to ask yourself “are you happy?” and you can’t really answer the question honestly to yourself because you are afraid of the truth. There are joyful moments as you can see from posts here, but lately I feel like we are largely moving on autopilot. Clearly we have some things to work on.