Negative Self Talk

So one thing that I notice is when I get sick and/or tired then that is when all the negative talk and thoughts begin.

I have to admit, 95% of the time I am a pretty positive person. I wasn't always this happy-go-lucky but since starting my own business I have just gotten into the habit of practicing positive thinking. I really do believe the universe sends back to you what you put out and if I can put out a little happy I sure seem to get it back so far.

But every day I have "those moments". You know the ones. Sometimes you have a conversation and then an hour later think of what you should have said. Then you run through the make believe conversation like 100 times wondering how it would have turned out f you has just changed one thing. Or just before bed you start thinking about things that worry you and the scenarios start, over and over, keeping sleep at bay. Sometimes in the car I think about a phone call I need to make, or a conversation I need to have, until I am so filled with anxiety I can barely pick up the telephone and dial.

For me stopping the cycle is the most important thing. It is like my brain is a record just playing over and over again. If I can get off of it, I rarely go back to the thought.  First I have to recognize when it is happening. This can be harder than it sounds. For me the thing that break it is usually giving myself something else to concentrate on. I tend to do well with audio stimulation: podcasts, audiobooks, music I like. These keep me focused on something else "in my head" rather than my own thoughts. Adding in something physical, like knitting, cooking, or cleaning and I have the right combo to get myself out of a negative place.

Three weekends into Chriskindlmarkt and only two weekends to go until the end of my season and I still had to get myself out of this last night before sleep. I think there is a certain amount of "never good enough" that a person has to have to be self employed, to stay motivated, to continue to strive for better, but it can be a cycle that takes a toll on you too. For me it makes me feel alone, like I could be the only person who thinks like this, that I am not "normal". But in the light of day, in sharing this with you, I know this is something we all go through at some point in time. So thanks for listening :)

Hope to see you soon!


Have we lost all etiquette?

There is something interesting about working retail, you sort of blend into the background and disappear. People will have conversations right in front of you, about you or your product, when you are less than two feet away. Working retail in a moveable store front as an artisan is even more interesting because your demographic changes from show to show and the culture changes from location to location.

When those conversations are happening right there, it is hard not to get angry when they are demoralizing. It is hard not to defend yourself, I have in the past and I only regret it later because I let that person drag me to a level that isn't the real me.

I have learned that income doesn't buy class, or etiquette. Some people can only feel better about themeseves when they try to make you look or feel bad. This has little do do with income and more to do with upbringing than most people like to admit. Not letting them tear you down is the only way to win, you can't feed the monsters.

We artisans need to wear many hats. For many of us we create five days a week in the peace and quiet and lonesomeness of our studios. We are then expected to come out on the weekends and turn on our retail personalities and interpersonal skills like a light switch. Some days this is easier than others.Some days we are great at it, make no mistakes, remember all the right words to describe our art, and let insults run down our backs like water. Other days we stumble for the right change, fight with getting the credit card machine to swipe, forget what we think are key points to something we have been doing for a decade or more, and bite back when bitten first.

I had a family member come help for the first time this weekend. She was amazed how much energy goes into s day, and the booth was already set up and didn't need to be torn down at the end of the day too. She likened it to a job where you work a whole week, and then only get paid if it doesn't rain on Saturday. How many "normal" people would work hard at a job if that was the way it worked everywhere?

So why is this post titled about etiquette? Just to remind us all during this time of year when lines are long, parking lots are packed, and tensions are high, that we are all human. We are all people. We all have loved ones, passions, cares, and troubles. Forgive a little, relax a little, and be nice. I try and remind myself that every day.

Also: if you are the woman who said my soap looked like dog food, I am sorry that when you realized I heard you and apologized I told you "It's OK, you are only insulting my livelihood". I should have just let it roll down my back like water. I am not proud of that one :(