Do you know where we are? I don't.
And yet, here we are.
I don't know where here is or where there was. I do know that I am so up and down, I feel like a yo-yo or a bad rerun of ..... well you insert your worst sitcom name.
I am not sure about you, but I can tell you I have finally got my monies worth of Netflix. The good parts, the meh parts and the bad parts. My garden has never looked so good and I can Marie Kondo the sh*t out of any room now. But, T.V. and gardening aren't why either of us are here. You guys (hopefully), are here because you like what I write and because the need to vomit onto the screen/paper becomes too overwhelming for me to stop myself.
I want to swear. I want to curse so badly. Scream my bloody lungs out till they hurt. I want at many times, to punch something so hard, that the pain from hitting somehow relieves the frustration of what I have been living. We have all been living. I am on the verge of crying at any given moment and often do when no one is looking.
A bit dramatic? Ya, ok. Truthful? Right down to my last fuck. And I don't have many of those left.
Six months. Its been six months since, well you know what happened. You were there. Yet, here we are. Second wave upon us. My words in general tough to form on my tongue, stand very powerful and sharp on the ends of my fingers. I type. I delete. I type again. Remind myself that we are all suffering and delete. Type again. Have a drink. A very stiff drink. Then delete.
I am so full of emotions. We all are. For most of us we have followed all the rules, kept distance, socially un-gathered, missed hugs and our friends, grieved without process, and worn that god damned mask. Yes, its just a mask and yes, its worth it. But it is so effing annoying!
Here is the real deal though. We have for the most part done our part and yet, the second wave is here and we are still having to tell people to wear a mask and sanitize their hands. I was hoping never ever to ever have to type the c word again.
I struggle daily with how to approach the next months, weeks and even days. We've heard complaints from people, I won't say customers because truly our customers get it, that I am not open long enough, I am closed more then I am open. Its heart wrenching, soul ripping and just plain ignorant.
We went from a business operating 7 days a week to 5, 50 hours a week to 21. Staffing costs huge but I can't risk over laboring at a time when I can't break even. I can't tell you if I am going to sell $100.00 tomorrow or $1000.00. I can't tell you if my fall inventory is going to show up. Hells bells, my Mother's day inventory just showed up. And this stuff, this is the stuff that isn't perishable.
Perishable items are still hard to come by. Some items still not available or still limited. Plants are so difficult to get our hands on, at least the cool ones everyone wants. And if we talk Weddings, well just call me an Ostrich and let me bury my head deep into the wet concrete cause that part is just beyond scary. So bad that I am permanently incased in delusion. Everyday is a crap shoot.
Literally, everyday is a crap shoot.
In business its always a crap shoot. But if you work hard, have good energy and have the grit it takes, you can find success. Eff me. I have worked hard. I have lost time. Lost friends. I have almost lost my marriage. I have worked my grit to the bone and yet I stand here, everyday, exposed, wondering what it was for. In my darkest moments, and there are lots lately, have I done enough? Or have I done too much? Was I good enough. Was I not. Have I risked my family.
I am not alone. I stand with a group of people wondering the same things. They risked. Financed. Leveraged. Lost time. Friends. Marriages.
These next four months will tell the tale of history to come. We have extended far beyond the reaches of deferrals. Seasonal staff coming to an end in some industries. The economy is no where near ready for the pick up of this storm. We have been sitting in the eye for a month or two. A glimmer of what could be but isn't to stay.
I have rafted in this with you. Some days I want to untie and let it drift away. In some ways easier then trying to weather it. Giving up usually is easier.
There are lots of us teetering on the edge. So many. We hear it in the store. "You've been around for a long time. You don't need to worry." Everyone needs to worry. I have been grateful and humbled by those that have shopped with purpose during this last six months. I see you and my heart thanks you, everyday. My friends that own businesses thank you as well.
Shopping small has never been more important. Supporting our neighbors has never been more important. Being patient has never been more important. We are all doing our best. You are doing your best.
We will continue to see some businesses disappear. Untying from the raft. Possibly saving themselves from a level of crazy that no one wants to go to. I'll keep doing my part. Keeping the grit to the bone. And if you come in and find us giggling or howling with laughter, making little to no sense, please accept my apologies in advance. Chances are good that we are teetering on a level of business crazy that is far from understanding, even in a pandemic.
And for the love of God, just wear the mask.
Until next time,
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