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Mirror, Mirror

27 Oct

Now that I am officially no longer self employed, I feel like I have no purpose. My worldmirror has been flipped upside down and personally, I have no idea how to deal. I didn’t think it would be this way. I thought that I would be fine, enjoy staying at home and being a mom and a wife and keeping up my house, since its been hard to do that for the last 10 years.

Now that I have no job, I am feeling down in the mouth. I was crying yesterday because of it. It is like a weight has been lifted, but then I look around and don’t recognize anything. I’m in a whole new world now. For 10 years, I was not only fulfilling a dream, but also being fulfilled by bringing people joy and for employing people from the community. Now that it is gone, I am reaching for anything to give me that fulfillment and purpose. I look in the mirror and I have no idea who I am or what I would like to do in life. I have been in an apron for so long, I have no clue how to deal without it. In the last 10 years, I have been raising my children, and running a business. I worked so hard and so much some weeks that it felt like I never saw my children. I remember putting in a 15 hour day and crying by the time I left to go home because I knew I had missed bed time and they never saw me that entire day. Those days were hard. Very hard emotionally and physically.

complaintI think what drained me the most was my strive for perfection. I know, not everything can go perfectly all the time, but I wanted it to. And when I disappointed someone, it killed me. I know for a fact that anyone who runs and owns a small business feels like their business is going under even when they get a small complaint. You go through a small panic attack and it puts your whole day out of whack. I will not miss this feeling.

So, what do I do now? What do I want? Who will hire me? I know, I just want a part time job and focus the rest of my time on my home and children and husband and writing, but what do I want to do for those 20 hours a week? Does it matter?employer Will it define me? Is it going to be embarrassing for me to see people who used to come to me for cakes, now seeing me doing something like serving them a coffee? Don’t get me wrong, I think that all jobs are important and I don’t look down on anyone, but it is quite a change of pace. Like I have to integrate myself back into society as a former business owner, as an employee not an employer. I was proud of my third baby, it’s hard to see her go, it’s hard not to go there everyday, and its hard not seeing Shanna everyday. I didn’t count on all these feelings.

I didn’t count on this depressed feeling. No job. No purpose. No money. Sadness. Rest. Rest? I have never in my life, been without a job for longer than 2 weeks. I have worked work-hard-1from the time I was 12 years old. I created my own job with a friend of walking dogs, and I babysat from 12 as well. When I was 14 I got a job as a dishwasher, then while still babysitting and going to school, I worked at a local pizza place. When I was 16 I took on a babysitting job that started at 6 am, and then I had to pick the kids up at the daycare after school and watch them until 11 pm. I was their mother for a whole year. When I was 19 I was running a bar. I was a bartender, made the schedule, ordered the food from the suppliers, cooked, served and worked the DJ booth when nobody else could. That was a lot of responsibility for a little money. I am not lazy, and now that I have no job, I feel lazy. I know, it has only been a few days, but I am hyper sensitive. I am also on a path of being super healthy and fit, and I had to peel myself out of bed at 5:07 this morning to get to the gym. I have started talking myself up….I have to. This morning I was telling myself to get up, beat the depression monster, don’t let it take over, don’t quit. I deserve better. Work for it. Get results.

Man, a lot of things run through my head everyday now, not just what has to be done at the shop, what supplies we need and who is working, what to make for supper, and what activities the kids have to do on what night.

I know this feeling should pass…..I am not sure when or how, but I know it will. It has to. I guess its one day at a time, baby steps. I had a friend talk me out of eating my feelings last night. She just texted me at the right time, and I confessed how I felt to her. I thought about it and just decided to go to bed instead of having another drink and something to eat. I went right to sleep. It was a good choice, and I hope I keep making them.

Hopefully every day gets easier. Evolution is inevitable, things will move and change, and I have to guide myself where to go and how to take myself there, it is learning how to do it that is key. Anyone know how to pick a lock? ha ha!

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Those Clenched Jaw Moments

26 May

_-91[1] (2)As you know, I own and run a bakery. I make cupcakes and specialty made cakes, I also make pies and baked goods. It is not easy to have to run a business by yourself. And, I know I don’t literally do it all by myself, I have staff, but the brunt of everything is on my shoulders. I have to manage everything and everyone. This is very tiring  and stressful. I have noticed, when trying to find new employees, they see my business and think that it is going to be so fun and easy! They can either bake or decorate cupcakes and it’s all sunshine and rainbows. This is not the case, and when they find out how hard we have to work, they are not into it at all. Complete misconception of the business. And I have to say, that these cupcake shows on tv are terrible for me! The potential employees are swayed, they have stars in their eyes when they bring a resume. No, we won’t be making gumpaste flowers for 6 hours, no, we won’t be decorating 12 cupcakes for an hour. Things have to get done, and efficiently. Timing matters in this business.

So, anyway, I put in alot of hours and a lot of energy for my business. I care about every cake that I decorate. I really do. And, when someone is disappointed in their cake, I take it personally. I know that I shouldn’t, but my stomach sinks and I feel red in the face and it really feels as if I am a complete failure at what I do. I don’t get a lot of complaints, but when I do, my world feels like it cracks a little! I am in the business of making people happy, not making people upset. Celebrations are important to everyone, and the cake matters. To a lot of people it does anyway. I have started taking my time to figure out what to do in situations like this. It really is a hard thing to work out. I don’t want to disappoint my customer, I need to pay my employees for the work they have done, and there are so many variables with cake…. it is so hard to deal with these affairs and honestly, I do not want to deal withcomplaints it….but I have to.

I have a tendency to clench my jaw. When I am stressed or upset or have something gnawing at me, my jaw becomes tight and I start holding my breath. I don’t mean to do this, it is just a habit that I don’t know how to stop. I am the person that likes everyone, I am the one that gets shy people to talk and angry people to laugh. I HATE when people are angry!

So, I know what kind of day I have had when I get home and have a sore jaw.

I know that the food industry is a pretty harsh place to be. Dealing with food, first of all, then dealing with the consumers. But I love what I do and there is more good than bad. 98% of my customers are extremely happy and I love to see their faces when picking up a cake that they ordered. Especially the kids! Those faces are priceless! I love it! I love coming home and my kids hugging me and telling me that I smell sweet, I love bringing people cupcakes when they are down, and I love the donation work that I give to the people that really need it. Everything about it fulfills me. I am very lucky to be able to do what I love, it’s just dealing with the hard long hours and the stress that takes away from that. Good and bad, there is a very fine line in the food business, and to all of those who own or run a business and have to manage everything, kudos to you! It just makes you want to have more fun on the days you have off! ha ha!

cheers