I have become a grown-up. Accountants and investment advisors send me holiday cards. I buy wine by the case. And I am learning (slowly!) to prioritize. I initially planned on having (and paid the registration fee for) booths at both the JWC opening party and the JWC Christmas open house, scheduled for this weekend. I waffled back and forth as to whether to paint a bunch of new inventory before this weekend or just display samples and take special orders. Then, when I sat down with my calendar and began to assemble a December to-do list, reality - or, rather, realities - began to set in:
(1) We have seven holiday events scheduled in a nine-day span (and others beyond those, but that is the "glut"). I am committed to arrive at five of these "glut" events with food in hand (four dozen spinach balls on Sunday, cookie exchange cookies on Monday, a salad on Thursday, etc.).
(2) I am (blessedly, in a recession) slammed at my real job.
(3) The JWC Christmas open house is one of only a few "family" events at Margaret Meacham Hall, and my children look forward to accompanying Mom on these days. Manning a bazaar booth cuts into my ability to keep them from breaking things/keep them from driving their dad crazy/cat-herd as the photog tries to snap their picture with Santa.
(4) Our church has scheduled an "old fashioned Christmas," featuring hayrides through downtown, that begins immediately after the JWC event, making booth packdown an issue.
(5) The last time I tried to juggle retail commerce, "catering," work, friend and family obligations under similar circumstances, I developed a middle ear infection that almost cost me an eardrum, did cause me to develop severe, incapacitating vertigo, and (as a consequence of steroid overload leading to "steroid psychosis") ultimately caused me to go 'round the bend for a very scary 48-hour period (lesson learned: manic = FUN, depressive = not so much).
So . . . earlier this week (after spending most of my four-day Thanksgiving weekend dealing with head cold/asthma issues), I advised my spouse that I would not be setting up a booth, intended to sell my existing inventory at a discount and would only take a handful of "friend" special orders. He looked, by turns, shocked, overjoyed and puzzled as to the identity of the pod person who was occupying his wife's body. Then he hugged me.
Sister-girlfriends (you know who you are), if you are stumped for friend or teacher gifts, shoot me an e-mail - I have Christmas and girl-power canvases in stock, and I am planning on taking a limited number of canvas and teacher clipboard orders (great for the bus-and-carpool line). Those of you who already placed special orders, you are in the queue!