Writing these posts are intimidating. I feel pressured to write something profound or meaningful to someone else, but I suppose I could argue that I’m allowing the pursuit of perfection prevent me from doing anything at all and that is the least profound thing anyone can do.
So an hour a post. I’m trying to see what I can write in an hour. That way it doesn’t have to be long or meaningful, but it’s something.
This has been a really unusual year for everyone. I was reading back on one of my three previous posts and realized that I no longer have two bakeries. We closed one last month because of the pandemic. There’s a lot of factors that go into deciding to close a business and this year has pushed so many into closure. For us, I viewed it as being the equivalent of removing a limb with gangrene to save a life. We were able to pivot better than most, but ultimately, we had to shed the things that were going to drag us down.
As a business owner, I have to look at things as how they will benefit the business. Not everything is strictly about money, but the most important things are – how do your decisions help you make more money than you spend? For that location, rent was accumulating, we furloughed all of our employees so there was no one to make the goods and no one to sell them, and I was drowning with the work of trying to keep the other businesses afloat – so we made a choice. This is a choice that would have been difficult during any other time, but it seemed like the only option when it came down to it.
There is no joy in saying goodbye in something you helped create, but on the other hand, there is less weight on my shoulders. We said our goodbyes and I’m back to trying to figure out the rest.
When we started our business, we started right out of a recession. We were just people who didn’t have money or anything to lose by leaving the corporate world to strike out on our own. I have no regrets about that and one of the benefits of having started out that way is remembering our roots. During those early days, we had very little and created value out of them. So today, when I sew masks or make macarons, I look at the raw ingredients and have a moment where I reflect on how a little bit of time and effort takes those items and brings them value. I’m grateful for what I’ve learned and how much it’s allowed me to find ways to pivot and grow.
And honestly, since packing up my life and moving in with my parents, I’m also finding out how much I didn’t need. I own a lot of things, but am a little embarrassed to realize how few of those items I’ve actually needed in the past 6+ months I’ve been here. I won’t be able to do it now since my trips back to my home are limited, but over time, I would like to shed the things I have discovered that I don’t need.
Lastly, I want to share something that’s been helping me. I’m truly someone who gets filled with dread when thinking about a task at hand. Recently, some of those tasks seem enormous such as trying to find homes for everything that we brought back from our now closed store. 2020 has given me a different relationship with time. I both feel like I don’t have enough time to do the tasks I need to do and that I have no concept of how time works. But if I know that something needs to be done and doesn’t need to be done right now, I’ve been just trying to break them down into smaller tasks. So every time I go in to work, one of my tasks is to put away 2 items from our other shop. If I can do more, then great, but all I need to commit to is putting away 2. And it helps to know that it isn’t a huge ask. This has been helping me with my dread and I think we can all use ways to feel less anxiety in our lives right now.