Words and their meanings intrigue me, can you tell yet?
From Google dictionary: Community
1. A group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
2. A feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.
It takes a community to ... anything. I say it takes a community to start a business, and I have the BEST community! Thank you for being part of it, be it here in the local area or the community according to the second definition, those of you who I have a feeling of fellowship with because we share common attitudes, interests, and goals.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the support!
From Merriam-Webster's online dictionary:
Tired (adjective) - drained of strength and energy : fatigued often to the point of exhaustion
Tire (verb) - to become weary
As I was driving home last night (from my almost every evening trip to Home Depot for more parts needed for the store) I felt tired. I felt exhausted. The night was a little chilly and the hot air from the heater blowing on my face felt good, almost sauna like. But I was so tired I felt like crying. So I did.
It was in this moment that everything from that day caught up with me. I was just driving. My hands weren't busy working on anything, my mind wasn't focused on accomplishing a task, and all of the emotions and stress build up of things yet to do, things not done, things that won't be done before the store opens in 4 days, and everything else had no where to go but to be realized as I mindlessly drove home. Of course it's exciting and fun and everything good that I am able to have a store, too.
But on that short car trip home, I felt exhausted. Spent.
In Michigan we have what we call "Michigan U-turns". Instead of turning left at a busy intersection you drive past and make a U-turn a little further up. I think it's for safety or something. Anyways, I approached my last Michigan U-turn and ended up having to wait at a light there. I thought about being tired. It would be so easy right now to tire, to peter out, to quit, to give in and give up.
I thought back to the previous year when I had the opportunity to live on a small homestead in the woods where I raised animals, chopped wood, tapped maple trees, and so many other things. I remember evenings where I was so physically tired it was amazing. I would sleep so well that night, and the next morning be ready to go at it again. I miss those days.
Then I thought about my current tiredness. Right then I wasn't feeling the physical tiredness I did after hauling wood all day. My brain was tired, my emotions were taxed, my doubts were a heavy burden. All of this can be just as tiring as a day of physical labor in the fresh air.
"Be tired!" I told myself out loud, and I mean loud out loud. "But don't tire! It'll be worth it! You've made it this far, only so much further and you've made it."
When I got home I emptied the car and went straight to bed. This morning I was up bright and early with new energy for another full day.
If you find yourself tired, exhausted, ready to give up, I encourage you to be tired. Allow yourself to feel weary. Recognize it, respond to it, but don't give up.
Be tired, but don't tire. It'll be worth it.
What do you do when you are nervous, when you are feeling pressure, when you see someone else struggling to perform? Find the funny!
Seriously. Laughing relieves tension. Even a slight smile makes you feel better than you did a second before.
Last night I ran to get a few more parts that I need for my store. The cashier seemed nervous. In fact, he was sweating. The hairs at his temple were damp, his face was pinkish red, his fingers shook as he pushed the wrong buttons on the touch screen register. I waited patiently, noticing his name tag said "In training".
I smiled to myself thinking, I would hate to be in his shoes.
But then I thought, I've been in his shoes many times and I have learned along the way that things aren't as stressful as we think they are. Yet, we keep doing it to ourselves. We keep putting high expectations on ourselves that oftentimes others don't hold us to.
I actually love being the customer. It's not because I love buying things, but because I love to engage my cashier. They're serving a purpose in this business. They have a role to fill. Their job is to provide me with a smooth and efficient check out process. My job is... wait, did I say I have a job? Yup! My job before I leave is to put a smile on their face that makes their eyes crinkle, meaning it's not just a pasted smile. Sometimes I fail at my job as a customer, but I try!
You might wonder why I do this. I would attribute it to many things. The thing I attribute it to most is that I know what it's like to work in retail and be scared out of my boots for being so shy. I remember what it felt like when people were friendly, when they saw I was uncomfortable and helped me. I remember what a difference I felt when I knew the customer had a great experience, because a great experience is often caused by the connections we make. If they had a great experience, I could chuckle with relief that my episode with them went smoothly enough.
Laughter is the best medicine, someone wise said once and many wise thereafter have repeated. I try to find the funny, and no it's not always the ha, ha funny. Regular, boring, everyday things can be funny.
When the cashier was busy pushing wrong buttons trying to find out where to type in my phone number for their royalty program, I asked him if he thinks they have enough buttons on the little screen or if he thinks they might be able to fit just one more button on their somewhere. It took him a few seconds to hear me, and I had to repeat myself. He chuckled a little and kept pushing buttons, but his demeanor changed. His shoulders relaxed a little. He found the button he was looking for and proceeded to check me out. He told me it was his second day. I could tell.
I wished him good luck as I grabbed my things to leave. No, I didn't succeed in getting an eye-crinkle smile but he gave a big sigh as he thanked me.
It's the simple things. Trying to find a little humor in something so monotonous just might take things a long way!
It's really happening! The brick and mortar storefront for The Whole Berry is opening at the end of October with a Grand Opening event scheduled for Saturday, November 3 from 1 - 6 PM. Welcome!
Maybe you don't know the business as "The Whole Berry". If you've followed me on my journey from the beginning maybe you recall the name Mish Mash of Hearts, established in 2015. Or perhaps Sarina Joy in 2016. Maybe you purchased yummy treats from Scandinavian Table in 2017 at the Brighton Farmers Market and other events around the area. I think I've finally found the perfect name to encompass all that my business is about: The Whole Berry. Choosing this name is a post of itself, which I'll save for another day.
The amount of work required to start a business is incredible. Thank you to all my family, friends, and customers who encouraged and supported me along the way!