Every week brings challenges no matter who you are or what you do, but some weeks take the cake. However what used to ruffle my feathers and ruin my week now gives me something to laugh about (usually).
Usually the days I am at the store can be chaotic. On a typical day, when I’m headed to the store, I have a rolling bag full of my work files/computer, a large tote that is my purse/everything bag (makeup, rollers, jewelry, extra clothes or shoes), I have a lunch bag for me, my son, and my dog, I have my dog leash in another hand attached to a little Boston Terrier/Chihuahua mix who is constantly pulling on the leash and pooping in the street, a stash of plastic bags for the inevitable aforementioned poop on the sidewalk, the keys to my store in the same hand, sometimes an umbrella gets thrown in there somewhere, and a very frazzled look on my face as I walk the block and a half from the parking garage to my store. Every day I go to the store I feel like I’m moving. It’s a morning routine I dread.
When I walk in the door I throw everything on the floor and run to the back of the store to turn off the alarm. After a deep breath I fix my hair, fix my makeup, fix my clothes, lock up my dog in the office, make sure my son is doing chores and then lessons, and then take care of the daily activities of store life. So my mornings are always frantic and frazzled and something almost ALWAYS gets overlooked.
WHERE’S MY DOG?
That’s what happened last week. In the hustle of store life and having my son clean out our back room/take out trash we forgot about our dog and the open back door. It wasn’t until the store was completely quiet that I walked in the back room, saw the open door and thought, “it’s too quiet”. Kind of like a Mom of a toddler moment: Noise = good, Quiet = not good. I wondered where my son was and found him NOT doing anything I had asked him to do and then inquired as to where the dog was. He had no idea.
Keep in mind that I am in the middle of downtown during the lunch hour. Busy streets, it’s the time of the year where the homeless and free-wheeling folks come to enjoy the marvelous Colorado weather (though lately it feels more like Seattle with all the clouds and rain), our generous city that keeps them well-fed, and the abundance of legalized “weed”. To say they are interesting characters would be an understatement. Many use pets to their own advantageous means and I feared the worst – that either he had been hit by traffic or taken by someone who would not care for him or seek to return him to us, his family. I ran all over downtown and was on my way to the favorite gathering place of our “temporary residents” when my neighbor yelled to me that he had been found! (Hallelujah!)
I obviously had to close my store during all of this hoopla and to top it off I had gotten there late that day anyway due to other circumstances that seem to always pop up at the most inopportune times PLUS I was leaving early that day to tend to another obligation. So I think I was open all of 1.5 hours that day. But, hey, I got my dog back, had a few good sales, and the sun was shining!
I DON’T LIKE HOW YOUR DOING BUSINESS
It was a frazzled day but still good. After my fiasco with the dog, I spent the evening at the shooting range with our local women’s club then a quick stop at a friend’s birthday party. When I finally made it home at around 9 p.m. (after leaving at 7:30 am to start the day), I opened an email from a customer lecturing me about how they don’t like my store hours – because I’m not open enough for them (from a good customer and someone I like and still do). Um….Ok. I thought it was really bold to take the time to contact me (4 times) about it…but, hey, everyone is entitled to their opinion. In the past I would have fretted about upsetting a customer and apologized profusely. This time I let it roll off my shoulders. I plan out my week carefully and I had just recently decided to be very firm about my life dictating when the store would be open, not the store dictating if I would have a life or not. Honestly, besides this one complaint it has gone quite well since I decided to change my priorities and I make no apologies for the choices I have made. My family comes first right now and then my business and it’s working out quite nicely.
My week still was not over and all was going well until my dog ran away again (!) two days later. This time he snuck out through the front door while I was chatting with a customer. Luckily this time I was able to catch up with him quickly after the local UPS man spotted him (did I mention I wanted to strangle my dog?). He was quickly back locked up in the office but my day was not over. Noooo…..later that day I smelled it. Something….burning? Melting? I blew it off and didn’t think much of it until I went to lock up my front door. There in my window a trail of smoke and a stronger smell. I’m still a little slow at this point until I look closely and there is the new purse I had just placed in my window ON FIRE! Are ya kidding me?! It had fallen on a hot light. I grabbed the purse and saw that it was glowing red and smoldering quickly. I ran to the bathroom and threw it under the sink. Well, so much for that purse. At least it happened while I was still at the store. I was just getting ready to leave for the evening. What a disaster it would have been if it had fallen over after I had left for the day! Not happy the purse was destroyed but VERY thankful that it didn’t happen 10 minutes later. One lost purse is much better than a lost store and front page news.
The next day I put my sales rack out on the street like I normally do. Now keep in mind that I literally have been putting out my sales rack nearly every day for a year. No problems. I had JUST bragged that morning that I hardly ever have problems with theft. (I didn’t knock on wood). Not only did someone take a shirt – they took TWO of those shirts and the next day a $125 dress was stolen AND a bracelet. So much for being positive! Go figure.
Life happens. It’s never perfect. However we do have a choice as to whether we will allow circumstances to ruin our day and dictate our life OR we can look at negative circumstances, find the good in it, move on and be better because of it. I have so much to be thankful for: we have our dog, my family is healthy, I am making more time for my family, I’m learning to make the most of my business within the boundaries of my family’s needs and it is working well so far, even though I have products stolen from time to time I have a beautiful store, love my business, so amazed at the wonderful people I meet every day, have an AWESOME closet of clothes, and I don’t have to worry about getting even with anyone (I just hope they develop a nasty rash when they wear their stolen clothes!), but really… you reap what you sow. Those people are sowing seeds of poverty and discontentment into their lives and I fee sorry for them.
So be thankful today for EVERYTHING! As you pursue your dreams, build your business, develop your relationships, go out of your way to be thankful ESPECIALLY on the days that are not so peachy-king!
Rooting for you!