these are just some thoughts that have been wandering around my brain, just wondering if this strikes a chord with anyone else…
Have you heard of “Slow Food”? It speaks to small farms, local food, good for the planet, appreciation of the act of cooking & eating. I had read the term a while ago, but it popped back into my head recently.
It is spring. Â I was laid off this time of year, and was realizing this as I sat in my front yard and watched the crocuses which had just bloomed. Every year for the past 10 years I had promised myself I would take a moment to notice them when they popped out of the ground. Or take some time to plant a garden. Or spend more time with my nieces & nephews. But my job always got in the way. Come spring I would be slammed with testing and grading and everything that goes along with the mad rush of the academia world I had been in for so long. But this was the year I saw the crocuses.
Being self-employed has it’s own slam-time — there are definitely days/ weeks/ months when I’m so busy I can’t see straight. But they are balanced by moments like these. And there is a certain ebb and flow, a self-employment tide, if we can only see beyond panicking when the tide is out and sales are slow, and panicking when the tide is in and things are a busy blur.
Running your own business is like Slow Food — not because the hours are less, but because they are more meaningful. You savor the journey, because there is no destination. You create and craft things with your own hands. You work with your mind, heart, and body. There is a connection between materials and product, and it is human. You are not sheltered by a counter or desk or a phone or a corporation. Your customers are real people, with names and sometimes faces.
My income is not what it was when I was working full-time. But it is enough. My bills are less, my day is longer, and I have the freedom to linger on a moment when I want to. It is a better life, a more meaningful life, than I had before. It’s not without its challenges. But the challenges are within my grasp.
I know a new business can be difficult when you are starting out, whether it is a side gig orÂ a new full-time venture. But you build a wall one brick at a time. See it in your mind, believe it with your whole being, and work toward it, brick by brick. And appreciate the journey.