Friday, November 24, 2017

Go With The Flow And Embrace Those Imperfect Moments

The day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday. The official start of the Christmas season. Friday. The day I begin my we-have-an-event-a-week-from-tomorrow-then-a-holiday-party-to-host-the-following-Saturday manic panic mode. There's a smidgen of my being that feels I'm saying that out of habit. I should be in total manic panic mode. I kind of am, but it's not to the extreme. We have plenty of DIY Dog Mom Projects made for the Whiskers in Wonderland event on December 2nd. I'm spending about 12 hours on Monday baking biscuits for that event. On Friday, a week from today, I'll be spending the day baking cookies and other baked goods for our Bodacious Bake Sale table. I have everything almost in order for our Spreading Holiday Love and Cheer Party on December 9th? So, why the predetermined manic panic?

I honestly have no idea...

That's why I'm thinking it's purely out of habit. We're supposed to be in manic panic mode this time of year. There's Christmas shopping to be done. Parties to host and attend. Decorations to put up. Obligations. Wrapping presents. Sending Christmas cards. Baking. Checking our lists once or twice or 435 times. Battling the grumpy holiday shoppers. Grinding my teeth when someone rams their cart into my heels because I'm not moving fast enough. Dealing with exhausted retail clerks. Fighting for parking spaces.

The list goes on...

I was once that person. The operative word is "was." Over the years, I've settled down. Toned it down. Got a grip. Relaxed a bit. Opted for creating homemade gifts instead of store-bought. Avoided crowded retail areas. Stopped sending Christmas cards to those I haven't heard from in years. Let go of the pressure. Let go of perfection because let's face it, that doesn't exist. Minimized my Christmas card list. Adapted the, "No, Lisa, you don't have to send Christmas cards out the day after Thanksgiving" mind frame. I accepted the fact that not everything will go as planned and that's okay.

Most of what falls into the bucket of "memories made" are those imperfect moments...when things don't go as planned. Or, at the very least, when your Great Aunt Gertie drops the F-Bomb at the table after having a little too much to drink.

I don't actually have a Great Aunt Gertie, but if I did, I'd adore her candid tongue.

When I reflect back on 2017, a lot of what I had planned didn't go as planned. I didn't reach a lot of the goals I wanted to reach. There were many reasons for that. You can read about that here and here.

I also realize that the remainder of the year won't go as planned either.

For example...

Last year, I sold close to 100 Personalized Bodacious Holiday Ornaments. They were dog bone shaped. Made out of salt dough. The price was $5 because they were very inexpensive to make.

However, I wasn't able to apply the protective satin varnish finish because there was a chemical reaction with the salt in the dough ornaments. Thankfully, I had made a few test pieces and let them sit for a week. The chemical reaction wasn't immediate.

On top of that, and what people didn't know, was that out of a single batch, which yielded about 24 ornaments, I could only use about 12 of them. The other 12 or so pieces bubbled up or cracked. There was a lot of waste.

This year, we went with wooden ornaments. The price was $6. We had to increase the cost per ornament by $1 because the cost of wood was expensive. Plus, we had to buy metal eye hooks and twine.

I only sold 30 personalized ornaments this year.

Amid all of this, we made a lot of DIY Dog Mom Projects including wooden Holiday Signs, Dog Bone Welcome Signs, and Bodacious Patchwork Doggy Quilts. I posted them as "up for grabs" items. We didn't sell a lot. From a marketing perspective, I know I posted them too early, but this is what I had to do because I knew things would get beyond busy after Thanksgiving.

Instead of being disappointed, I grabbed onto the wheel of gratitude. I didn't sell a lot online, but that meant we would have a considerable amount of DIY Dog Mom Projects to sell at the Whiskers in Wonderland event on December 2nd. We were literally several steps ahead of schedule.

It'll be our 4th year participating in the Whiskers in Wonderland Event. Like with last year, we'll also have a bake sale table. And, instead of having a full table of our fresh baked biscuits, we're dividing our Bodacious Biscuit Love table in half. One half will feature our DIY Dog Mom Projects. The other half will be bags of biscuit love and lots of free samples for the pups who attend the event.

After that event, we'll be preparing for our Spreading Holiday Love and Cheer Party on December 9th. I have a few work deadlines that week as I do this week while preparing for the Whiskers in Wonderland event.

The day before the party is my birthday. I'll be spending that entire day preparing for the party. This is how I wanted to celebrate my birthday this year. Spreading lots of holiday love and cheer to our friends who had a difficult year.

Nothing will be perfect. Our home is small, but there will be enough seating. And, we're keeping our fingers and paws crossed for a mild day so we can have a backyard fire towards late afternoon.

More than likely, our Christmas cards won't be sent until after our party. I won't have our Christmas gift giving list made until after the party too.

That's okay.

None of what we do or give or the love and cheer we spread has to be perfect. Perfection does not exist. I always tell people that I'm perfect in my imperfections.

The biggest lesson I've learned in 2017 is that very little goes as planned. With that, I have 2 choices. The first, focus and dwell on what doesn't go as planned. Get worked up. Disappointed. In a tizzy. Throw my hands up. Or, the second, go with the flow. Embrace all things imperfect.

You know...the Wabi Sabi Life Lisa and I cling to.

I choose to go with the flow.

For me, for us, it's the only way.

Especially during this time of year.

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