Wednesday, December 4, 2013

in which I do not recover well from Black Friday.

You should know: I didn't get my flu shot this year. Not yet. Things were so busy at the store, and with life, and I just kept putting it off. Some people don't even get flu shots! I said. Jordan hasn't had one since law school! I said. Sometimes flu shots actually make people sick! I said. It's not a big deal! I said.

Oh, let me assure you: It is a big deal.

I am lying here in bed, hoping, praying I do not have the flu.

I don't remember the last time I felt this poorly. It's a miracle I'm up and on the computer at all, except today, while home sick, I have answered at least a dozen emails and twice as many texts. It is, in case you didn't realize, December 4. We are smack-dab in the middle of holiday season, but this time: I'm working retail. Not just working retail, though. Owning.

And I don't mean like, "I own this, girl."

I mean like, all the problems are mine.

There is no sick day when you own your own business, and today, I felt so ridiculously sorry for myself that I just started to cry.

I worked 10 straight hours on Black Friday. And no, I don't work at Wal-mart or Target or Best Buy. There were no lines streaming outside our store door at 3 in the morning.

But traffic flow was steady. I wrapped a record number of gifts. My poor cousin, recruited to work with me that day, may never fully recover from the horrors that plague those of us working retail on a holiday weekend.

Turns out, even book people -- lovely, introverted, kind book people -- can get a little snippy around the holidays when things are buy one get one free and books are flying off the shelves.

What I'm saying is, Friday was hard. It was hard because we had a few rather rude customers. It was hard because it doesn't really matter what kind of shoes you wear, 10 hours on your feet, no sitting, is just pretty much the worst for your feet. And to know that other people were playing charades and eating turkey leftovers, because (oh by the way) it's a HOLIDAY WEEKEND... It was just so hard.

I'm whining, and I'm venting. I know, of course, that record-breaking sales are a freaking good thing. The fact that I am running out of product and reordering books every day? That is awesome stuff right there.

But after Friday, there was Small Business Saturday. And a book signing. And training new employees. And the cough that wouldn't go away, and the destination wedding for a friend in St. Augustine.

And now, it's Wednesday, and my clock has run out. I am officially sick, in bed.

Answering emails. Writing blog posts. Scrambling to order more store product.

But so sick I can barely get through this without sneezing my brains out.

And Meg Ryan makes it look so darn cute, but the truth is: Being sick is not adorable. And daisies are a friendly flower, to be sure, but what I really need is some nasal decongestant, stat. I would throw flowers back in Tom Hanks' face right now.

(Of course, I wouldn't. I'm sick, not insane.)

Here, of course, is the straw about to break the camel: Friday night, Jordan and I are scheduled to leave for Charlotte, NC, for the ACC championship game. It is one of the most thoughtful anniversary gifts my husband has ever given me, based in part on the fact he is a HUGE Auburn fan, and he'll miss his team's game because he'll be escorting me to my team's.

It was just such an incredibly generous, kind gift, and when he gave it to me, I promptly burst into tears because -- wouldn't you know -- I'd scheduled a major store event Saturday.

After a few deep breaths, Twitter advice, and a talk with Mom, I moved the event. I was sick of the store coming first.

So the store event is Friday night, and we leave for Charlotte after.

And I am in bed sick, with what may very well be the flu.

(I wouldn't know, because I don't know the last time I had the flu.)

You know what is just so ridiculously hard about being a grown-up? Having to take care of yourself when you're sick and feel like your head is just going to roll right off your neck from sinus pressure. And no amount of terrible television can distract you from the fact that you. are. sick.

I am sick. I am sick, and in bed, and the store could fall apart, and I don't really know what I could do about it. I can answer emails and phone calls and texts, but really: I am in no position to take care of a store right now. I can barely take care of myself.

I don't want to mope. I don't want to whine about the fact that while all of you are posting pictures of your beautiful Christmas trees on Instagram, I am blowing snot into a t-shirt because, oh yeah, we're out of tissue.

This is life. And I don't have to blog about it. I don't have to tell random people on the Internet how I'm feeling. But the reality is, some of you are friends. And you vent and mope to friends when your day/week/month is going poorly and Black Friday just really kicked you in the butt.

The store is doing well. In a few days, I'll feel better (right?). This will be a blip. Heck, 2013 will be a blip here soon.

So yeah, I didn't really recover well from Black Friday. (My feet still hurt, no joke.)

But I'm 27, and I'm trying so hard to run my own business. I'm trying so hard to make this thing work, and that's got to be worth something, right?

Advent, I'm reading, is this season of waiting. I am waiting. Waiting to get better. Waiting for the phone to stop ringing. Waiting for bills to stop piling up. Waiting for sales to roll in. Waiting for our Christmas tree. Waiting for life to get just a little easier.

I'm waiting, and because I am waiting, there is hope. And there is just this most miraculous thing about hope.

It doesn't seem to disappoint.

So there you go. Some much-need perspective from the bed of someone who may or may not have the flu.

Happy holidays, indeed.


Kari said...

I can't believe you'll be so close this weekend! Hope you feel better. Comfort and joy to you.

Laura said...

Sorry you are sick! You are right - being sick as a grown-up is so, so very hard. I really hope you don't have the flu and you get to go to the ACC championship game this weekend!

Betsy said...

Venting can really make you feel better! When I'm sick, everything just seems so much worse as well. The usual optimism to get through the hard things disappears into the kleenex. I hope you're feeling better!! It WILL pass!

I will say that this post seemed perfect for me right now, which is crazy because I do not work or own retail! But I'm sick too and after missing two days of work just had to suck it up and come back into work because I only have 1 sick day left and I feel like I need to save it in case of emergency. Trying to focus is so hard when you're head is stuffy and you're sneezing every 2 minutes! The fact that you're still "working" while home sick is dedication!

Also, I love your blog obviously, but we really have some issues with team alliance. :) My husband did all his graduate work at Clemson and I worked there for 5 years. Now that doesn't affect the ACC championship game, but darn FSU. :) Now both my husband and I work at Mizzou so you know I'm rooting for a black and gold Tiger win there. Regardless, I hope you have a great time at the game!

Sabrina said...

Feel Better! Sending well wishes to you.

lacey said...

oh, dear. i read that and wanted to both laugh and cry. i have asthma and while it has gotten much better in recent years, it used to have me out cold. it felt like there was an elephant sitting on my chest and several times i thought, "this is it. this is the end. i'm going to die from lack of oxygen." i so hope you are feeling better and that things have calmed down or that you have caught up with everything before the next wave of life rolls in. hoping for a wonderful 2014 for you guys! (also, thanks for your honesty here in blog land).