Facebook threw up this 'memory' in my time line yesterday morning...
Every year I ran a discount code, to celebrate my birthday and I did smile to myself, because this year, the first birthday in a long time, I don't have to generate sales, I don't have to stress about orders - either too many or worry about too few! I don't have to race over to the unit, do the post run etc which was always particularly difficult at this time of year with the local Carnival season in full swing (it's a big deal here in Somerset!!), with roads closed and diversions in place.
Instead, I enjoyed a full day off work, had a lovely breakfast date with a friend, then mooched around Wells, followed by a quiet afternoon at home, before a family tea, all stress free! The kids even made me a cake and bought me flowers the day before, whilst I was out of the way at work!
Closing the business was a big decision but most definitely the right one - I don't miss it at all. A friend very rightly said that 'knowing when to close, would be the hardest decision to make' and I certainly had enough stock to have kept going for a lot longer but I no longer had any passion or enthusiasm for it all. So closing was hard because I didn't want to feel that I had failed or I guess I didn't want other people to think I had failed but in reality, it was most definitely the right time to go!
I think not knowing what I was going to do next was a little risky but I was dipping my toe back into the school environment with supply teaching and exam invigilation. But it quickly became clear that the juggle was difficult, when you have to consider the needs of the kids, plus home life and Jeff's 'full on' job too in the mix, I quickly realised I couldn't commit to full on teaching again and do everything else too. So I applied for a job at my local Sainsbury's store...
I have just completed my 11 week review at Sainsbury's - happy to say I got a glowing report and will be staying on but I guess when I started, I was a little embarrassed to admit I'd gone from running my own business, teaching even, to working as a 'checkout girl' in Sainsbury's. But do you know what? I love it. The job is perfect. I get set hours and the staff are all lovely, helpful and flexible if something does crop up. I know exactly what I'm doing and when I'm doing it, so can plan family life/work etc I get paid to effectively 'people watch' - it really is the 'best' place to do this. I get to meet people, chat to people, help people, see new food ideas/products and I really enjoy it. I get a set wage in my bank account every 4 weeks, no hidden extras and no uncertainties and I can work overtime if I choose to. For now, for our family circumstances, it's working out just fine.
I think I'm a nicer person to be around. I'm not stressed, I'm not rushing around always trying to keep up, I don't need to constantly be answering emails, enquiries etc and placating people, who generally wanted something for nothing. I have a little spare money to treat us all with, rather than having to play safe with the cash, in case of any business financial uncertainties.
This Christmas I will be working Christmas Eve but I'm told it's fun and a great atmosphere and it'll only be until 4pm, as it's a Sunday! I won't be stressing about sale orders 'pinging' in all over Christmas, as NOTHS started their sale on the 23rd of December!!! and then subsequently worrying about when I'll get them picked and packed. Instead I can relax and enjoy my time with the family. If my birthday this year, is a good marker of the way things are going to be from now on, then I'm glad to have arrived at this point. Yes I will work set hours, yes it will not be the best timing sometimes but generally, we can enjoy more quality time together, knowing finances are secure and I'm one less stressed out individual!
It's 3 years until the big 50! That same year, Sophie will turn 21, Sam 18 and Jeff and I will celebrate 25 years of wedded bliss!!! That's a lot to celebrate, so best start saving up xx