Sometimes life gives you a wake up call… a reality check. A few weeks ago this happened to me.
Let me back up by saying for the past three years Sky of Blue Cards has exhibited at the National Stationery Show in New York City (the stationery world’s annual trek to Mecca, this year it was May 20-23). For the companies who exhibit, it is a huge undertaking requiring months of tireless preparation: press releases, booth design, new product development, catering orders, event invitations, freight scheduling, new catalog design, press checks, pre-show marketing, advertising, mailings, mailings, mailings and more mailings. It’s not for the faint of heart; it’s 3+ months of burning the candle at both ends. The other day my next door neighbor Gillian called me up to say “I woke up the other night to take care of the puppy and I looked up and saw your light on. Again.” Bottom line is that it’s all totally worth it. You meet the nicest people and get to spread the word about your line and pick up new retail accounts along the way.
About four weeks preceding the show I go into the zone. My family puts up with a lot from me during this time and I know it. My kids get reduced visits to the skateboard park, are late to various extra curriculars, and they are faced with a fuzzy-headed/super-tired mom every morning. But they still get a kick out of the excitement as my company prepares to go to New York. In fact, my kids and their friends Mia & Zoe who live next door, are so into helping that Mia wrote an essay about the mailing they all helped with last year. It’s awesome – check it out:
This year the day finally came when I was ready for them to help me again. Each of them were so eager to get her/his assignment. There was only minor fighting over who had the most important job. They were so happy. I was so totally fried. Then I got my wake up call. My next door neighbor Justin texted me to say that his girls could stay longer to help. Shrieks of delight ensued. I texted him back, “Did you hear that? I have no idea why they all love this work so much?” His response was, “I think they just like hanging with you!” That’s when I froze. I literally froze. It felt like one of those moments like you’ve seen in the movies a million times where the sound stops and the character just observes what’s happening around them in silence and slow motion and it’s all very dramatic. And after that moment I felt energized knowing nothing, not one thing, really mattered except these kids and our time together. It might sound goofy, but it’s true. We sang. We joked. We mailed off catalogs. Through it all I became very aware that times together like this were a gift and it won’t always be this way. They won’t always want to do this. It won’t always be cool, fun, and exciting enough to write about and share with your third grade class.
Thank you to my kids and to our neighbors’ sweet girls! You four are my superheros. You set me straight and gave me a fresh new attitude. Your superhero energy carried me through to the finish line in New York and I’m heading home right now for hugs and kisses. XO