Sunday, January 6, 2013

"Dear Lord, Thank you for Social Distortion".

It was one of those days....

One of those days when you are barely hanging on, fighting to put one foot in front of the other. One where the stress of all you are doing feels like it is literally killing you, and you don't know if you are going to even make it home. You know, one of those days.

My sister and I own a small business. A Baking company. (Well really a baked goods decorating company. I know what you're thinking, and I don't love baking. But I do love decorating. My sister and I are artists, and we see cake, and frosting, and chocolate as an art medium. So I endure the baking part to get to the decorating part.) Anyway, we have a business, and a few amazing loyal customers, and we often have a booth at local craft boutiques.

This is my sister and I, on a much better day, at a much more amazing boutique.
See the McDonalds Breakfast in the background? Yeah, it was a much better day.

On this particular day, We had literally been up all night preparing for a boutique. Then we frantically packed the car and my sister headed off to her day job, and I headed off to the boutique. And then I hit traffic. Like the-first-rain-of-the-season-in-California- (if you don't know, California drivers tend to not drive well in the rain, especially the first rain of the season, and this was it) middle-of-rush-hour-freeway-looks-like-a-parking-lot-kind-of-traffic.

I was already running a little late, but now I was going to be reeeeeeeally late. So late, thet I would have to set up my booth after the boutique had already started.

Have you ever been to a boutique? They are very lovely. All decorated with beautiful things, and amazing, talented, crafty vendors everywhere, with perfectly coifed customers, carrying their treasures or pushing their strollers, enjoying shopping in a handcrafted wonderland. It is like shopping on Etsy, but in real life.

So walking into the middle of this hand crafted shopping wonderland all late, was quite an embarrassing treat. All the perfect women staring at me while I frantically carried in my supplies, and put my booth together with bolts (and a minimal amount of hammering). Lets not even talk about how at the time, I was still in the throngs of morning sickness, and sleep or no sleep, it was still the morning, and I was feeling it as I put that booth together.

Finally things were in order, and I sat down to sell our goods. My Mom also came to help (rescue) me, knowing that I needed her now more than ever. She brought me some food, and company, and some relief. It was awesome.

Then as we sat there selling our goods. Goods that we worked so hard to make, goods that it took us literally months to develop, and hundreds of dollars of investment, goods that we had literally sacrificed our time, our sleep, and precious time with our families to make.

But for some reason, on that particular day, people kept asking us the most frustrating questions, and then they didn't buy anything. "Those are so cute, I make them too, how did you make that part?" or "What recipe did you use?" or "What kind of chocolate do you use?"

The first time I got this question, I just answered it, straight up. Thus revealing a trade secret that had literally cost me blood, sweat, and tears to figure out myself. (OK maybe not blood and sweat, but certainly tears) But the questions kept coming, and I started to get annoyed. So I started to answer back with cheeky comments like, "Months of practice", or "I read a lot of books". Which were the truth, but what I really wanted to shout was;

THIS IS NOT PINTEREST!  THIS IS ETSY! I am not going to give you a tutorial on how to make what I am trying to sell, so quit asking. 

Photo Credit

Photo Credit
It was a nightmare. By far the worst, most frustrating boutique I have ever been to. We sold some goods, but only about half of what we had brought. And do you know what happens to perishable food if it doesn't get sold? It perishes. And you lose a lot of money.

Finally the day was over, and we packed up all of our supplies, (and all of our unsold goods) and left. I was literally emotionally and physically exhausted. Like I wasn't sure if I would be able to drive the 45 minutes to get home, or if I would have to pull over and check into a hotel (or possibly a mental hospital) and take a nap.

In that moment, I wished for some comfort, some form of relief, and I flipped on the radio, and there it was.

A song. A song I love, a song that reminded me of better days, days of my youth, of dancing at punk rock shows, days of having fewer cares, days of singing at the top of my lungs daily, and driving a crappy car, days when my only worry was if I was going to blow out another speaker in said crappy car from listening to my music too loud.

And before I could stop myself, the following prayer escaped from my lips;

"Dear Lord, Thank you for Social Distortion---"

Photo Credit

The words shocked me.

Did I really just say that? Did I really just thank the God of Heaven and Earth, for a band who is singing an irreverent song about being a loser? 

You would think that I would either be used to saying things that I wasn't aware I was about to say by now, or that at least I would be able to control myself when talking to my Heavenly Father, but no.

So I took a moment and thought about it;

Is hearing this song exactly what I needed right now? 
Did I turn on the radio hoping to hear something that would make me feel better on this horrible exhausting day?
Is the fact that this particular song started exactly at the moment that I wished for some relief and flipped on the radio, really a tender mercy from a loving Father in Heaven, who knows me, and knows exactly what would make me happy right now?
Is this song awesome, and do I absolutely love this band?

And so I resumed my prayer of thanks.

And I made it home in one piece. One happy exhausted thankful piece.

"Life goes by so fast
You only want to do what you think is right
Close your eyes, then it's past
It's the story of my life"
-Social Distortion