Last year I spent every spare minute of November sewing. After work? Sewing. Between bites of turkey? Sewing. While everyone else was at the mall for Black Friday? Sewing. My back hurt, my arms hurt, my mind hurt. But, I grew excited as I watched as the bedding sets, burp cloths and blankets pile up and, for the first time since I started my tiny little business, I had a serious inventory stash.
Then, on the first weekend in December, for a few hours on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, I set up my table in a perfect sunny corner, put on a smile and manned my craft booth. And, although I'd been up until 4 am the night before, the thrill of being surrounded by other crafty people gave me the adrenaline I needed to get through the long day.
I had a great day but, at the end of it, I swore I'd never do another craft fair. The business was great and the experience was exhilarating but trying to manage a more-than full-time job and prepare for a show was just too much.
When I ran my first marathon a few years ago I made the same proclamation. I spent a good portion of the last 5 miles of my marathon pissing and moaning repeatedly to my husband. "This is asinine - why in the world am I doing this?" I groaned between strains of "I don't ever need to do this again. NEVER. EVER. AGAIN."
But, when I hit mile 26, the tears started flowing. I realize that's not much coming from me - the woman who cries at everything - but there was something about the experience that was completely awe inspiring. It was miserable and awful yet also amazing - all at once.
When talking with my neighbor a few days after the marathon about which race I'd do next, she made the perfect comparison: running a marathon is like childbirth. When you're in the middle of it, you're so miserable that you swear you'll never do it again but, once it's over and you've forgotten about the pain, you realize it's one of the most amazing experiences. Six to nine months later, you're ready to do it again.
I'd love to blame my friend Paige (an amazing jewelry designer with whom I will hopefully share a booth) for what may be the end of all free time between now and September but, truth be told, applying for the East Atlanta Village Strut Artists' Market was all my idea - she willingly went along when I insisted I needed a booth-mate to help share in the pulling-your-hair-out will-it-ever-get-done preparation and to keep me company during a fun but long day of booth-manning.
It's a fun, laid-back festival and one of my favorites (which is quite a feat considering I live in a town where just about every neighborhood has a festival). I just hope that if we get in, I can channel some of that laid-back East Atlanta vibe.
Wish us luck!