How is your work situation going?

After considering the impact this lockdown would have on my business, I initially made peace with it and decided that my business model didn’t need to change too much. This was a relief. A plan. A belief that we can do this. 

Sure, the last week of the month (now) is when probably 90% of my income comes in. This is when I contact everyone, ask them if they’re ready to receive the pile of books that they’ve been adding to over the month, and then settle payment and shipping. It works well.

Except now I can’t send any of the piles of books that are waiting to be claimed by the customers who reserved them. And so I cannot expect to be paid. I also can’t move out old piles and make room for new piles.

But I sort of thought, ok, so March is going to suck but I can still carry on showing and reserving books for people and then send them at the end of next month. I can work around the space thingBook piles take up a LOT of space! But I can work with what I have.

That seems so reasonable.

And yet here I sit feeling very is there even a point about the whole thing. My energy levels are at quite a remarkable low at the moment. The lowest they have been since I sought professional help for what feels like insurmountable apathy six months ago. It’s bad again. Really bad. I got better for a while. Mostly better at least. This is a different kind of stress though, isn’t it? A real stress. This isn’t just a confused body that senses fear when there is nothing to be afraid of.

So I’m struggling to feel like there’s much of a point to working, although my work life brings me SO MUCH MORE than just an income. It gives me focus. It gets me out of the house a bit more than I might do without having to make trips to Pep to send parcels. It puts me in the path of like-minded strangers, allowing me to form relationships with amazing people who daily make my life a little better. It gives me yet another platform from which to banter! And I do so love to banter!!

What I do know, right now in this minute as I try to decide what I should do, is that work is most likely going to look a lot different in the coming while. Trying to keep it the same just doesn’t feel natural. Even though my working environment hasn’t actually changed… Everything has changed.

I don’t know. I’m struggling a little.

How are you doing?

Rage Reading Rosie *book review*

WARNING: This review contains a few spoilers but they are kind of irrelevant since this is one of those books where the storyline is kind of bland and you’re mostly reading for the dialogue and interaction between characters. If that makes sense. Other people interpret books this way too, right…? Shit now I’m doubting myself…

Anyway… There are casually mentioned spoilers here…

Book: The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect

Author: Graeme Simsion

My Rating: 3

I’ve barely read a thing all year and I’m going to go ahead and put a tiny bit of the blame on these two books. Is that fair? No. Not at all. But it’s still kind of true… (more…)

I Have No Clue What I’m Doing

For the last two weeks or so I’ve been happily sharing the progress of The Littlest Bookshop’s progress and then last night my brain suddenly went: Nadine what on earth are you doing?! All those before photos are just fine but you don’t even have a clue what the after plan is!

And it’s true: I have no idea what this spot is supposed to look like “after”. Not even the teeniest bit. And so of course now that my anxiety has been able to shift focus from Noah’s first day of school to “my” stuff, it’s going “you dumbass what if it looks terrible and all these folks are watching and telling you they can’t wait to see the end result!”

Well… awkward…I guess. Haha! For a second or two my inner critic had me, I must admit. I started to panic. Like oh my gosh what if it doesn’t turn out like I’m hoping! Then of course I realised I had no particular hope in mind. Which is something I’ve actually taught myself to do because it’s not possible to be a writer and stay sane if you’re too hung up on expectations. Apparently that habit has infiltrated to a few other areas. I’m going to go ahead and call that a good thing.

So the point is this: I don’t know what I’m doing. Not even a teeny tiny bit. I’m just going with the flow and seeing what happens. So when this is all done I will be just as surprised as all of you by how it turned out. I do apologise if it turns out to be a bit of a letdown. My decor skills are not exactly on fleek (*snarf*) in the first place and I did kind of spend all my money on cement and floorboards with none left for decor items. And to be honest there’s pretty much only space for books and maybe two people at a time in this little Hobbit Hole of mine anyway. But whatever happens, whether it turns out better or worse than I was hoping, it will still be filled with hundreds and thousands of beautiful stories. And that particular part, the most important part, I have covered. So we’re good, right?

The Stranger on the Internet

I’m having a small giggle to myself right now. As I said yesterday, I started admitting that I’m in the middle of attempting to start my little bookshop business this week and the response has been so heartwarming. But yesterday I got a message from a stranger on the Facebook page that I created for a business that doesn’t not technically exist yet.

Where is your store located?

Uhm…? Enter the panic! It’s all very well and fine when you tell your friends you’re stepping out of the mom life and moving into the business world but it’s very different when strangers stumble upon your business and ASK QUESTIONS! Because oh my goodness. This woman doesn’t know me from Adam. She doesn’t know I’m a blocked writer homeschool mom of three. She doesn’t know I’m a disaster in harem pants with a headband addiction. She doesn’t know I own several hats with ears on them. She doesn’t know that I often wear my fuzzy teddybear pyjama hoodie during the day because it’s warmer than my other stuff. She doesn’t know that I legitimately consider my cats to be my friends. She doesn’t know that I regularly poke myself in the eye with my eyeliner and that stuff that you use under your eyes to make people stop asking you if you’re tired. She’s a stranger. So she doesn’t know!

All my friends at least know all that stuff. There’s a comfort in that.

And now I must….what? Impress her surely with my business savvy?

Nadine, you have no business savvy… You’re not even sure you spelled savvy correctly… Computer says it’s fine but it looks wrong, man.

Thankfully my penchant for radical honesty took over so I just told her honestly that my “store” doesn’t technically exist yet and that I’m busy cataloging and will hopefully soon be able to share some of my gems (and there are gems) on my Facebook Page.

And you know what she said? She said things like “you go girl” and “dream big” and “follow your instincts” and it all just reminded me that there is nothing more beautiful than kindness. Because probably she doesn’t care that I can’t remember when last I brushed my hair. Because guys, I don’t remember. Projects make me a little one track minded…

Wait… where was I?

Oh yes.

Thank you, Pam. I was afraid of making a fool of myself in front of you but what I got instead was a warm fuzzy feeling and a smile to carry me through the rest of today. You reminded me that even though “strangers on the internet” have this scary power to make you feel small, they also wield the power to make you feel big and kind of badass. I hope that I am like you when I am a stranger on other people’s internet.

You inspired me today. Thank you for being so beautiful.

The Littlest Bookshop

Hello, it’s me again…

I kind of just wanted to say thank you. In the last little while as I have been burrowing my way through trying to figure this all out, so many of you have been kind and supportive and it is everything. My heart is so full that I don’t even feel embarrassed to say corny things like “my heart is so full”.

I cannot believe how many messages of encouragement and enthusiasm I have received. Thank you. I cannot believe how many offers of help with books I have received. Thank you. I cannot believe all the kindness. Such a beautiful reminder of how we should be in this world. Thank you.

I have spent my last pennies. I have no real plan. I might have to sell books out of the boot of my car.

But my heart is so full.

Thank you.

Yes, I’m Starting a Bookshop.

The last six weeks or so have a been a little chaotic. Sometimes, when you’re just sitting quietly minding your business, thought worms wriggle into your head out of nowhere and suddenly everything changes. Does that ever happen to you? (if this is weird please note I’m totally kidding it never happens to me)

The thing is, I’ve kind of always wanted to do this, and with a few impending changes in our lives, I sort of thought: well we might as well just add another “crazy thing” to the mix, right? Well, possibly I could be very very wrong, but for now I’m kind of just going with it. Sometimes you just have to ask yourself: why am I not doing those things that I want to do? And take steps to make the necessary changes.

So I’m opening a bookshop. A secondhand bookshop, of course, because these are my safe places. My glorious portals of potential. My source of joy in times of pretty much anything. And so I have determined that I should take the steps to become one of these places myself.

As of yet, I have no premises. I have no website (don’t really want one). I have no solid plan.

I do, however, have a dining room table full of stock. And a a dining room floor full of stock. And an entryway full of stock. And a personal library that I have finally made peace with disseminating. I have a start.

So even though I have nothing figured out yet, I am starting with what I have. And from there I will have to see what happens.

I won’t lie. I’m a little terrified. But also kind of excited.

You’ll have to excuse me for now though, I have piles and piles of books to sort through…

Thank God For My Parents

I am spoilt in the most privileged way that one can be spoilt: I have great parents. I’m sitting here, on this rainy afternoon, wondering what the hell I would do without them. Because I really have no clue. And so in this moment I want to do nothing more than acknowledge my blessings.

There are some big changes happening in the background of our lives at the moment. The last 6 weeks or so have been quite intense emotionally. I am not one who deals with emotions well. Unfortunately my runaway emotions can often lead to a severe breakdown in my health. And then my failing health in turn impacts my emotions even more negatively. It’s an overwhelming circle sometimes, to say the least. And yet they have been here for me in ways that I can never express how much I appreciate.

In the last little while I have made some pretty crazy plans, which I will disclose more officially at a later stage. But the support I have received from these two has been so unwavering. I cannot believe how I can take an idea  to them, go “this might sound a bit mad but…” and then have them back me completely. Thats pretty friggen amazing, actually.

Thank you, parents. Thank you that I am safe with you. Not all children are this lucky. The older I get and the more I interact with the world the more I learn this sad fact. But Noah and I, and the Adams family through us, are so very lucky to have you. Thank you for letting us be a little bit odd and being ok with it. Thank you for making space for us to be unconventional in our dreams. Thank you for always reminding me of the value I bring to the table, especially when I am struggling to remember. Thank you for understanding my need to parent Noah in such a strange way, because strange children sometimes need stranger parents. Thank you for all of it.

I love you more than I can ever express.

Sidenote: I struggled to find pics of my folks for this post so seriously it’s time for another photoshoot!