Monday, May 10, 2010

When it Rains, it Pours (Then Your EZ-Up Blows Away)

Here's an entry that's both artsy and ADHD-y.

I did a Craft Show this weekend in Hampton Falls, NH. I woke up at 5am on the day of the show to the sound of thunder and lightning. Not encouraging.  It was raining buckets outside and I was supposed to start setting up in an hour and a half. Not to mention the fact that leather items and copious amounts of soaking water are NOT a friendly combination.

So. Being ADHD and subject to emotional hijack, rumination, and overwhelming and disproportionate emotional responses I began to stress and freak out. I mean, I paid $200 for my spot in the show and another $100 for the hotel room I had booked for that night. Time to panic, right??

Well... actually... wrong...

I didn't freak out at all. I was stressed. Of course I was, that seems pretty normal to me. The situation was stressful and unanticipated. But I held it together and started to think. I focused on making realistic decisions based on the facts at hand rather than the nasty little voice screaming useless negative things in my head.

I did... what?

No, really! I did. I figured that the hotel was paid for and Terry was already planning to meet me in Hampton Falls. The car was packed the night before and was safe and dry in the garage. Might as well drive out there and give it a shot. If the show site was soggy and boggy I could hang around until check-in time, check out the hotel and its indoor pool until the weather dried out a bit, and then I could set up for the following day.

So I did it. I overcame the irrational and drove up tp Hampton Falls. By the time I got there the downpour had become drizzle and I was able to get set up in time for the show's opening. The show opened and the crowd was ok, decent in number and a fair amount of them interested in my wares.  I was upbeat, outgoing, friendly, and ready to sell stuff.

There was rain at times, some times LOTS of rain. I cleared puddles off the EZ-up's overhang again and again. The day was gray and miserable and I began to feel the same. Gray, miserable, and despondent. No one was buying. Fewer people were even looking. What was I doing? What was I thinking? This was nuts. When was I going to get real and get a real job and grow up already.


But again I was able to stop and think about things in a realistic and rational way and get past it. Again, it's normal and rational to be down-hearted when your work isn't being connected with. It's normal for new businesses to not make money, or even lose money when they are in their infancy. All of this probably seems pretty straightforward to most folks but for nearly forty years it has completely eluded me. I thought it was just the way things were.

T-Rose came by in the afternoon and the afternoon went fine. We set up the site for the night and went out for a great dinner and a fantastic evening together, despite a pretty poor quality hotel. We woke up to no more rain and were ready for a quick set-up before Terry headed home to spend Mother's Day with her little-uns.

It was a bit windy out.

Kinda very windy in fact.

So windy that as we were approaching the site we began to notice that several of the vendor's tents were bent or knocked over. Thank goodness we had staked the tent down the night before. I felt bad for all those folks who were trying to straighten and re-configure their spaces.

At least their booths were still there.

Mine wasn't.

Parts of it was. A leg or two. The tables were there with all of the merchandise safely stowed away in totes under said tables. Even our trusted and beloved "Monique" (we named the mannequin head we used to display the masks... she's hot) was still tie-wrapped to the top of my display stand. But the booth was about 20 or so feet away in a bent and tangled ruin.

Yep. Sucked.

By this point, however, I was WAY beyond any of this. I have to admit that if the leatherwork had gotten trashed it might have been too much to bear. But I didn't make the EZ-up. Though not cheap they can be readily replaced. One of the other vendors, one of several VERY helpful and kind vendors, helped me realize that we were about 2 miles away from Seabrook. Seabrook has a Sam's Club. Sam's Club sells EZ-up tents.

With the help of my lovely T-Rose (aka Tabi-G... ask her if she wants to share that one with you) crisis mode became focused, albeit stressed, mode. We got a new EZ-up. We found great folding tables at a reasonable price which I bought to upgrade from the ones I was borrowing from ACiM. We bought bungee cords and stakes and rope and set to work.

The wind was still pretty horrendous so we used the EZ-up frames without sides, or even a roof. We put out the new tables and bungee-corded everything in sight. Terry told one of our neighbors that if anyone could figure out how to make it work I could. She was right, of course...

I did make the whole thing work and began to sell sell sell. Terry left to spend at least some of the day with the kids. If it wasn't for the extra cost of the new EZ-up it would have been a pretty decent show financially. I learned a lot about audience taste and how to connect the right folks with the right items.

It was a success.

I have to admit that. I'm learning a new definition of success. Success does not always mean perfection. Success does not have to be defined by those around me. Success can be about learning and growing and evolving and changing. After nearly forty years I'm finally beginning to get it.

This post and my last one show some pretty serious changes that are going on in my world. Part of that change can be attributed to personal reflection and self-searching. An even larger part can be attributed to my ADHD coach. Yep. There are folks out there who specialize in helping folks with ADHD get their lives in order and succeed. I'm lucky enough to be engaged to one...

It was funny at first. When Terry first started her coaching classes she was like the stereotypical freshman psychology student, seeing ADHD everywhere and analyzing everyone around her. Then, much to her surprise, she was herself diagnosed with ADHD. Welcome to the club honey.

Having a coach is an amazing thing. They really help put things in perspective. They make ADHD real. They make it just a thing, like being left-handed. I've always believed that ADHD was like being left-handed. It's not a horrible disease. It's just a different brain set. Get some left-handed scissors and move on.

Having a coach is like having a whole box full of left-handed scissors.

I know there are lots of you out there who have ADHD or have friends or loved ones who do. Help is out there, even if it isn't easy to track down. Terry, and folks like her are available to help out, often in sessions scheduled over the phone. To find out more, you can contact Terry at or check out her Facebook page.


Blogger Deen Albertini said...

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December 29, 2013 at 1:09 AM  

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