Rambling in the New Year...

Truth be told, I'm not much for New Years resolutions or even much for reflecting on the past year. I do, however, enjoy looking forward and I feel like rambling a bit today, so you may want to grab a cup of tea (or whiskey or wine, if that's your preference) as I share some of what's on my mind... 

This time of year is especially busy at the shop, so taking a moment to slow down can be challenging, but with encouragement from Mr. Yarnista, I'm on day 2 of a 9 day Winter Break that is very much needed. With our brick-and-mortar shop closed for a few days, this time is for me to slow down a wee bit, get caught up on a few things that have been looming over me, take some time to really focus on some work stuff that needs undivided attention, but (under strict orders from Hubby) I will be taking a fair amount of time just for myself to re-energize. I have plans for knitting and binge tv watching and I can't wait! Yay me!

The last year has been amazing, humbling, and more than I could ever have hoped for professionally. It's been an awesome experience to see Firefly Fibers grow over the last 6+ years and I hope to continue enjoying this for many years to come - many thanks to all of you that have supported me and our shop over the years. We're also into the second year of the Alisa the Yarnista Podcast and I've really enjoyed this endeavor that once seemed so terrifying to me.

Personally, I know I've neglected myself with my focus on work and all 3 of my boys have been neglected. I'm always looking to improve and challenge myself and a few months ago I started the huge undertaking of implementing a new point-of-sale and I'm currently in the process of building a new website - alone, these are both huge projects, but I'm doing both at the same time *and* during the busiest time of year. I'll try not to bore you with the technical details, but basically... when completed, our brick-and-mortar and online shops will be integrated and that means some time will be freed up for me, along with relieving a lot of stress as I say "goodbye" to the current (very) manual processes. I'm so very thankful that I have a supportive partner that understands the end goal of working smarter, not harder and why I've been absent for many weeks. It's nearing the end, but WOW, this is a big project!

Owning and operating a yarn shop is about the knitting (that's why I chose the business of a yarn shop), but it's definitely not about knitting all day. I wish that were the case. Most of my days are spent doing bookkeeping, ordering, correcting incorrect orders (always a not-so-fun task), maintaining the website (I do geek out over this a bit), packing online orders, checking in orders, doing inventory, researching new vendors and products, planning classes, teaching classes, sorting through emails, marketing (facebook, instagram, ravelry...), and this is just some of what I do. And, all that is in addition to working with the lovely knitters and chatting with my awesome vendorsReally, if something needs to be done, I do it. Mr. Yarnista helps out when he can, but he already has a full time job, so he can only do so much. To be clear and very honest, these aren't complaints, this is just what I do and I absolutely LOVE everything (well... maybe not needle ordering, because that really just sucks). This is the best job that I've ever had and I'm so thankful for the opportunity to do something I love. Again, thank YOU for being part of this success.

As I look forward, I see the day where I've achieved balance between professional and "me" time (again, I'm taking steps so I can work smarter, not harder going forward). I'll be sharing (in detail) some of what I've been doing to maintain the crazy (and my sanity) in upcoming posts right here and I hope that at least some of it will be inspiring for you. I'm focused on continuing what's been working well for me and cutting out the excess "noise" and having a few days off to focus is going to be absolutely wonderful. It's only day 2 and I feel more like myself already and I hope that just improves over the next week.

I hope you're finding time to slow down and work on you, because we all deserve it.