I'm Hanging up my Apron
I originally started looking for part time work at the beginning of this year when we decided that my husband was heading back to university. We were faced with two options upon him being accepted to study for a Bachelor of Science, he could A. work part time and study part time, which would mean he wouldn't have his degree for 7-8 years (and that’s just the base degree, he would then have to continue his studies further to achieve his PhD), or B. He could study full time and work on the weekends to get his qualification in 4 years. Together we decided to make a big sacrifice to our current lifestyle in order to strive for the future we both wanted, and William quit his full-time position to work casually on the weekends.
Once we arrived at this decision, I decided I would start looking for casual work as well, my business is entirely online, so realistically, I could work at night if I must, and I do seem to have a decent amount of spare time during the day anyway. Soo with no prior waitressing experience, I took a shot applying for a job as front of house at a well-known and highly respected Cafe in Ballarat. I got the job!! I was so excited, it had been soo long since I'd been in the workforce, and I couldn't wait to be back at it, truth be told, the social aspect of the job was what I was really looking forward to, there’s so many topics when conversing with my dog 1. let’s play 2. let’s play 3. let’s play.... ok so there's one topic of conversation. And that's where my 3-month journey began. 3 months doesn't sound like much, but boy did I learn a lot about myself!
I started my stint working 6-8 hours a day, 5 days a week ONTOP of my full-time job at home. I was a mess! I was working all day, coming home, having dinner, and then barricading myself in the office until midnight... sometimes well after in order to give The Crystal Cove the attention it needed. For I felt like I was working from the time I woke up, to the time I hit the hay. The house fell into disarray, my family was feeling neglected (Aisla started chewing the plaster in the hallways because she suffers from separation anxiety and isn't used to me being gone all day every day), and I could feel myself slipping into a dark and unhealthy state of mind, all this... I was only running The Crystal Cove at its bare minimum, I didn't have enough time to make new sales, or put energy into growth, I was just keeping it afloat.
Something had to give, I dropped down to 3 - 4 shifts a week in my second month, but even still, I wasn't getting any extra work done for The Crystal Cove, probably because I spent those precious extra hours catching up on some much needed down time, it didn't free up extra time for my business, it just meant I didn't have to stay up quite as late as before to get everything done.
I very quickly discovered, I'm not made for a 9 - 5 job. I can easily smash out a 14-hour work day when I'm working for The Crystal Cove, but I was getting bored at the Cafe. That's when I realized…. I was dreaming of The Crystal Cove. The Crystal Cove was once my wildest dream, from the time I was old enough to work, maybe even a little before, I'd dreamed of being my own boss, and I did it! But once I was there, I seemed to have forgotten that it was my dream! It's funny that, once you reach your dreams it's no longer a dream, it's just reality. I had been living my dream for 4 years, which doesn't sound like long! But it was long enough that I had almost completely forgotten how much I loved it, and how badly I had wanted it in the first place. It had just so quickly turned into routine, it was my regular, everyday life, and had I began to lose my passion for it.
I really am a true believer, that if you're passionate about something, and you want it badly enough, you will succeed, and my lack of passion showed. Sales started to drop seemingly without reason (part of the motivation to find a part time job originally) and this was only highlighted by my being at the Cafe, because what was originally supposed to be extra income, very quickly became almost my only income. Could the resurgence of this dream have come too late? Could I come back from this?
I once again banked on my passion getting me to where I wanted to go, I was going for my dream! By month three, I knew I had to leave the Cafe, I handed in my resignation with 1 months’ notice, (we were already understaffed, so I didn't want to leave them another team member down) and set myself the seemingly mammoth goal of reviving my home business, of which was showing nearly no sign of life... and I'm so glad that I trusted my gut!
Even though The Crystal Cove still isn't back to 100%, we're getting there, and do you know what.... I've realized that money doesn't play anywhere near as large a role in your happiness as people make it out to. While we're rebuilding, we're only just making enough to cover our expenses week to week on our combined wages, but I'm loving being back at home with my family! I wouldn't trade this for the world, and I'm so grateful for this little side venture for instilling within me this new passion for my work and my life! Sure some days I might curse that the only conversation I've had for the day was with a chicken, but so be it! #livingthedream