It’s been a while since I posted, but I have a good reason. I didn’t want to write. There are so many things going on in my life right now, and I need some time to work them all out. But I’ve been away for so long, and I wanted to touch base with everyone and let y’all know what’s been going on with me. I’ve been working through several decisions, and none of them have been easy. Some of them are still not finalized, but a few are.

Business Decisions

A while back, I came very close to closing down my soap business, but at the last minute decided that I would try to make a go of it one last time. Sadly, that decision has not panned out, and I’ve decided to shutter the soap business effective immediately. If you have an order waiting to be shipped, I will either ship it out this week or refund your money. I apologize for this, but it’s become clear to me over the last few weeks that I just have lost my ability to focus well enough on my business to keep it going.

I do still have some items on my website, and I will ship out anything you order that I have in stock. Soaps will still be made on occasion and I may offer them for sale, so if you’re interested follow me on Facebook. Also, there are a couple of shows I may still do during the year, and when one comes up, I’ll post them on Facebook as well.

I will continue the t-shirt and embroidery business, because it’s not too involved or difficult, and I still enjoy it. But the soap business … I just cannot continue with it because it’s become a soul-sucking vortex. That’s probably some depression talking, but for now this is the best decision for me and my family.

Financial Issues

A big factor in my depression, and my business decisions, are the financial strains we’re experiencing right now. Chris and I are both working, but together we’re not making half what I made in my previous corporate job. I wouldn’t really care all that much, but we’re now facing the possibility of filing bankruptcy. We haven’t lived particularly extravagant lives, but the fact is, our current bills exceed our current income, and soon it’s just going to blow up on us. Neither of us want to do this, but we’re quickly coming to the point where we’ll have no choice.

Back in September, we came up with a plan we thought could stave off the wolves a little longer. Chris was told to expect “significant” overtime during the last quarter of the year. We planned to bank it to cover some of the bills we can’t currently pay on our salaries. I would use that time to look for a better paying job, as my current job pays about 30% of what I made in my last job. I mean, I’m not expecting to be paid as well as I once was, but seriously, I’m making less now than I was 20 years ago. Unfortunately, the overtime never really materialized, and we’ve eaten through what was left of our savings over the last three months.

To say things are bleak would be an understatement.

Job Search Continues

I am still looking for another job. That is also very depressing, because the people I work for are absolutely lovely. I mean, seriously, I enjoy my job a lot. It’s very low stress and the people are great, for the most part (there’s always that one person, isn’t there?). So I really hate to leave them and this job, but the low pay is just not working for us. Thankfully, it appears that the job market is starting to pick up again here in our area. For the last three years, it’s just not been that good.

Then we’ve had our fingers crossed that Chris would get promoted at his company, which would be a raise. Not a HUGE raise, but enough to get the boot off our neck, maybe. Or at least it would be enough that we wouldn’t have to file bankruptcy. That hasn’t happened either, but we’re still hopeful.

I actually interviewed for a job last week. I have little hope of actually getting it, but it was a step forward. It’s only the second actual interview with a company that wasn’t a headhunter that I’ve had since I was laid off two years ago. It’s sad that I see that as progress, but here we are.

I’m still hoping to get a job in the next few weeks. If I do, we may be able to save everything. If I don’t … well, after the first of the year, we’ll start looking at bankruptcy attorneys. Ugh. That just breaks my heart to even write it.

Holidays are depressing

I don’t usually feel this way, but this year, it’s just too damn depressing. It’s not about the fact we can’t spend tons of money on Christmas, it’s more about the fact that I know what we’re facing after the new year starts. And seriously, who wants to start the new year this way?! I’m worried about losing my car, which we’ve paid so much on, because it’s cross collateralized with the truck, a personal loan AND a credit card. I’m upset that our credit – which we’ve worked so hard to build – is going to take a HUGE hit. A little more than two years ago, we were actively looking for a house to buy. Now, I’m hoping we can just hang on to a car so we can also keep jobs.

And through it all, I’ve tried to maintain a positive attitude and a brave face. But mostly, I want to curl up in a corner with my quilt and pillow and forget all of this is happening. Because it sucks. A LOT.

We’ve tried selling items we don’t need or want, like my embroidery machine, but I haven’t gotten a single call on it. And I mean, it’s not like I’m asking for some insane amount for it. I just think a lot of people are struggling, and no one is spending tons of money right now. It’s true what they say – things are tough all over.

Decisions

So, that’s why I decided I need to let my soap business go. I just don’t have the money to infuse into them to keep things fresh, and frankly, I’m lacking the desire. It’s all about the depression, and I know that, but until things turn around for us … This is also why I haven’t been sewing, though I do believe that sewing would seriously help.

I may go through some of my stock, like t-shirts, and try to sell the blanks on craigslist or something. Maybe reclaim some of the space that the businesses have sucked up over the last two years. It’s time to put the past behind me and move on. So in that sense, letting the business go, and filing bankruptcy could be one of the best decisions I’ve made lately.

On the other hand, it could be one of the worst decisions. But we’re going to go with one of the best decisions for now.

Thanks

If you’ve purchased from me in the past, I want to thank you. I am thankful for everyone who has tried to help over the last two years. I’ve received many words of encouragement, suggestions, ideas and funny thoughts from my readers, and I really appreciate it.

I do hope that you are having a joyful holiday season, and that you enjoy Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or whatever winter holiday(s) you choose to celebrate.

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!