Still Ticking On…

The weather reprieve has finally arrived and it feels so good.  The things in my world are still revolting… however last night I had a dream that I left my bag on the shore to go for a swim (I know who would do that), I had a weird swim with a boat, a stingray, whale and weird penguin that was green.

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When I got back the tide had come in and I did not know where my bag was… I was freaking out because all my money was in there and credit cards and I had a few more weeks of travel left. Luckily there was a department in a cave for just that thing and the nice staff pointed to a pile of suitcases in the corner and motioned to look there.  (they did not speak English) and low and behold my bag was there! Lets see if things are turning around…. #justsayin

When the machines revolt…

I am not typically an astrology kinda girl… but I will have to admit this  month they were bang on.  My machines would all begin to revolt… and then they did.  Hot water tanks, computers, cars… they all started to act up… add the -40 o/c weather… and the machines had enough.

Cold weather brings problems… 4 day waits for tow trucks, 14 hour waits for call backs … slow or non existent buses.  This week I feel like a conqueror.  Letting life unfold is a tough thing for me.  A planner by trade, I organize people, events and words on pages.  Letting life happen is not part of my rule book.  Yes, I even plan for planning…

This week I let it go… I had some lovely dinners, I drank wine and sang with my friends, I worked, I slept, I lazed about, I let others take care of themselves …. and everyone survived.

This is a milestone week and I am looking forward to all it will bring….2020 will  be epic…. I have started my new book, the pages are blank and I am writing them one by one instead of a chapter at a time.

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This is my year…. 10 years in the making.

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This is the year that I will wear my hair big, take care of my mind and learn to say “no thank-you”.  This is a milestone year for me… turning 50 in a few short days makes you really think about where you have been and where you want to go.

The onslaught of queries as to what am I doing for my big 5 – 0 forced me to really think about what I wanted.  I planned a lot of parties for my birthday this year and nothing stuck.  Then one day I had an epiphany… the plans are not sticking because I do not really want to do them.  So even though I love to… no big party where I invite all the guests and do the work, no trip away that costs more than I really want to spend..even though I love keeping the memories, no #itsapieparty although that will be resurrected, likely for love day, my favorite non-holiday of the year.

I spent a little time with myself and what I learnt was I did not need a party, because I am now living the life that I planned many years ago.  Among the tears, the unhappiness, being unsafe, in an unhealthy relationship, I planned my freedom choosing to be the architect of my own happiness.

I do not need a big celebration, everyday I wake up I am happy, that is a gift that I get each and every day.  It is not about the year or the milestone, it has been about the journey and I am almost there.

When you see me, with my big hair and with my bold clothes, acquired from second hand stores, know I have been reacquainted with my authentic self, I am happy, I am safe and I am free.

Got a couple more items on that list to check off this year… stay tuned it’s going to be EPIC! (to me at least …lol)

Keep it real… be yourself…this is what 50 looks like #justsayin

hugs

Trina Plamondon… see I even got my name back 🙂

31 days in one year

 

I had bought into the dream of revitalizing the downtown core.  I was in love with the idea.  That is usually a red flag in business.  Being in love with something does not always mean it will translate to other people loving it.  Strangers, friends and family love to give business advice… even when they have never run a business in their life.  Go to “Whyte Ave” was the cry… it is where the people are.  Although this was true, I was steadfast in my desire to want to support the growth of the downtown core.  Too bad the city did not feel the same way about me as I did them.

Each step was a another lesson in patience and inequity.  Farmer’s markets are beloved by the city and the residents alike. They have been romanticized in rose color glasses from a time that has long since passed.  The origin of a farmer’s market started to help FARMERS where people made and grew their food and needed a place to sell it.

E.g.

“a farm selling products, when
the products come from a farmer’s farm and the sale is
conducted by the farmer from the farm”

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The intention of a farmer’s market is not for the cat lady making candy in her kitchen or the man making unknown dog treats from his toaster oven in his basement.  Yes, yes …there are a lot of amazing “home-made” , “home-grown” products and people out there.  I am just not clear how someone who makes dog treats at home can sell them in a farmer’s market but not a public market.  The kitchen has not changed…. just sayin’….TO BE CONTINUED

31 Days Open for Business – Year One

There are 365 days in a year.  My “doors’ had been open for business for a total of 15 days and I was ready to throw in the towel.  What I needed was some time to lick my wounds. I was fortunate, I could close my doors and go off to cry silently in a corner and not have to get up and do it again if I didn’t want to.  I think of that every time I walk into a new restaurant and I am the only one who is there.  They have no where to hide.

 

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My memories from when I was a  little girl, as I lay in my bed dreaming, was about having my own business.  I did not dream about  princess dresses and a handsome knights to rescue me.  I dreamt of a powder blue power suit, with big shoulders and a Mercedes Benz.   I have tried many businesses over my years, I sold nutrition products and lingerie… online sales, flipping houses, putting together products at home, writing books, computer work. None were particularly satisfying or successful.  The first spark of joy hit me when I ran my first Christmas craft market.  My daughter was a baby, my spouse was finishing a second degree in university and we were dirt poor.  Sometimes I think our floor didn’t even have any dirt… that’s how poor we were.  My meager profits from the event paid for the our Christmas tree and some presents.  Something felt right….TO BE CONTINUED

66 6 isn’t always bad #4

The rest of the season did not go much better.  I had  a few more vendors and a few more people came and went.  I made a couple sales. Each Friday was another lesson in humility, patience and avoidance… just because you build it does not mean they will come.  Sitting in an empty lot with vendors staring you down because there is no one else to look at takes a lot out of a gal.

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When I wasn’t at work or my side hustle, I attended events. Lunch and learn, networking, social media workshops. I was constantly asked “What is a night market anyways?”…not easy to explain when the idea in your head does not meet the reality on the street.  It is tough to be confident when the thought of having another unsuccessful Friday night market with or without rain was worse than eating glass.  They never tell you in business 101 that less than 1% of all new businesses start out the gate as a roaring success.  I kept telling people it’s a “market” at “night” seemed simple to me.

The season closed and breathed a deep sigh of relief.  I scheduled night market for 15 weeks and I completed 15 weeks. That was a success in itself.  I did not make any money, the summer almost stole my entire soul and I was sad, dejected and certain I was  never , ever in a million years going to do anything that ego crushing again.  Back to two jobs instead of three, I needed the sleep anyways….TO BE CONTINUED

66 6 isn’t always bad #3

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THE FIRST FIFTEEN DAYS  – YEAR ONE

I kept soliciting vendors, tried to get more people to come out.  It was a horrible catch-22 I couldn’t get people to come because I had hardly any vendors and I barely had any vendors because people were not coming.  Some vendors were gracious and understood I was trying hard.  I would spend every Thursday before night market walking around downtown for hours writing our information on the sidewalk in chalk, pointing people in our direction.  Balloons on light standards, paper flyers… I walked and walked and tried and tried.  Sometimes after all that work it rained on Friday and washed away all my chalk drawings.  That would leave me completely deflated. Add the chaos of my life, the two jobs I had on top of night market to pay the bills and I should have been at the end of my sanity.  I certainly was not making a single cent at night market.  What kind of crazy person pays to work?  It was great for my diet… I had never been so thin……TO BE CONTINUED

66 6 isn’t always bad… post #2

…..From the outset it was not going to be easy.  The public market category had been eliminated the year before.  I was not a farmers market so I had to be a flea market for licensing, not quite the feel I was going for.  Our weather limits how much time you can run things outdoors. Trying to convince vendors or ‘night market traders’ as I called them back then was a challenge… being the new kid on the block, with no track record and no backers.  I will never forget the popcorn man telling me I would never make it, he would never pay my fee and I would NEVER get the city to change the hefty business license fees for “flea” market vendors and that would be on top of my night market fee.  Through my work  with the city the fee was reduced, and eventually eliminated as the public market category was re-instated and brought into closer alignment with farmers markets.  Making my voice be heard with the city and with city council were more small steps.

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THE FIRST FIFTEEN DAYS  – YEAR ONE

The first season and fifteen days of business was horrendous.  It was a summer of rain, not much different than the one we have been experienced this year.  The first Friday, armed with one loving family member and  a total of 6 vendors,  we were set to launch. Promptly on cue for our opening day the sky opened up and  the rain began to fall.  I think a total of 10 people showed up.  It continued to rain each and every Friday, just in time for night market, for another 5 Friday nights in a row.  The last Friday of rain was a torrential rain sent from mother nature herself, it made the vendors tent canopies so heavy with rain they fell inwards. Some vendors were more vocal than others, some demanded their money back.  Quitting was not an option, I needed to try to up attendance and vendors to meet the obligations that I had already signed up for.   I was near tears, I wondered what I was thinking by adding more stress to my already chaotic life. …. TO BE CONTINUED

66 6 isnt always bad

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Approaching my 66 day of night market in the six year of business equates to 666.  For some this would be a bad omen, but not for me.   Yesterday was a small milestone in a series of small steps that are easy to overlook. Today I choose to celebrate.  In 2013, during what was the most harrowing and scary time in my life, a small ray of sunshine found its way to me and I decided to start a night market.  This was the beginning of the adventure that has given me joy when I thought I had none, peace where I thought none existed and a new future to work towards when I was no longer sure where I was going or if I would ever get anywhere.

I knew immediately I would not become a farmer’s market, night market was going to be different.  It would be a socially minded, happy “3rd place” for people to gather while quietly doing good one night market at a time….to be continued

When life throws you a spanner….

Never tell the universe you are ready to put your head down and focus… for me that is when life throws a spanner in the works… this week was no exception.  I thought it was hard to focus with just my regular side hustle, job, meetings, kids, and then the spanner.

Interesting how your perspective suddenly changes and you wish you had “all that time” you had before to get things done.  Alas, I had to get super focused and that is no easy feat for me who constantly gets distracted by pretty much anything, especially if I don’t really feel like doing something… wine is a good one, there is a reason I take all those wine classes 🙂

Boss lady advice … when life is throwing a spanner at you find the business things you love to do and focus on that for awhile.  This is how you still get things done in chaos. I spent this week doing much needed therapy… vintage shopping and the universe was listening.  I need a 1970 phone table, old record player, chair, old books and kitsch… I was not disappointed and proudly stuffed my car with all my fab finds in less than two hours.  Not having rental space nor a garage meant I had to set it all up in the living room to see how it fit and what else is needed.  This is my wheel house and I was smiling.  Rotary phone works – check, soft lighting – check – big smile and a little fun – check – who knew work could be so good.

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