Hot Mess

I’m writing, it’s 1 a.m. It’s been forever since I’ve updated my blog; I started selling beach treasure candles last June but I started making candles at Christmas and it’s been a little crazy since then. I am trying to focus on “WORK-LIFE BALANCE” with my therapist. I work too much, and I don’t sleep. I joked to my husband that I’m going to make a sign for my cottage door that says “BUSINESS HOURS 6am-2am” only it’s not a joke; there are a lot of 20 hour days. Too many. “Self care” is a day when I put on a bra to go to the post office, get a sandwich, take a shower, or get off my feet for 20 minutes to eat something.

I know things will settle down. I have focused on space arrangement and organization, scheduling, and even learning how to do a spreadsheet– all things that are outside my comfort zone. Honestly, successfully running a business is outside my comfort zone. I ran SeaCrate and thought I did an ok job but it never made any money and I sold the company for $1 after a year. I have never really had a brain for the math side of business; the creative part is what I love. Making candles is creative, so I love it.

Part of candle proceeds benefit The Beachcombing Center, where all the funds I worked to raise remain in place to open that space and the board and I have been exploring a few locations. Needless to say the pandemic thwarted our initial efforts, but they have not killed the dream of opening an international beachcombing museum- it will still happen. There is one historic building I am considering that would allow me to have museum exhibit space in one part of the building and a candlemaking space in the back. Patience, I have learned, is not only a virtue, but sometimes simply the only option.

Life lessons in mindfulness meet candlemaking: I was making candles and checking a quick email (will never multitask like that again) and as 4 pounds of wax melted in my melter, I heard a funny bubbling sound, realizing far too late that the spout on the melter was open, and hot wax was pouring all over my floor. I panicked, using shop towels and paper towels to try to clean up the mess. I noticed the outer wax edge on the cold hardwood floor had started to harden and I could just snap up the cooled wax in sections. Of course, I thought, this just cools into a flat, large, wickless pancake candle. Why hadn’t I thought to just let it all cool and easily snap up the sections, instead of spreading hot wax all over the floor and making a giant hot mess?

There are many metaphors in candlemaking- I have a whole playlist of songs I draw from for my business Instagram page when I do videos. We go “through the fire” so often in life, why did I have to have such a “meltdown,” I’m a total “hot mess,” we hate when people “burn a bridge.”Next time, when I spill a bunch of hot wax, instead of reacting emotionally, I will take a deep breath and simply wait five minutes, because the cleanup will be a lot easier. Learning to take that breath is a great life skill.