At this time of year, my days have an undeniable rhythm, a driving tempo. Much of the day is filled with an insistent, relentless beat, as I work to make the candy I sell.
The winter holidays bring busy times—people are willing to splurge on handmade candies for Thanksgiving, for Christmas, for gifts, for parties—so I’m always pretty busy in November.
But this year, I’m also doing two holiday boutiques, two selling shows, where people walk by my table, taste a sample of chocolate, and buy.
Last summer, when I agreed to these shows, on two consecutive days in early December, it seemed like a great idea!
Right now, I can’t help but wonder what I was thinking. I know people will want to buy candy but I can’t predict just exactly which candy they will want or how much to have on hand.
So, I spend my days piling boxes of chocolates up, and working obsessively to make more. The tempos of my life right now are staccato, presto, agitato.
But not first thing in the morning. I am committed to start my day, early, early, at a different pace—this is the calm before the candy.
I am an early riser, usually up by 4:30. I have my ritual to begin my day. It is set to adagio and, certainly, pianissimo.
I feed the cats. I give the diabetic cat an injection. I make a cup of coffee, black. I visit a set list of websites, in a set order—NBC News, the National Weather Service, the local newspaper. I write in my personal journal and have another cup of coffee, black.
I take some time to visit with you, to see what you’re saying and doing. I read your thoughts and respond, as much as possible, before the rhythm changes and the day demands my participation.
I love the calm before the candy. My husband sleeps a few rooms away. The cats go back to bed, too. I am alone with my thoughts.
I plan what needs to be done, and everything seems possible! I know I can get so much accomplished because the day stretches out in front of me, full of open hours and promise.
About 6:00, the rhythm switches to accelerato, allegro, animato. If, by this time, I haven’t taken a shower, written a blog post, finished reading yours, it probably won’t get done today.
The chaos of the candy takes over, the cacophony, the movement toward crescendo.
Happily, for me, this fast-paced rhythm lasts only for a month or two. January will bring a quieter time, slower tempos, with fewer demands for quick-step dancing in the kitchen.
I’ll return to the rocking rhythm of hand quilting, the soothing back and forth of throwing the shuttle, and the warm, comforting slide of the iron over vintage linens. I may even fit in a spontaneous dance of delight or two!
I’ll have more time for me, then, and for you.