Chilly nights, clear days, crunching leaves and color…everywhere color. One plus of life in the Northeast is the beautiful season of autumn…the fiery reds, the brilliant yellows, the glowing oranges…all set against a backdrop of the bluest skies and the sunniest days. Sometimes it feels like a little trick of nature though…a season so beautiful that you forget what’s coming next…the cold, dark winter. You know what I mean…kind of the same way that nature tricks us with the sweet cuteness of new babies, never quite revealing the “joys” of the teen years that are right around the corner (yes, true words from a Mom of several teenagers….). But right in the middle of the challenging years of parenting a teen, you will get a glimpse of that young adult they will become sooner than you’d like to admit…and it makes your heart swell. And in the middle of the coldest, darkest winter, you might wake up and find your world covered in a blanket of the purest, whitest, most shimmering snow. That’s just the way it is with seasons….seasons of the year, seasons of our lives, seasons of time. Each one reveal beauty, each one presenting challenges.
Today I’m quietly celebrating my own little season in time. Today is an anniversary for me. A three-month anniversary. A quarter of a year ~ and by my calculations, that equals a season. It was exactly three months ago today that I opened the door and welcomed the public into my own little space…revealing a dream that I had been holding in my heart and soul for quite some time. In my first “season” here in the boutique, I have packed up some light and airy summer items and moved in the warmer colors and decorations of autumn. I’ve restocked and rearranged, added new merchandise and considered discontinuing some old. I’ve grown comfortable behind my little counter, and confident in my merchandising skills; and yes, I still get as giddy as a little one on Christmas morning when I put the key in the lock every morning, and as happy as I can possibly be when a customer likes something so much that they decide to take it home with them.
Beyond the happenings inside of my four sand-colored walls, I’ve learned a great deal as well. I’ve memorized my train schedule and my family has learned to fend for themselves just a little bit more than they used to, because they know how important it is for me to be tending to the store right now. My wonderful husband has taken over cleaning duties, my boys are getting themselves to their after-school activities, and we are all learning to cope with the “catch as catch can” dinner scenarios and the sometimes challenging” cash flow” issues that are all part of starting an adventure such as this. Are they thrilled every single minute? Probably not. But when push comes to shove and I’m melting down over a few bad days in a row, they are the first to step up and remind me how important it is to chase your dreams, and that they will stand beside me while we figure out how to make this all work. They seem to already know that even in the most successful companies, there are still “seasonal” challenges to overcome in business as well. Good days and bad; profitable ones and some that are not so profitable; smart business decisions and decisions you wish you could take back almost immediately. And that each season is just that…a season. Beautiful in most ways, a little dreary in a few, but an experience I wouldn’t trade for the world.
It has been a joy and a privilege to meet the people of Summit, NJ and the surrounding communities who have taken the time to come inside during my first season and see what “Cowgirl in the Sand” is all about. And it has been a blessing and an honor to receive such strong support from my close friends and family and the online community that has followed me through my social media and website posts. Your encouragement has been strong and unwavering. And I hope you will stick around for the next season of Cowgirl in the Sand ~ I know it will be challenging and exciting and absolutely a dream come true. And many years from now, we can all look back and say, “Wow, remember when…remember those early days…the good old days…when you were just finding your way and learning the rope…wasn’t that first season a great little season in time.”
*Photo courtesy of The Alterative Press
If you are new to “Cowgirl in the Sand,” I invite you to read the local article regarding our opening, which took place just three short months ago!