best laid plans

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One of the biggest myths of entrepreneurship is the perceived ability of the self-employed to make their own hours and vacation whenever they please. While this may be a perk of a select few, time off is a rare luxury for most of us.

And the universe loves to wreck havoc on this particular business owner’s vacay plans.

C and I will celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary tomorrow. For the last several weeks, we’ve fantasized about plans for a weekend getaway to our favorite beach, where we tied the knot in the sand all those years ago. We ironed out all the details at the shop — even agreeing to close on Saturday, which is like, unheard of — prepped our staff, and made arrangements with a nearby florist to cover our customers’ last-minute emergency orders.

We booked a place to crash, scoped out fancy restaurants for a special dinner, and dreamed about daiquiris in the sand and two full days of work-free bliss. By Thursday evening, our packed bags lined the foyer, ready to be quickly loaded in the car Friday afternoon to beat rush hour traffic.

Friday morning, I woke up an hour earlier than usual to get a jump start on the day. I had a reservation for a local Girls Inc. luncheon that afternoon, so I washed and curled my hair — big deal for a weekday, y’all — and put on a new dress and strappy heels. I planned to get my staff organized in the morning, head to the luncheon at noon, check in at the shop for a nanosecond afterwards, and then get home early to get the heck outta town.

It only took an hour for my road trip plans to hit a road block.

One sick employee and a regretful phone call to cancel my luncheon RSVP later, I switched gears to delivery driver, in a fancy dress. Luckily, I’m usually prepared for the unexpected, so I had a pair of flip flops in my bag. We had a full stack of deliveries all over town, so I loaded the van and made four trips back and forth, slowed by a never-ending torrential downpour (complete with terrifying lightning) and a short-staffed HQ that demanded my attention with each return. Any chance of an early departure was off the table, but we were content with leaving later in the evening as long as we could wake up at the beach…

I spent the entire day soaked to the skin — cursing all that wasted time with a curling wand — and ran around town in a crochet dress and soggy flip flops, while listening to radio weather bulletins that broadcasted gloom-and-doom reports of flooding, tornado warnings, and dangerous driving conditions near our destination. I sent C dozen text panicked, grumpy text messages and started to come to grips with the fact that this weekend getaway wasn’t going to happen.

By the time I got home around 7pm that evening, it was official.

After the initial frustration and disappointment wore off, I checked myself. Being too busy to get away is a great problem to have, in the grand scheme of things. And even I, queen of controlling all the things, can’t manipulate the weather. Wompity-womp-womp.

This isn’t the first thing we’ve sacrificed for the flower shop and it won’t be the last. I’ve missed important events and family dinners when last-minute orders kept me at the shop until midnight, and bailed on long-planned trips with girlfriends at the eleventh hour when weddings consumed my weekend. It’s part of the being-your-own-boss gig.

When push comes to shove, you have to drop everything to take care of your business, because the buck stops with you. It stings in the moment, but it’s part of the trade-off for longterm success. On the plus side, after a few years of entrepreneurship, I’ve learned to become really flexible. Thankfully, my friends and family are, too; I’m so grateful for their patience and support through my crazy antics.

I spent all of Saturday intermittently napping and catching up on my DVR while the nasty weather continued through the evening. This morning, instead of enjoying sweet potato pancakes under an umbrella at our favorite beachside cafe, I went to the shop for a few hours to catch up on orders and deliver three big pieces to an afternoon memorial service. It wasn’t what I expected to do this weekend, but it was a good one all the same.

Looking forward to a rain check for our anniversary trip sometime soon!

14 thoughts on “best laid plans

  1. Blech. It was dreadful up here in N. FL on Friday. I can’t imagine being out in the rain all dressed up and having to make deliveries. I’m sorry your plans had to be cancelled. :( I hope you get your rain check soon!

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  2. Your honesty about the entrepreneurial life is much appreciated. The fact that your trip was sacrificed for the good of the business clearly speaks volumes about how passionate you are, though. I’m sure mini-vacay 2.0 will be worth the wait ;)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry to hear about your plans being ruined. I hope you and your hubs get to go through with your rain check plans for your anniversary! I also love your overalls! They’re super cute!

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  4. Hi Keira,
    I’m so sorry about your weekend. But I think your effort and dedication deserves respect. Plans can change so quickly… So keep going and cheer up!
    Congratulations on your 7th wedding anniversary! Hope you’ll nevertheless have a great day together.

    ♥♥♥
    xoxo Juliane

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  5. Such a shame you had to cancel on such a special occasion, you’re so mature about it and I really admire that. That is the sort of attitude that makes businesses work and outshine the rest , people like you who put their heart and soul into the business and don’t complain about the long hours. I hope you get a chance to hold your celebration another time! xx

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  6. I totally understand the owning your business and never getting away problem! My hubs and I were self-employed for 10+ years and never vacationed! It’s much harder than it looks but so rewarding. Your flowers are gorgeous and I’m sure your customers love you!

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  7. I’m sorry about your weekend, I had to cancel my weekend plans due to the sky falling, too! If it’s any consolation, your post was actually very inspiring to me. I want to own my own business and I hope to be as dedicated a boss as you are! =)

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