Thursday, November 1, 2007

Stress - Not Just for Breakfast Anymore

Okay, the Bag Lady is starting to get a little stressed. She has rented a table at her first big craft sale since designing these CartSmart Bags, and she is getting panicky. The Bag Lady is, in Real Life, quite shy, and not a very good salesperson.
That said, she has sold almost 50 of her bags just by word-of-mouth in the 6 months since she came up with them, so she can force herself to do it. She has suffered from “stage-fright” all her life – from exam-anxiety in school, to the terror of performing on-stage; which she has done quite a lot of, but somehow, once the house-lights go down and the spots come on, and the audience is a blur, AND she is in character, she doesn’t have nearly as much trouble as she does when she actually has to Be Herself. Even going for job-interviews causes her great distress. The Bag Lady is a bundle of nerves right now, and has been fluttering around the house, CLEANING, which she hates passionately, all to avoid actually sitting down and sewing a bunch of bags!! And the sale starts tomorrow!! She won’t have enough bags, and she will disgrace herself, and why, oh why did she decide to do this?
On top of the mental distress, the Bag Lady’s body will start to betray her. She gets all weak and trembly, and needs to go to pee Every Ten Minutes!! All she wants to do is take to her bed (oh, she longs for the Victorian Era at times like this – nothing like a good case of the vapours to hide behind), as if this wasn’t enough, the second day of the sale she won’t be able to eat anything because she is having a Procedure done on Monday for which she needs to be completely and totally empty. (But she isn’t stressing about the Procedure, yet…there’s only so much she can stress about at one time!)
So the Bag Lady may not be able to post anything for a few days. She’ll probably be too busy. Sewing, or cleaning in order to avoid sewing, or throwing up, or hiding in the bathroom… On second thought, blogging is also a good avoidance tool, so she may be showing up everywhere!
Why, oh why... Maybe she can hire some good-looking, skinny, vivacious little chick to be her salesperson… Any volunteers?

Does this happen to anyone else? Am I the only one who procrastinates until the last minute, then mentally berates herself for being so lazy?


Leah J. Utas said...

Avoid? Why, no. But I do have to go meditate now, and I could use another hypnosis script, just as an experiment, and, oh, is it nap time already?

May I suggest you come up with a BagLady persona? An actual created character, perhaps in a costume, that you can inhabit while you work and perhaps while you sell. You'll be able to step away from you into her.

Hilary said...

Oh my.. poor Bag Lady. Talk a friend in going with you for pee breaks. Bring lots of order forms so that you can take orders from people if you don't have enough readily available stock. And if you really REALLY need to burn off some more tension, come clean my place!

I'm sure all will go well for you.. those bags look colourful and lovely.

Go get 'em!

the Bag Lady said...

dfLeah - I'm not sure that I can create a character I can step away from as I know a lot of the women who will be at the sale already know me...but it is a good suggestion.
Hilary - the Bag Lady has no friends! (she means that all her friends have actual paying jobs and are unavailable to help in her hour of need...) Tell ya what, you come be the Bag Lady and I'll go clean your house...
Oh, and what, you may ask, is the Bag Lady doing on the computer when she should be sewing? Avoidance? Nah. The cowboy is sleeping in the bedroom where the sewing machine is!

Hilary said...

You bribed him with raspberry tarts to do that, didn't you?

Reb said...

A-void-ance - doesn't that translate to piss around 'til it's almost too late? - No, I have noooooo idea what you may be refering to. Why do you think I blog?
Don't worry, as Hilary said, have lots of order forms on hand. Besides, just like the rest of the family, once you are in your public persona, you will actually enjoy it. Or fake it so well, no-one knows the difference.
Fill out the table with some of your canned goods.

the Bag Lady said...

If I spread the 4 bags that I have made up artistically across the table....
Actually, the cowboy got called to work and just left (in spite of the tarts!), so I am forced to actually go and do something now.
Just as soon as I check out all the blogs I ordinarily read (and maybe some I don't...)

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Yes!! Yes!!

That is exactly what I do. I clean!! and I hate cleaning but feel it is a virtuous thing to do something I hate rather than what I am supposed to be doing. (You are so right--we need the vapors to come back into vogue!

First of all take a deep breath. Second of all your bags are terrific and will sell themselves. Third, hold off on making my two bags 'til the show is over!! (Pressure off!!) I just got the money order yesterday but forgot to bring your address to the Post Office, thus I must go back tomorrow, today being book launch day (which doesn't start for another five hours but how can I get to the Post Office when I must decide what to wear, and there are dishes in the sink and the halloween trash must go out. How easy is the path to procrastination.)

You will be terrific!!


the Bag Lady said...

Terrie - thanks!! Actually, I finished your bags yesterday, so may have to take them along to the sale...I can always make more for you. But if I get off my ass today...sometime...actually, right away. The dryer just shut off, so the fabric I washed is now ready to be dealt with.
And the last thing YOU need to worry about today is getting to the Post Office!! You have your Big Book Launch tonight! You don't need to worry about anything other than that. Hope you have a Blast!

Anonymous said...

I will go along with the "deep breath, take one thing at a time" advice.
Believe you have far to go to reach my level of procrastination - I am the champ!
Your bags are cute - but why do I keep reading it as "CATsmart bags"? hmmm....

the Bag Lady said...

Missicat - read it anyway you want! Thanks for saying they're cute (one could transport kittens in it, maybe...)

Dawn said...

"But somehow, once the house-lights go down and the spots come on, and the audience is a blur, AND she is in character, she doesn’t have nearly as much trouble as she does when she actually has to Be Herself."

That is the answer to your problem. I appreciate that as you know many of your customers that is going to be more difficult, but try to create a persona that can do just that. Don't try to be "you" pretending to be "super saleswoman" - no, no - you are actually a spy pretending to be "super saleswoman". These friends and neighbours know you as the sweet, but timid Bag Lady. But you're a spy pretending to be the sweet and timid Bag Lady!

Have I made any sense? Does Adrienne pop in here? She's an actress.

Good luck with it, anyway.

the Bag Lady said...

Dawn, I love your suggestion - a spy pretending to be a super-saleswoman!! I will do that, and be smiling all day just thinking about your suggestion. You and Leah must be on the same wave-length!
Oh, and guess what I'll be reading if it's really slow? Leah sent me your book, and I've already got it tucked into my bag! Just hope I don't get so wrapped up in it that I tell some poor, unsuspecting potential customer to buzz off!

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Just a quick pop in:

On his blog post of 10/31/ 07 at Travis Erwin has a link to his story the Simplest of Sounds which was recently published in Underground Voices. There is some elk hunting in it. Thought you might like to read it and see what it says to you.