So, I’m working on building my empire. On crap days (which are currently more than the “good” days) I finish that sentiment a la Ani Difranco, “out of car tires and chicken wire/I’m queen of my own compost heap/ I’m getting used to the smell”. As we discussed ad nauseum, accepting this year is going to suck is one thing, living it is another.
I’m depressed. There. I said it. It feels better every time I say it. My mom says it’s because I have too much going on and I think she’s right. But I also feel if I were doing this “right”, I’d feel awesome and this depression is a failing on my part in some way. Because . . .that’s the kind of positive self talk I excel at frankly.
So we’ve established that when trying to build an empire from scratch, depression is inevitable. For me it’s because none of my coworkers can talk yet and crafting (besides the selling) and writing aren’t really known as team activities. All your “usual” self care is probably super sucktastic right now. You feel like you’re accomplishing nothing besides possibly becoming agoraphobic. If your mate is trying to build his/her/zir own empire too, congrats! You can add irritating the shit out of each other too to the list. And with Mercury in retrograde among other treats, everyone you know is likely acting like a self absorbed psycho like yourself even if they’re not magical.
What to do?
1. Subscribe to Marie Claire if you are female identified. It’s awesome. It’s the first mag in forever (since Sassy 1.0) to have interesting fashion, cheap buys, talk about relationships (including queer id’ed) in a realistic manner as well as serious women’s issues and women kicking ass and taking names. I felt really revitalized after reading it, like I could take over the world again. At the very least like I could buy a few freaking velcro hair curlers ($4) and see what happens. I would have never known this if Jow hadn’t bought it for me on a whim.
2. Start an evening beauty regime (all genders, we all have skin and teeth). First off, it calms your ass down. I don’t know why but it does. Evening beauty regime should include: washing your face (I use CVS brand cucumber wipes because I’m lazy), moisturizing your face (I use moisture surge by Clinique) and eye cream (I use Murad eye cream because I have a sample of it), brushing your teeth and moisturizing your hands and feet. It takes five minutes and I may have discovered this regime at 2a pawing through my makeup bag of samples while completely intoxicated and reading a French aspirational book but whatev. It’s worth it for the smug feeling of accomplishment alone.
3. Patronize local business. Stay with me. You probably need goods for your empire. I know I do. And I could buy some online or even at the grocery store, but that’s not keeping my local Pagan brick and mortar in business. And if I want them to stay in business, I need to do the work. So I buy shit from them. Not everything, but some things. Yet another coffee house just closed by me taking the tally down from three semi-locally to two. When I go to shop at Trader Joe’s, I also get something at the local coffee shop because I like them and want them to stay in business. Part of building your empire is keeping other tiny empires that you appreciate afloat too imo.
4. Japa. It calms your brain down like whoa before bed and Shiva seems especially inclined to grant petty favors (pleeeeeeeeeeeease help me have a good attitude tomorrow, please help the baby take a long nap, etc). All you need is a set of prayer beads with 108 beads and the correct pronunciation of “Om Namah Shivaya”.
5. Diversify. I’m sort of working on two empires with some overlap at once. My crafting business and my Pagan business. With my crafting business, I’m keeping up an Etsy presence and also making sure I’m trying different kinds of craft friendly events to see where I’m making the most money. My portfolio for the summer will include shows that are fiber arts only, farmer’s markets, standard craft shows and indie craft shows. This will help me see where I’m successful and will also help me figure out where my wares don’t sell so I can map out my “bunny trail” for next season even better. Next year will be year three so that’s the real “make it or break it” year. This year I’m focusing on buying my materials in bulk. Next year I’ll focus on buying machinery and more equipment to make my process faster and easier. With my Pagan focused business, I’m focused on keeping up my blog presence as well as my presence on WitchVox and Witches & Pagans. I’m working on running my first class and making tangible goods as well. I’m going to set up a pre-release book sale date so I am forced to sit down and write it.
6. Glad Game. I started doing “the glad game” a la Pollyanna with my circle of friends when we were 21. Picking out three things a day you’re happy about keeps you from falling into a giant depression instead of a minor one. I do it on my Twitter with the hashtag #gladgame.
7. Accept Failure. I have not been going to the gym as much as I want. I’m keeping track of my calories though. Sometimes you can’t win at everything so figure out what you can win at.
Bon chance, darlings. You’re gonna need it.