porchy

4:10am

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I remembered tonight that I have this place to come and let my hair down. I have been very active on Facebook and have seen some of the members of WeHaveLupus.com there. I also have my online business on another site and it has been surpassing my wildest dreams lately. I have had orders coming faster than I can get the stuff packed and shipped. Which brings me here, where I can share without having a negative impact on my buyers who may also connect with me on Facebook.

I have been incredibly busy with orders....which involves so much work. Once I get an order I have to go down the stairs into the basement to find a suitable box, which can take awhile since they are all "broken down" and laying in stacks on shelves my hubby made for me. The cardboard is very heavy and when I lift them up to see if they are the right size, it stresses my muscles and joints. Once I have found a suitable box, I climb the basement stairs (very steep) as I grip the box with my arthritic fingers. Then I tape up the box and get it ready to fill. I choose either shipping peanuts, shipping air pillows or newsprint paper (on large heavy rolls) to pack the item with....but first I have to wrap the item(s) with bubble wrap. Once I get the item wrapped and packed, I need to weigh & measure the package, and enter the info into the computer and pre-pay for and print a shipping label. Once I affix the label, I am done until I take the package to the post office or UPS. I can give the package to the postman if I can catch him, otherwise I have to take it to the post office myself.

I have been packing and shipping items steadily for a couple weeks now, which has been great for my pocketbook and my self-esteem, but very hard on my body. Just tonight after whacking my hip on something as I went through a doorway earlier, my hips have been just killing me. Then when I was getting the humidifier cleaned and filled up to run....I had on the wrong kind of shoes (I have severe plantar fasciitis & tendinitis) and putting extra pressure on my feet, now my feet are screaming.

I don't want to complain and whine on Facebook, where alot of people are hearing about my Ruby Lane shop for the first time and hearing about my passion of selling antiques......I just feel like I need to keep a professional persona and a positive "face" on my page for potential customers. I do talk about my fibromyalgia and my chronic pain & fatigue on Facebook, I don't try to hide it that I have it but I am aware that some people may not want to buy from someone that has a chronic illness.

I have just been sitting here tonight, reading my book and putting Mobiflex on my feet and waiting......waiting for the shock of fresh pain to sink in and adapt my mind to it once again. Even after 25+ years, the shock of fresh pain, after a "remission" of a few weeks, always feels like an unexpected slap in the face.....a betrayal by my body......an abrupt end to my feeling "almost" normal. Once again I am reminded of who I really am and what I really have. Pain that will never, ever go away once and for all. Pain that will always return eventually. For that, I am never prepared.....even after all these years.

So rather than whine and complain, or sigh or moan and groan, I will do that here, on my little cyber spot, instead of where so many "normals" go.....I think it's best that they don't see my secret misery. I want my business to continue to be successful, and sometimes to be successful, you have to put on a "normal" face. There are too many people in the world that don't get it, and never will.....so I will give them my best smile and hope that they won't see how hard it is for me to pack and ship their item.....how much it costs me in extra pain and suffering just to ship their treasure to their door. Even though antiques are my passion, and selling antiques brings me such great joy, gratification and even a sense of self, a sense of who I am "without" the pain......it gets harder every year that goes by. I've sold antiques for nearly 14 years, and it will kill me when I have to quit. As long as I am physically able, with my dear hubby's help, I will do what I love to do. And I feel, to do it right, I have to show my best face, the face that smiles and laughs and is excited about her business.

I will still talk about my pain on Facebook, and share what I am experiencing......but if I need to really SPEW and rant........I will come here. I know here, I am safe.
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  1. SandyR's Avatar
    You know that song, "Put On A Happy Face"? Sometimes that's just what we have to do. Nothing wrong with coming here to rant, we all do it, and it's healthy to steam off sometimes too. Unfortunately, you are right, and some people have a negative pre-conceived notion of what chronic disease or pain should look like. I'm not saying it's all roses, but so often (in my experience) it is made out to be much much more negative than it really is. Too much fake sympathy and avoidance seems to go along with that for me. I understand, and respect your decision not to air your grievences on FB. I don't feel that is a safe place either and since I am always thinking about going back to teaching, I am always thinking about how I am perceived by a potential employer and don't want my business out there for anyone to see and to pre-judge me for. I agree that this site is a much safer place to share how we are feeling where we can let down our hair and just be ourselves. Everywhere else, I pretty much feel like I should just slap a smile on my face and not let them know how it really is for fear of frightening them away.

    I think you are doing a wonderful job with Ruby Lane, but I am sorry to hear that the thing you love most is causing you pain right now. One thing that might help you - if you are sending UPS, why not call the 1-800 # for them to schedule a time to come and pick up? Then you don't have to lift those heavy boxes more than needed. Another thing (that you most likely already do, but if not is a simple helper) - do you keep your boxes stacked and sorted by size from smallest to largest? If you always order the same dimension boxes to ship, write the dimension #'s down on the cubby holes and on some sort of inventory where your stock is and then you will be able to decide quicker which box to use with which item.

    Feel free to PM me if you want to SPEW and rant some more.
    Sandy
  2. porchy's Avatar
    Sandy, thank you so much for your response. I am glad you understand where I am coming from and appreciate your input. I have acquired alot of my cardboard boxes by dumpster diving in the "for cardboard only" dumpsters at businesses around town so many of my boxes are different sizes. I have tried to put them in some sort of order (largest to smallest) but for the most part I still have to dig around until I find what I am looking for. I will call UPS and find out about pick-up. Thanks again for responding!! xoxo