It was a hard week last week. The stress of the weekend festival and sitting outside in the blowing winds really knocked me for a loop. Everything settled in my chest, of course, as a deep hacking cough. My body was sore, I had no appetite, my head was stuffy and I really couldn’t think clearly.
All I knew was that the vendor’s life was not for me.
And yet I felt an obligation to still participate in the Morro Bay Merchants Street Fair in August, since I’d already reserved a booth and told people I’d be there.
I felt that I should do it because it’s for a cause bigger than me. And couldn’t I, just once, think beyond my own comfort and needs?
I thought of people with jobs that are always this hard. Construction workers who haul heavy things all day long, nurses who work 12 hour shifts, lifting people twice their size, with no breaks for lunch or even the bathroom, and the road crews in Phoenix who stand outside in blazing hell heat, spreading hot tar on melting black asphalt, and roofers in attics when it’s 120 OUTSIDE… and farmers and crop pickers, and bakers who have to get up so early in the day to start the dough.
So why should I have it so easy?
But each time I envisioned setting up and taking down my booth for the one day event, my whole body reeled. And it wasn’t just the physical labor. It was some deeper knowing that, yes, more people would be at the fair, but was it really the best venue for the Prayer Flag Project?
But with the stuffiness in my head, I couldn’t tell what was the real truth. And the biggest surprise was how much I was torturing myself with it.
That’s when I got sick.
I called my dear friend Marika and cried and shared how I was really feeling. She supported my choice either way about doing the fair and suggested that I wait until I felt better to decide for sure.
But I knew, even in the haze of my head cold, that giving myself permission to cancel wasn’t enough. I had to decide and do it if I wanted to start feeling better.
So I emailed the organizer and cancelled my booth, even though I probably won’t get a refund.
Sure, I’m disappointed that I won’t experience the good stuff of the event: connecting with people, watching kids make their own flags, seeing people really feel the love of the project.
But I also know…I’ll find another way…
So I am not doing the street fair this weekend in Morro Bay. But I will attend as a spectator since it should be a fun afternoon outing.
As for the Prayer Flag Project, I am already making lists of who I can contact to co-create some special events that feature the project as a joint fundraising activity. Of course, I’ll keep you posted.