This post has been on the making for at least four years. The transition from food blogging as a hobby to food business owner happened in a very controlled way. I opened an online shop while still working my regular full-time paid job. The first 4 years were a lot of fun, full of learning and mistakes. Although we were aiming to be super professional, It felt like a 'nixer'. I still had a full back up by not giving up the day job. I was putting 100% of my free time: every early morning, most lunch hours, all my evenings and weekends all to the business but there was no real pressure to perform as I wasn't depending on it to feed me or to pay the bills. The business grew and flourished in those four years while I slowly entertained the idea of going at it full time.
Then, Picado happened almost overnight. We went from having a great time managing an online business from home on a part-time basis, to giving up my full-time job, getting premises, fitting out a shop and a cooking school, renting warehouse space, signing contracts, putting personal guarantees and committing financial resources and time to a dream of mine with no safety net. It was super scary as we did it all in the midst of the worse recession my generation had seen in this island. It was a pretty ballsy move. Despite all these scary things, it was like all my dreams were coming true at once. I was going to make a living from my love of food; my passion for Mexican food and the pride for my heritage was going to finally pay off. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world.
Fast-forward to Stephens' Day, December 2018. I'm sitting in a hospital cubicle with an oxygen mask on my face and having serious breathing difficulties. If I'm honest, I knew I was in trouble since September. I've had pneumonia during the summer and I never stopped working. I had slowed down a little, but never fully stopped to recover. I just simply couldn't. So when we closed the shop on Christmas Eve and I finally relaxed, my body just felt apart. My right lung was in trouble, I was utterly exhausted and I was catering for one of my dearest friend's wedding on the 29th of December. I took the drugs, I slept and rested as much as I could, I cancelled all plans I had, except the wedding, coz, how do you make that phone call? - The year had been utterly awful in so many ways: we had a cancer diagnosis and a brain tumour in two close members of the family and I had pneumonia twice in one year.
As I welcomed the new year with a two A4 page prescription and a hospital stay, I had to face the fact that I've been burning the candle every possible way for quite a few years. This has forced me to re-think what I do, how I do it and what I devote the energy I have to. 2019, for me, will be the year of my happiness-wellness project. It will be about doing those things that bring me joy and look at how I spend my time. Social media is a huge part of what I do, but having two sets of each, one for the blog, one for Picado has meant double the work and double the time I spend on it. Having pretty much abandoned this blog, an outlet that gives me endless joy, in pursue of business focused strategies, had left a huge hole in my creative life. I love writing and I miss it. Yes, the business side of things is important, I need it, but I also need to rekindle the joy of just doing something I love whether it is profitable or not. So we have made a few decisions. I'm tidying up my social media presence. The business accounts have priority, so I'm eliminating all others. I will still share some personal stuff in the business account, just not as much as I do in my regular accounts. I'm rekindling the blog. I'm taking me time and I'm learning to relax and not feel guilty for taking time off. It's about me. It's about my health and the longevity of what I do.
So let me finish this by wishing you a...
Balanced, Sustainable and Happy 2019!!!