I’ve come to realize that my year and my feelings about work are incredibly predictable at this point.

My henna year gets its official kickoff in March, with the Henna Gathering conference.

All throughout March: Things are coming together! Final plans being made. A year’s worth of planning is finally feeling like it’ll come to fruition!

Week of the conference: Excitement! People are coming from everywhere to have fun and henna!!! YAY!! OMG this is stressful but YAY!

Day after the conference: This conference running thing is a lot of work, and I don’t even get to enjoy everyone’s company while they’re here!! Do I still want to run a conference?

One week after the conference: Yes, yes I do.

Apr-mid May: Yay I am so excited about the henna season starting! Time to put together design books! Let’s get that booth setup ready to go!

Late May through June: Okay, this is TOO MANY CALLS for gigs. I can’t answer the phone this much and write this many emails and have a life too. I need a personal assistant to do this stuff STAT. Oh wait, no I don’t, I just need to get used to using my time more efficiently, now that I need to.

June through September: Frantic crazy 80 hour work weeks. I can deal, though. Sorry folks, emails and phone calls are only guaranteed to get answered once a day – unless I am already working out of the house 8+ hours that day, in which case they’ll get answered tomorrow. And I *am* taking at least one day off a week (maybe two!) off completely from work so I can retain some sanity. I still love my clients, really I do, and I will get back to you soon about doing your henna.
Yes friends, I still love you too, and I’m sorry I don’t have time to hang out (except maybe like midweek sometimes?) and definitely am not up for doing extra fun henna stuff right now. Henna is fun and henna is work, but for this third of the year it is mostly WORK.

Sept through Oct: Wow, I can’t believe there are still henna jobs this late in the season! This is the PERFECT amount of work! Just enough to fill my time, not so much that I am answering a billion phone calls and emails for things I can’t do.

Nov-Dec: There’s finally time to do all the stuff I have been procrastinating about! Ebooks get published, galleries get updated, model and photo sessions get booked, art projects for my soul rather than to earn a living get done…

Jan: I’m bored!! And kind of depressed. Wait, it’s dumb to be depressed, as my life is super awesome. In a good year: find something fun to do as a distraction. In a bad year: stay in this funk most of the month.

Jan-Feb: Ugh, there are no jobs. I’m not depressed anymore, but I’m still BORED! Quite possibly I am feeling the pinch of not having saved enough over the course of the year, if I have been stupid. Maybe I should open a STORE! YEAH! a store or at least a studio would be a great idea! Let’s obsessively look at properties and try to make the math work! And brainstorm the newest twist I have come up with to make it have a chance of being profitable! Realize that I only need a store to keep me occupied Jan+Feb. Abandon idea until next year, when I am fully convinced that it is the answer to my problems yet again.

………..and repeat.

Note, Aug 26, 2015:
In 2013, I caved to the Jan-Feb boredom feeling, because I had saved up enough to do so, and because it was such a naggingly constant “what if” in my mind. I rented a studio space and tried to do private appointments and classes. I am pleased to report that I came to my senses after my 1 year lease was up, realized that what I said in this post is totally true, (that I only really “need” something like this in the slow months) and closed up the studio 🙂
I now fill the downtime in Jan + Feb with travel and visiting family and friends as much as possible. It’s much better for my soul. And I plan big projects (like gallery shows!) for November, when I know I’ll have the energy and motivation and excitement needed to do them well.

Note, June 9, 2021:

I have finally come up with a solution for the “OMG TOO MUCH TO DO! NEED PERSONAL ASSISTANT STAT!” feels of June. It is HoneyBook. HoneyBook is amazing. The only problem with HoneyBook is now I am booking an even HIGHER percentage of the inquiries that come my way, since it is good about nagging me to follow up with people. This is, I suppose, a good problem to have. If you use this link you will get a discount if you choose to give it a try. My #1 tip for it is to pay them the $9 or whatever for the first month so that you can email them all of your contracts/invoices/etc and make THEM do all the setup for you. It would take you quite some time to do this on your own from scratch….but for $9, it will take you no longer than it takes to locate (or draw up) your standard contract and invoice.

Also noted June 9, 2021:
The Henna Gathering ended 3-4 years ago. So now the excited-about-henna-again energy is reinvigorated at Spring Fling in late February.