Regular visitors to the shop will know two things – Firstly that we are a small craft bonsai business and secondly that we’re open at weekends and bank holidays. This is entirely our choice. While I’m not expecting sympathy, do think about those lovely, sunny days in the summer, in the back garden. Possibly this will contain a BBQ, perhaps with a beer or Sunday lunch at the pub. When we started our little bonsai business years ago, I don’t think myself or Jude really had any idea how it would play-out. What I can tell you is that doing bonsai full-time has to be seen as a lifestyle choice. It’s harder work that some people imagine and getting true time off in far from easy.
So, we have a break in winter. Most of January off. This is absolutely necessary for the preservation of mental health. People often say that we’ve got a great job. True, we probably do in lots of ways. However, even level-headed people can grow to resent their occupation without time-off, even if they have great affection for their work. It’s the same for bonsai growers.
I remember seeing the big stands of bonsai trees at the flower shows when I was a child. My parents used to exhibit on the show circuit, with me tagging along, gazing at the mighty stands of specimen bonsai trees. So often, these stands would be accompanied by the most miserable looking bloke manning the stand. I used to think “hey, you’ve got a great job, why aren’t you smiling?”
I think to comes down to overly-fixating on work. I’ve just had a quick look at what burnout is.
and I can see a number of parallels. Worryingly so. The irony of course being that for so many people, bonsai is a release, a break and absolutely the opposite of what I’m describing here.
I guess what I’ve trying to do is justify having the best part of a month off to you (and to me for that matter). Bonsai selling is remarkably competitive, so having the nerve to shop the shop and website for a while isn’t easy. The first time we did it, I was terrified. Now I see that its absolutely necessary.
So, we’ll be opening up again in a couple of days. Thanks to those who have waited to place orders and apologies to anyone who tried to order but was unable to. God willing we’ll be opening now for eleven straight months. Enjoy those bank holidays for me please and don’t take time off for granted, it is a rare and beautiful thing.