Today we split to cover two farmer's markets. The Mister went to our regular one and I went to the one that Shelly and I started with in the spring. Shelly had a conflict and asked if I would like to set up there to help maintain a presence in her booth. I was delighted because I had really enjoyed my four weeks as a new vendor at this market.
I loved the first market I went to with Shelly. Maybe it was being with her; I don't know, but it was fun and I did fairly well. So, I wasn't too concerned about going today. Until I got there.
This sort of sums up how I feel about the morning:
Why are we Masters of our Fate, the captains of our souls? Because we have the power to control our thoughts, our attitudes. That is why many people live in the withering negative world. That is why many people live in the Positive Faith world. -- Alfred A. Montapert
Now, granted it was raining. And, granted there are some issues with folks buying produce at teh grocery store (for crying out loud!) and reselling it. And, there are some management problems. But here is what really struck me. No energy. No one seemed really happy to be there. No one spoke to another vendor willingly. No one laughed, except when talking to a customer or two. It was stifling!
This contrasted so strongly with my previous experience that I was astounded! How did this happen? When? Why? Then I realized. It is just like a class. One toxic person can infect a whole class if the instructor isn't careful. So it was at this market. Daggers shot back and forth between two of the vendors in a struggle over local grown and resale. The aisle was icy. I shivered and wished for noon.
I was so relieved when the Mister and I chatted at 10 a.m. and he was sold out and needed reinforcements. I wasn't selling much of anything, so I packed up, said my good-byes and fairly flew to the other market. We were sold out, except for four potatoes and one squash before noon.
All afternoon I have pondered the attitude and energy questions. How often do we allow one person to set the tone for a whole group? How do we combat that kind of stress, that kind of negativity? What kind of power are we giving up when we allow one ill hornet set our feeling for the day?
The first market I attended today has a lot going for it, but it is apparent that unless there are some changes that the market will be plagued with tension and slow growth. As for me, I am grateful to share my Saturday mornings with a group of like-minded, hard-working folks. We like and help each other. And our friendships show in the growth and success in the market.