My sister has taught first grade and kindergarten for over 17 years. Her experience working with young people and her thoughtful demeanor combined have made her somewhat of a Zen master when it comes to spontaneous meltdowns in people of all ages. When faced with the question that plagues many of us on particular days, “why is this so hard?” she replies—always with great, genuine empathy mind you— “sometimes it’s just like that.”

This statement is immensely unsatisfying and yet every time it is also inexplicably comforting. Those words give me something to lean into on the tough days. The days when you arrive at your business to a broken window, you realize that you forgot to pick up the baguettes, you feel like you’re moving through quicksand, or maybe everyone you encounter just seems to be on the opposing team….These are the days where it rarely does you too much good to try and figure out why and yet that is generally what we do anyway.

When I can extricate myself from the “why” inquiry, every once in a while I feel buoyed enough by my accepting sentiment to do a little something one of my dearest friends calls “finding the fun button”*. Finding the fun button almost always starts with publically admitting that I’m having trouble finding the fun button. This public admission usually leads to laughter and that immediately loosens things up. From that point of confessional liberation I can start to feel playful again and search for some small thing I can do to remind myself of something I love in my life. Anything really.

Yesterday afternoon- faced with a pokey happy hour and all kinds of businessy tasks that I didn’t know how to do I let go of the idea of fixing anything that seemed broken and sat down at my sewing machine (which I had brought down to the winery days earlier) and made wine sleeves out of old scraps of fabric that had been kicking around my basement for years. Thirty minutes of relatively pointless play and I was freakishly renewed.

A side “benefit” of this afternoon of industrious fun-finding is that I now have about 15 wine sleeves to share with anyone who buys a bottle of wine from us in the near future. They really ride that line between kitschy and outright tacky and I am the first to admit that I have no perspective on the matter because they served their purpose for me already. If you are looking for a reason to come pick one up- I will just remind you that Mother’s Day is Sunday and Clay Pigeon’s 2011 Pinot Noir Release Party is a week from Saturday (May 18th)- two great occasions to buy bottles for and why not dress them up in a tacky sleeve– just for fun.

*A brief aside. I know- I do have brilliant friends and family- they are filled with insightful zingers like these and this is precisely why I love words and language like I do.