My life is spinning past me. I am not morose or depressed or even anxiety ridden (at the moment) but I can still see it spiralling past, not slowing, as moments come and go like birds overhead in a clear blue sky.
I am supposed to be writing a Hot Wire Recipe Bible right now. That was the reason I left the sanctuary of my garden this morning, poured myself another strong coffee and turned the computer on. I am supposed to be documenting all of our recipes onto paper then laminating them into a permanent state. I am supposed to be doing all of this because soon we will have more than one employee and they will need a reference sheet to bake from.
This idea should give me joy. I should be elated from the mere thought that it will not be just Jamie and me “doing it all”. And I am. I can nearly feel my body relaxing, my muscles releasing the pent up tension of the past two years.
I shouldn’t get ahead of myself though. The time has not come yet to hire. First we must open this second location, put the time in to get it running smoothly. First we must, once again, run ourselves ragged for the sake of the business.
It sounds horrible when I put it like that. I sound ungrateful and bitter. I sound angry. I know this, but I do not mean it that way. Maybe there are moments of bitterness. Moments where I am hunched over a bathroom sink eyes bloodshot, red-rimmed and exhausted wondering why we got ourselves into this. Maybe there are moments when it is too straining on mine and Jamie’s marriage or moments when I worry we are not enough for our kids. And really, there is no maybe—these moments are all for certain. But these moments are not very different from the bad times before the shop either. I think difficulties arise everywhere, anywhere. And when we boil it down to the basics, the good, the rewards of the now outweigh the difficulties. I don’t need to be a math genius to see that.
The real thing that weighs on me as our life begins to morph into something unrecognisable is how it will never be the same again. Jamie and I will never work together again. Not on the floor at least. For two and a half years we’ve worked side by side, and we are a good team. We are a strong team. We can read each other’s minds when the shop is packed with people and tensions are running high. We ground each other. We possess the same work ethic and drive. Our ambition for the future matches one another. We know how to nudge the other forward when energies are running low.
So now, as our world changes and events begin to slide by us, these ever-moving logs on a rapid current, I wonder how our dynamic will keep up. I wonder how we will keep up.
He will be at the main location, training staff and working lunch hours while I will be at the new cafe, growing it into something we can call our own.
We are bold in our objectives and as we grow our business these goals become bigger, better and more attainable. It is our desire to learn more and be more but I have to wonder, at what cost does this ambition come?
Could it have been enough to leave our little sandwich shop as is and just get by with what we have? I don’t know if you realise but sandwiches aren’t the most lucrative business. Could it have been enough to live paycheck to paycheck, throwing away our desire for more knowledge, bigger dreams—to remain on the “easy” path of which we understand and know?
Jamie often says that from the beginning of his career all of his best chefs would persistently remind him that success comes to those who possess “busy hands”. If your hands are busy, you have the intention to do. You have the drive to earn your money well. You have integrity in the work you do. You are not looking for a free ride. And maybe it is this thought process which has brought us to where we are. We do have busy hands, and it is our busy hands that have helped create our success. It is our busy hands that have brought growth and change into our lives. And it is our busy hands that will continue to move us towards our goals. And every day we work with these busy hands, we teach our children why a strong work ethic is so important.
Most of the time I am proud of this. I am proud of the role models we are for Lars and Sophie. I am proud of how we came to be where we are. I am proud of the elbow grease and the countless late nights and early mornings logged into our business.
But sometimes I must remind myself that it is okay to stop. It is acceptable to put the recipe book/paperwork/goal charts aside if only for a moment and write a blog post about my fears and hopes and my “right now” life.
Sometimes it is necessary, or even essential, to live in this exact moment and take the time to appreciate how far you’ve come.