You know what popped into my mind the other day as I was falling asleep?
"Creativity, to me, is like a ball of twine...unless I am wound up tight, there is nothing to pull out of me."
Yep, I could literally see myself as a ball of twine right now.
And I had to pop that down on my iPhone notes before I forgot it because I felt pretty happy with that analogy. Most of the cool stuff I think about is just as I fall asleep, and I have learned not to count on remembering it without writing it down.
I wish I could write everyday, I wish I could plan my writing, I wish I knew where I was going with it when I want to write...but the thing is...unless I am truly feeling miserable or emotionally wound up, I don't feel like writing.
Creating dishes comes easier to me than writing. Its more tangible, I guess, its more...multi-sensory.
Like, here is a mystery box full of vegetables, grains and pulses, create!
I would love that kind of day!
Often Mondays are like that for me, although it can sometimes feel like this mad rush rather than a joyful adventure.
Mondays are super hectic for me, well, for all of us, because its a mad race to the opening time where we are having to stock the entire menu because we are all out of everything due to being closed on Sunday.
Monday is also the start back to the lunchbox deliveries for the week, running Monday to Friday, we deliver lunches to a select handful of eager desk bound plant eaters in the Central business district.
Generally on Sunday I do everything I can to not think about Monday, but as Sunday evening rolls around I get that same feeling of melancholy mixed with anxiety that I remember having when I was a kid and the Sunday evening cartoons began to play on the television. As I'd sit there watching the Disney Afternoon, I'd feel that sinking feeling in my gut because I knew my weekend was over and tomorrow was the start of another week where demands would be placed on me, tasks would need completing and sleep would become a timed must vs something that eventually rolled into my consciousness after hours of play and fun.
One day just isn't enough time off to rest. And yet, I keep reminding myself, I am doing something I genuinely do enjoy doing, I just wish it were easier, or that I had more hours in a day.
People for the most part don't know how a restaurant is run.
Like for instance, if we say we close at 8pm, and last order is at 7:40pm, that means that we hope to get out of the shop by 8:30pm ourselves, if we are lucky. Opening tasks in a restaurant are a whole different number of tasks than closing tasks, and generally, closing tasks are more time consuming.
Here is how "Opening" goes:
Roll in, turn on all the lights except the ones that make people think you are open for business!
Switch all the equipment you will use on, then dive into filling up filter water jugs, cutting, dicing, roasting, simmering...that basically goes on for hours until opening hours roll in.
I get to work anywhere between 5am and 7am, depending on what needs to be done. On Mondays, always an early start.
Lunch often kicks off anywhere after 11am...and ends somewhere around 4pm. We take a moment to eat our own late lunches before getting into further prep for the evening shift and the day to come.
Then you roll into dinner, and hope to get out at a reasonable hour.
All this depends on the closing time, the closing tasks to complete, and the customers.
Closing involves clearing all the dishes and cutlery, washing, wiping, sweeping all floors, cleaning all floors, scrubbing down the kitchen, scrubbing down the stove, oven, grill, pretty much anything that has been used. Stacking stuff away into fridges, and generally ensuring there is nothing left out that could attract pests. Basically the whole place has to be degreased, mopped, toilets cleaned, bins cleared, recyclables sent to recycle...its a lot that needs doing, including cashing out the till. Its not as simple as "closing time means closed and everyone goes home" it takes an hour plus if there is still stuff undone, sometimes it can take 2 hours.
If one receipt is rung up wrong, it can eat into that time as you try to find it in the fray.
I never knew how to do any of these things until I opened this restaurant. It was people I hired who taught me how to, and its taken me time to come to terms with the sheer grit it takes to keep a restaurant running smoothly. Sometimes I get impatient with folks who don't get it, and I have to remind myself, I used to be one of those guys.
Its been a learning experience, all of it. Understanding time management, understanding myself and being patient with myself so that I may be patient with others in turn.
I can only hope that by the time I get to the 3 year mark I will be able to look back on this here midway point and marvel at how much I have learned and how immensely my knowledge has grown. If this is how I feel about everything now, how will I feel in another year and a half?
Even more calm and confident, I hope.
I am finally meditating daily and practicing yoga, thanks to the gentle nudges of a few yoga teachers who happen to be regular customers. Its tough to find the time, and I can tell you, I am fighting the urge to make excuses, practically on a minute by minute basis.
I figure if I can just commit to a daily practice from Monday to Friday, that would be a good start. I managed 2 days last week at a yoga studio...and today I practiced at home. So if I can get in the yoga habit, I am certain I can find that balance between that feeling of being wound up tight like a ball of twine vs feeling flat like a day old soda.
Its a toughie, coping with feeling low when you have no time to take a break and lick your wounds, so to speak. I sometimes think about having something like a support group for others who feel the way I sometimes feel...and then I worry that maybe I won't be able to take on one more thing on top of everything I am already taking on. I get a lot of joy out of helping others, and yet, sometimes I fail to help myself. I neglect to pay attention to my inner voice as it begs me to slow down and just breathe.
So I guess, one step at a time.
Yoga, meditation (that I was already doing, months now) and working on getting adequate sleep (which is a challenge I am slowly inching towards).
The one biggest challenge I have set myself is to try to spend more time with my kids in the evening. I feel like I am missing out on so much of their lives by heading to work early and coming home late...and I feel guilty when I am away from them but I feel guilty when I am not at work too.
I guess I need to work on somehow forgiving myself for not being everything to everyone and everywhere at once.
These last few months have not been the best, and its no wonder that I am anxious when everyone in my industry is anxious. The average person on the street is walking around with so much on their minds, a fog of unsettling emotions.
I guess, much like everything in life, it will pass...its just a matter of when, and until then, I guess its just a matter of grit and tenacity.
That much I can guarantee I have in spadefuls.
My name's Lisa. I love to cook, I love to laugh, I love to write. I don't always believe I have the time for creating, and now I am going to work on simply going with the flow, with the food, the restaurant, the writing...and if I can, for one moment, spread a little joy along the way, well, its worth the effort.