A Wandering Mind

When I was 19, I worked on a yard crew for a millwork company called Ingersoll. I loved that job; it was one of my favorites.  Even though I was spent at the end of the day, I was rarely emotionally fatigued. 

(Except the day I fell into a window well. That day was trying.) 

I loved mowing lawns and laying grass seed and planting flower bulbs.  My body was in the dirt and my mind was in the clouds.  I was making up songs or thinking about something I'd read or even eerily meditating on death. 

Grim, but also grounding.   I was getting paid, and I was doing something that left me feeling at peace at the end of the day.  My time was spent in a way that felt energizing. 

Fast forward 20 years.  My restaurant has never been busier, and it's taking a toll on my staff. They work hard, and they have to be "on" mentally for 40 hours a week. They're getting burned out. 

And I can't let it happen. So I spent my day with my team, discussing ways to prevent it.  We pitched a lot of ideas, including the idea of working less.  But in the middle of brainstorming with them, I got to thinking about that yard crew gig and had a revelation. 

They don't need to work less.  They need their minds to be "off" for more hours of the week. 

Reader, a wandering mind is a wonderful thing.  And while I still don't have an answer for my team, I know that they need more time for their minds to take a hike.  I forget sometimes how much peace can come from it.  If you're also finding yourself mentally fatigued, maybe it's time we all think about ways not to be thinking so hard all the time. 

I leave you with a picture of my bartender, Kalee.  On a day when we had time for our minds to run free, we came up with the idea to run weekly drink specials, the proceeds of which will go to Ukrainian refugees. I keep imagining how many more impactful ideas we could come up with if we weren't so mired in our day-to-day thoughts. 

All this to say: make time for day-dreaming, and I'll see you next Monday. -Em

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