This week--amidst Biden's victory and bizarre weather from El Niña and more coronavirus explosions in Northern Illinois--my little brunch pub opened an indoor market to make ends meet.
(As one does, in 2020.)
So we built life-size versions of our favorite holiday decorations. We brought in coolers and freezers to display pre-packaged products like soups and sauces. We built a lot of shelving, and we set up 2 model trains and even a couple fog machines for effect.
In short, we leaned into our strengths: building things and getting whimsical.
And as fun as it was, when it all came together, I got nervous.
The voices in my head were running amok. Why am I doing all of this? Why can't I just figure out how to build a better on-line ordering system like a professional? Do I honestly think this is the best way to save my business & my staff? The voices continued. They got louder. By the time customers started arriving on Thursday, they were deafening. I found myself apologizing to patrons like an insecure dummy for what I had done, wishing I wasn't always trying to make things magical to fix real-life problems.
And then after about at hour of opening the market--with the negative voices still crystal clear in my mind--my 5 year-old son came running into the restaurant, dressed in his usual Spiderman attire: Spidey sweatshirt, Spidey socks, Spidey t-shirt. He unapologetically ran through the crowd, joyfully pretending to shoot everyone w/ spiderwebs from his wrists.
That's when it hit me: we have to embrace our superpowers.
We all have strengths, and they're not the same as anyone else's. Why do we push back against our own gifts? My gift is in building whimsy, not creating a professional on-line order system. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with either talent, just because they don't look the same as each other.
Which is why we have so many superheroes.
Reader if you too feel anxiety as you compare yourself to others, don't forget to revel in what you have that makes you unique. When times get tough, let's celebrate our strengths and use them to our advantage. No sense turning our backs on what we've been given, especially these days.
With that, this whimsical woman is off to read her kids a bedtime story. I'll see you next Monday. -Em