It was one thing to lead a reckless life when I was on my own.
I used to take off on a solo concert tour and sleep in my car every night. I'd eat bar olives for dinner and drink a scotch for dessert. I would write songs on a ukulele while I was driving and then use tour money to make albums that few people would buy.
(Ah the good old days).
But it's another thing to lead a reckless life surrounded by a team. The risks I took alone only impacted me. But now as a mother, a wife, and the de facto leader of a 21 person restaurant crew, any crazy choices I make will either elevate or incriminate all of the people around me.
Those poor, wonderful fools.
As the year comes to an end, I can't help but feel grateful for the humans in my life. At the restaurant, I have asked a lot of our team. In June, I asked them to show up in our woods to build 6 harvest tables and an outdoor pavilion. And they grabbed their hammers. In October, I asked them to stop everything they were hired to do and instead help me construct an indoor market. And they built the sweetest little store I've seen. This past weekend, I asked them to bundle up and serve our customers outside in the bitter cold. And they looked like beautiful eskimos out there, delivering martinis.
Then there's my family. This fall, I asked my kids to spend their precious Sundays filming a kid's cooking class for other children. And they rolled up their sleeves and were spectacular little bakers (most days). This winter, I asked my mother to turn her house into a warehouse for jars, boxes, and labels for the market. And she is now living in what looks like a bottle factory. This past weekend, I asked my husband to help me put together an event for kids. And he went above and beyond, dressing up as Kristoff, the Nordic Disney prince.
At any point, these people could've said no. Maybe they even should've said no. Instead, they followed me into the fire, and now that we're on the other side--a bit burned and only a little worse for wear--I can say that having them by my side made me work harder than I've ever worked in my life. I would've done anything not to let them down. They gave me their best, so I gave them my best. That intense respect and commitment to each other is absolutely priceless. It makes the risks riskier, but it also makes the successes so much more sweet.
Reader, I may not blog next week; I'm hosting an outdoor holiday "party" (distanced of course) for my staff. We've all been through so much this year. If you're lucky enough to have had friends or colleagues by your side through it all, cherish them. It takes a really special person to stand by us through all of our insane struggles and bizarre solutions to them. I know I cherish mine.
See you next Monday. -Em