Friday, November 3, 2006

I AM Happy... Really!

A few months ago, I was drowning. I began to seriously question my abilities as a cook, a manager…a human being. Today, four months into the challenge, I have regrouped somewhat. I realize now what I hadn’t the patience to figure out back then: that I had to learn the routine first, before I could fix it. I had to put in several hundred hours of "just doing it" before I could make it mine and take it to the next level. These days, I find myself alternately awash in the old doubts, and recognizing that these tiny baby steps I take each day really are moving me forward.

This morning, I sat in an inconspicuous place in the restaurant, watching it fill up with breakfasters and lingering morning coffee drinkers. The noise level rose, a cheerful sound to me, regardless of what any of the myriad conversations might actually have been about. I couldn’t stifle my smile…couldn’t help thinking, "What a nice, comfy, welcoming place to be, here on this nasty November Oregon morning. And it’s mine." It hardly bears believing.

So, lest you all think me ungrateful for this marvelous opportunity I have been given, lest you think I am such a hopelessly negative person that not even the fulfillment of this lifelong dream could make me happy… Just know that I am grateful. And happy. And desperately tired, and a trifle overmatched. Maybe not completely loving it yet…but definitely getting there.

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