I recently patroned a new coffee/breakfast/lunch place in town. The new business is located in what previously housed an old-school video rental business – yes, those still exist, or at least existed, in Maine. The previous business was closed about 2 years ago when the owner fell ill and subsequently passed away. The previous owner was a longtime resident and known and beloved by many, so, when it was announced that the property had been sold, there was some dread. However, when the news broke that not only was the new owner going to keep the building as is to preserve the local flair but was going to open a food spot – we are woefully lacking in the town – I think you could literally hear cheering from all the living rooms in town. There was some serious slanting of the building and it obviously wasn’t up to code to house a kitchen let alone the brick oven the new owner promised. We all knew some remodeling was necessary but turns out even more was needed than originally anticipated so here we are almost 2 years later and it just opened before the Christmas holiday. It probably goes without saying but there was SERIOUS pent-up demand and some HUGE expectations for the place.
How did my first visit go? Bagel = AMAZING – we’re talking probably the best I’ve ever had. Coffee = really impressed and surprised I could taste the difference it was so good. Renovation and interior design = really well done and visually inviting. Energy = waaa waaa total let down. The owner had written an article in our local paper where she admitted feeling a little off in her energy and honestly you could tell when you walked in. She got angry with customers, was nasty to her employees, and it took 30 minutes for me to get a bagel with butter. I’ve chocked it up to first days/weeks jitters and hope that she finds her groove and can relax in her new role as not only owner/chef but face of her business. I’m still rooting for the place and have visited a couple more times since which were better but still room for improvement.
This whole experience weirdly gave me perspective on my goals for 2017. The owner of this new place checked all the boxes yet something was still missing and it tainted all the boxes she had quite exquisitely checked. I’d also set some REALLY high expectations for this place that were totally self imposed and unrealistic. This place couldn’t solve all my breakfast/coffee problems….or at least not in the first 48 hours opening. I had some loftly goals for my post-baby return but I’ve decided to adjust. I’ve realized that I could train like a crazy person and check all the boxes but my “experience” could still be “waaa waaa”….total let down.
- I will….Do the best I can
- I will…Run with friends and those that contribute POSITIVE energy to my experience
- I will NOT…Set expectations for my performance that would otherwise limit the effort I put in or diminish my pride in the effort I was able to exert
- I will NOT…Let others qualify my performance i.e. “you’re doing great for having just come back from giving birth”. I did GREAT for having done great GOSH DARN IT!
- I will….Stop. Be in the moment. Be grateful for what the moment has given me.