Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Grace Under Pressure

I've always believed that I respond well when put under pressure. That belief has certainly been put to the test during the last few weeks.

Here's a snapshot of our life right now:

- The business (restaurant) in Texas has required two impromptu trips to deal with management/staffing
- We are wrapping up a house we are renovating/flipping
- Got a call from our adoption agency couple weeks back that we will be traveling to Taiwan a month earlier than we thought to pick up Ehren
- Doing our best to get Ehrens's room put together and acquire requisite baby paraphernalia (see previous item)
- My dad's house in Texas closed- requiring coordination of estate sale, etc.

Here's the question of the week- How do you respond when you're unexpectedly forced into a completely new setting, new circumstances, new people and everyone Is looking to you for answers, solutions....leadership? Or to put a finer point on it, it's Sunday morning, there's a diner full of customers, you're kitchen staff just lost four people in the past few days(including your head cook), one of the remaining cooks called in "sick", the city's flooding from 9 inches of rain and a roof leak just collapsed the ceiling over a table.

What to do? About the time the ceiling collapsed on a customer's table, I had to laugh. It was either that or break down crying, and noone wants to see a grown man weep while trying to enjoy a western omelette.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Back in My Prime

I used to be amazing at birthdays. I was raised in a family where birthdays were a big deal and gift giving was modeled well. So in turn I would always do a great job loving on the people who are important to me on their birthday. And if you ever told me you never had a party or birthdays were never a big deal - Watch Out!

When Joshua turned 18 I set up a small gift everyday for 18 days leading up to his birthday. Then on his birthday I got someone to cover his shift without his knowledge and surprised him by being at his house when he got home from work.

I had a roommate in college who was lucky enough to have her birthday at the beginning of the year that we lived together (because by the end I wouldn't have gotten her a card). I had a random student show up and drive her on a scavenger hunt that ended with a surprise party at Chuck-E-Cheese where she said she had always wanted to have a party as a child.

I was the person who listened to what people said all year waiting to hear the perfect "I wish I had..." so that it was waiting for them on their birthday. I set the bar high for birthdays.

Recently I had a friend mention that she was doing a birthday surprise for her husband that would make me proud and I realized: I haven't done birthdays justice in years. Joshua and I have made a decision to basically skip gift giving at birthdays and Christmas to each other and I'm starting to think that decision may not be the best. I miss giving surprises and pulling off the impossible and the look on the other person's face when it is just what they wanted. I'm not sure how I'm going to revive this talent but I'll have the skill back up and running before Ehren knows any different.