I loved working at Friday’s when I was eighteen years old. I really learned a lot about myself that year. I moved out of my parents’ house on a whim, my only major boyfriend left to go into the military, and I was utterly alone yet surrounded by lots of new people. It was a real test of character, and I didn’t do so hot most of the time. But, it was an experience that made me who I am today. I learned how to dress more appealing. I learned the definition of customer service. I learned how to take care of myself. It took a long, long time, but eventually I learned how to be happy with myself and that I am worthy of a happy, healthy relationship that wasn’t long distance. I learned what I wanted out of life, and not what I was told that I wanted. I really found myself.
One night at Friday’s I was shift leader. I worked with more seasoned servers, was the youngest person waiting tables and ready to tackle anything that came my way. I was unstoppable. Until that night. I had tables from hell, someone complained about my service, I continued to get double and triple sat and just couldn’t catch a break. The manager saw my utter frustration and let me go early, replacing me with not just another shift leader, but two shift leaders. They made leaving hellatious. I had to do extra cleaning than normal, had tables that sat and sat and sat and wouldn’t leave, and was bullied by these two much older (probably a whopping 25-30 years old) men. It was utter hell. I might as well had sucked it up and just finished my leader shift.
The past two weeks have reminded me of that night, minus the flair and free dinner. Everything that could go wrong has. I cried at inappropriate times. I lost my cool in a situation that I shouldn’t have. And, it wasn’t just one facet of my life, it has been my home, financial, family, work, you name it. Fortunately, my relationships stayed in tact, otherwise I am not sure that I’d be able to write at all. When I think, “this is it! It can only go up!”, nope- a new blow. But, unlike my night at Friday’s, I am not quitting. The bar closes at 2 AM and I am going to persevere until the last customer walks out the door and the last chair is put up on the table. I am going to earn my free dinner, and the chance to boss everyone else into doing their side work. I am going to show life that it takes more than a complaint, triple seating and bullying to get me down. I may cry and complain to my close friends, but I will keep on keeping on.
It is almost 2AM and I see the end in sight. We have new opportunities coming our way. I am the new Environmental Board Chairperson for my daughter’s PTA, I have new amazing friends, Jeff and I each have professional opportunities and he and I become a stronger team every day. That is my focus. My children do something hilarious every day. We can laugh. We can snuggle. We can at least enjoy each other every evening.
I watch my tween meltdown and she thinks everything is the end of the world. Not being eleven anymore is enough to be thankful for! Man, that is a hard age. I am thankful that it is almost 2AM and tomorrow is a new day. Even if something bad happens, it really can only go up and it can also be a whole lot worse. I have so much for which to be thankful. I am glad I started my Happiness Project or I would have completely derailed. It is almost 2AM and tomorrow is my day off where I can sleep all day. That is how I recovered when I was eighteen. Now, I get up and have a cup of coffee and watch the news knowing that I am going to have a full day filled with hilarious moments. Even on our worst day at this house, there is something funny and memorable. That alone is worth it.
Daily Prayer: Thank you God for being with me. Forgive my whining and thank you for opening my eyes to the bigger picture. You strengthen me through these exercises and for that I am thankful (if not at the moment, I will be soon). Please stay at the forefront of my mind and guide me down your path and not my path of whining and giving up. AMEN!
Thanksgiving: If I didn’t duplicate Pollo Regio’s green sauce, I made some killer green sauce that I may just drink.
Kardashian Kash: A full family tropical vacation sounds pretty good, right now.
Happiness Project: I have been wheat free for a full month! I have been getting up with the alarm for the most part, pretty consistent with full hair and makeup, doing my stuff at night, and staying on the small things. These past two weeks have been a good excuse to not do it, but although I wasn’t perfect or ideal, I did okay. That is better than I would have been in the past. Go me. I am thankful for the Happiness Project. I would be in a dark, dark place without it.
Making Whoopie Flavor of the Day: Lady bugs! Red velvet cupcakes with chocolate cream cheese frosting and Twizzler antenna. http://www.makingwhoopieplano.com