Free Fallin’

I love me some Tom Petty, and that song is a classic. It’s also how things feel around here these days. Not just me, really, but a lot of people I know are going through some stuff. Break-ups, make ups, and all things in between. The universe is swirling something fierce right now. I have been in some deep thought about it all, and while not every bad thing is actually really bad, it starts as bad news. But the wind can change direction, and the bad things can turn themselves into something good.

Having a long term relationship, that is something I know so very little about, romantically speaking. But I have a lot of friends and family that do know, so I watch them for clues as to how that works. The thing is, it is a lot of work. Two people making a run at happiness takes both of them being invested. Lots of them start out that way, and somewhere along the way someone gets off course. So it can deteriorate. I have seen a lot of that lately, and I recently learned of quite a few marriages that ended or are ending. I don’t know a lot of details, and they aren’t my stories to tell, but if it came to that end, I know it didn’t come easy and it likely didn’t happen overnight. It’s one of those things that happen in life. I look at divorce very differently now than when I was a little younger. It is sad for the couple, of course, because nobody gets married with the ultimate goal of splitting up. But it does happen, and it isn’t my place to look at the couple and judge their breakup. I just hope they both get to a better place if together isn’t the place anymore.

I am so over reading stories about people fighting over masks. Over it. I have maintained all along that if a place wants me to wear one for the sake of others, I will do it and while I don’t love it, it is a small thing for a short time. It feels like the whole damn world has gone psycho over this. Nobody likes the masks, we get it. But, the second you berate anyone over it, in a store, restaurant, school board meeting, city council meeting or anywhere, you lose credibility as a human being. These people on flights? OMG. When you buy the ticket, it says you have to mask. You get to the airport, there are signs. You get on the plane, they mention it repeatedly. If you then take your mask down or off, and they let you know to put it back on, just do it. Don’t fight them. You will lose. You throw a fit? Now you and everyone else on that plane is going to be on the Tik Tok, YouTube, the news and everywhere else, and you are the douchebag who ruined the flight, vacation and everything else you paid for, because you are getting kicked off the plane, detained and probably are going to have to take a bus back to wherever you came from, and have to wear a mask on the bus. These people are just making all of this so much worse than it has to be. I won’t preach to you about getting vaccinated, but I will tell you that you are an a-hole if you mention to the 16 year old cashier that she doesn’t need that f-ing mask. Get over it.

I have been out to restaurants a few times recently, and they were short staffed. With my background of the restaurant industry, I can tell you assuredly that most places know how to run short staffed, because they have always run short. However, while running one or two short on a shift is doable, but when you are down more than that it sucks. It sucks so bad. It calls for a lot of teamwork, and a ton of patience on everyone’s part, including the guests. Food can only cook so fast, there is only so much space on a grill, and dirty dishes cannot wash themselves. People multitask, a server with 2 extra seconds will run a load of dishes through, and the hostess will bus 3 tables while she greets tables. People who stand and wait, shifting and sighing as loud as possible are not helping. They know you have been waiting, and they don’t want that anymore than you do. If you cannot be patient when you go out, please stay home. I can’t stress that enough. Everyone goes on and on about staffing shortages. We all know it’s a thing right now. Plan on it taking longer than normal to go out. Smile, say things like “take your time” and “I understand the wait.” Have a better attitude, and that will pass along to the server, the bartender, the busser, dishwasher and cooks. The service industry is is a free fall right now, and they are hanging on by a very thin thread. Don’t be the reason someone snaps and walks out on a shift. I will always stand on the side of the hospitality industry, and anyone that complains about it to me will have it fall on deaf ears.

I hope you are doing ok. I hope the anxiety of everything is not rising too fast. I have a few friends that are feeling it right now. I want to hug all of you and say things will be alright. I believe it most days, but I do feel it too at times. I have tried hard recently to only worry about what is right in front of me, not things that may happen tomorrow, next week or next year, but that is tough. I have been meditating more in the past year, and for me it helps a lot. Taking a few minutes each day to breathe through it all, slow down a little even if it is only a short time. It isn’t for everyone, but I found it and it makes me deal with my stresses a little better. Find your thing, something that calms you. For some people prayer is the thing, for others just turning off the noise works. Listening to music, writing things down in a journal, or walking the dog. Whatever it takes for you to focus on yourself versus all the things that shift your attention away from you. Back to my old friend Tom Petty, who sang “Most of the things I worry about never happen anyway.” And it’s true. Bad things can happen, but most of what your mind tortures you with will never come to pass. Take care of yourself, and please know this storm won’t last forever. We will find out feet were on the ground the whole time.

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