NOT your Typical Teenagers!

I can’t help but enjoy the moment and relish in sheer amazement at a job well done by our awesome staff of TEENAGERS and young adults at the restaurant… AFTER THE FACT that is…

I can’t stop myself from wanting to mentally watch the replay of our team coming together. They became a well-oiled machine and handled an absolute RUSH of hungry guests. It’s so fun to think about now… AFTER THE FACT that is…

It’s so satisfying and soothing to know that the heat of that battle has cooled. The challenge was met and conquered. The fight against the clock was furious but now it’s over, until next time…

It reminds me of my ski trips from many years ago. I never became a real pro, but after some practice, I did swoosh and slice down a couple steep runs. At the bottom I would turn around and look back up the hill. Looking up (instead of down) at that great slope, I wondered how on earth I had safely descended, with all my gear still attached, and in one piece. What a thrill!

Umm, yeah. So my point is that the exhilaration of victory, for me, comes directly AFTER the win…

And so that begs the question… What about the other side of this coin. How do I approach and begin into and commence these adventures? Am I so positively Polly-Anna and proud as I stare down an entire dining room of newly arrived guests? When I see that all of our tables have filled at once, and all l the menus have been passed out simultaneously, am I such a prancing peacock? Back on that ski mountain, at the top of those steep drops, was I a giddy schoolgirl, full of glee ready to rock and roll right down??


It would be an absolute lie and a pretty uninteresting story, if I were to exclaim that I am just some bouncing ball of bright-eyed buoyancy all the time. I can’t claim that I have even an ounce of optimism when up against a big challenge. In fact, it’s the opposite. I am maybe the worlds’ most gifted observer and foreseer of fatalistic flaws and future flub-ups!

Tonight in fact, just as the door to our dining room framed a constant stream of new faces, my mind offered up visions of pure catastrophe. I headed to the kitchen yelling aloud warnings and foreboding tales of woes to come. I wasn’t cheerleading and starting some rah-rah chant about ‘We can do it, Yes we can!” In fact, it was the opposite!

I was seeing complete meltdown imminent and barking threats right and left! Fear, tension, anxiety and instant depression banged out the too-quick rhythm of my heartbeats. Optimism?? Ha! More like the opposite. I saw all possibilities headed toward failure without a small miracle!

So there… These action-packed moments in my life, look quite different from either side of the timeline. In front of them, the inner roar of perturbation is deafening. Afterward, the velvety calm is so soothing and serene, it’s a reward all unto itself.

How do we get from there to here? How does it actually occur that the challenge is accomplished and measured as success? What can be done to create repetitious cycles of triumph instead of defeat???

Heck if I know. I haven’t begun to grasp anything reliably mechanical about winning in these situations. I can’t give any advice at all on the real reasons it all comes together. It’s so unpredictable. The variables are in constant flux. It’s probably a small miracle, and definitely nothing I can claim as my own personal achievement.

Tonight our team was magnificent. Our internal chemistry experiment yielded near perfect results. It was absolute chaos and disarray and yet I couldn’t be prouder to work shoulder-to-shoulder with our crew of young people. Their focus and execution was fantastic. At one point, when a question was yelled by one person to my left, it was instantly answered with enthusiasm by multiple voices to my right. Wow!

Way to go Team Iron. Job well done!

Until next week, find a moment to enjoy the ride. Whatever part of it you may be on at the time.


Aaron Nichols


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