Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fancy Tradition

My family. They are so precious and wonderful and loved. We were headed out to see the Christmas Carol with my mom and her beau on the first big snow of the season. I needed a picture of us, this was the nicest all four of us had looked at once, ever. It needed to be documented.

My mom has taken me to see the Christmas Carol at the Guthrie Theatre every year since I was 8. It's one of my favorite things about the holidays. Some of my favorite memories involve this play. I used to love to watch the Ghost of Christmas Present change every year, I remember trying to watch just the narrator on stage during one scene (he always wound up as the Ghost of Christmas Future and I was determined to watch him sneak into the back of the costume) and not being able to do so, looking at all the over-priced gifts in the gift shop, trying to decide between a cookie or a brownie. It is one of my favorite repetitive memories with my mom. And we've now incorporated Chuck, the girls and my mom's beau as well. It's a family thing. Chuck and I took the girls new-fancy-dress shopping a few days before too. I think we're going to make that part of our holiday traditions as well. The shopping was fun, I got new shoes, watching Lily run around the dressing room with each dress she tried on was so cute, and Kira trying to decide between the gold or the silver dress, such decisions.

This picture is now framed on our mantle and it makes me smile inside and out every time I look at it.

Friday, January 18, 2013


I work in coffee and have been in retail for 15 years but I tend to think of it as a people business that happens to serve coffee. I like people, I think they are interesting, I like to know what makes them tick, biologically and in matters of the heart. When I interview I have two questions that are the make or break questions of the interview and neither of them involve the product I sell.

1. Why do you want to work for this company?
If they are not totally stoked to be given the chance to come work for a company they admire, love, shop at, etc, and they just want a job, then I don't want them. I asked someone that many years ago and her answer was "My mom says I need to get a job." My response, "OK, we won't be calling you." I need my interviewee to want the job not just a job.

And 2. What are you passionate about?
If you have books upon books of stamp collections and you think there is no better animal than gerbils, that is great, you are so into something that there is no shame in telling anyone who asks. I asked that question to someone last year and he turned the color of a ripe tomato and as silent as one as well. That right there sealed the deal that I didn't want him as part of my team. You don't always have to be passionate about the job you have or the product you sell to get a job but you have to be passionate about something.

Which in turns bring me to my thought which started this post in the first place, passion, the fuel in your soul and the wind at your back to get you up and moving every day. I think if you don't have something to fuel your daily life, how do you ever expect to get anywhere? If money was no object, where would you invest your time and energy? Would you continue to be in the same job, living in the same city, doing what you do day in and day out?

People say that if they won the lottery they'd stop working, which I think couldn't be any closer to truth, but would you really have nothing that made you get out of bed every day? Would you move somewhere warm so you could garden everyday or would you stay where you are and get a groundskeeper job like Forrest Gump, just because you liked cutting the grass? Would you actually help those in need and volunteer like you have always said you would? Would you go open that wine tasting bar in an old house and invite local musicians to play on Friday and Saturday nights?

Passions can change. Says the girl who has a degree of the theatre masks on her ankle and a degree in it as well and who hasn't done a show in at least 5 years. What would I do if money was no object? Oh goodness, so many things! I might give acting a try (rejection is a bit easier when you don't have heat to pay and insurance to keep.) I'd travel for sure, I mean who wouldn't??!! But I'd take a class where ever I go, art history in Italy, World War II class in Germany, cooking in France, etc etc etc. I'd try out a self-employment idea that has been in my head for the past couple of years, a social butterfly sort of thing. I'd invest more time and more time into the story line that has been in my imagination for about 10 years. (I tried to write it as a play once and two scenes in I realized it was all stage direction. Uh, Riley a play needs the characters to talk to each other to tell the story. Novel it is then.) I might take a vacation with no end date. I might take all the road trips across the country that I wanted. The list could go on and on. I think it could be quite fun to literally be a student of the world.

I'm passionate about learning, people, growth, success, differences, similarities, human connection, food, coffee, reading, knowledge, hugs, love. If someone knows of a job that encompasses all of that, let me know. I could climb to the top of that corporate ladder quicker than anyone!