49. 2012 Itchy feet at work – not home.

We started the year with a fantastic weekend in Adelaide to Celebrate my Sister Anne-Louise’s Birthday and PhD.  This was the first time ever that I had been to the home of my sister…. not because I never wanted to, it had just never happened.  Anyway, there was a big party planned with a dress up as a doctor theme.  Luckily we flew in on the Friday morning and were able to spend Friday and Saturday assisting with the final touches to the landscaping and house renovations.   I was also able to do what I do the best, take over the kitchen and help get the catering and food service under control.  In a previous blog I mentioned  how being welcome to take over someones kitchen is a sign of true friendship and am now pleased to report that my sister is now officially my friend and I am totally proud of her achievements.

 Dr AL Smith PhD
Dr AL Smith PhD

On 30 January 2012 I posted the following…..

What energises me? What gives me pleasure? When do I feel fulfilled and satisfied? When am I in the zone, where my work feels effortless?  What did I like to do as a child?  What games did I play?  What do I do for fun? How do I relieve stress?

These are some of the questions that I ask my clients in their quest for employment and career fulfilment.  I often ponder the same questions in relation to my own life…but never really get to answering myself.

Over the last couple of weeks I have assisted at a couple of family events where my experience and passion for food, beverages and ensuring guest satisfaction were able to be exercised…..and I loved it.

Then last night I had “the dream” where I was slogging it out at some type of event. There was food, there were drinks, there were happy people and there were exhausted staff.  The staff asked me how I kept going…and I replied “This is what I was meant to do”.  OK it was only a dream…. but what do I do with the revelation?

This blog, For Food and Family, is part of living the dream, recording the events, sharing and enjoying the Food and Beverages and experiences with family and friends – but what now?

How do I take this to the next level?  What is the next level?  Any suggestions would be welcomed.

There were a few light comments on the post and a deeper email interchange with a Hospitality friend

Exhausted staff? – typical ……such is hospitality!! However what doesn’t kill you …bla! bla! bla!

However why do I do it? …. “It’s not because I have to but because I choose to”. There lies the difference in my opinion.

I chose to be a Hospitality Professional. I make efforts to be punctual, be the ultimate Diplomat, deal with “awkward customers”, maximise customer satisfaction and even endure the ever present racist innuendos on a daily basis. Then I go home, totally exhausted and “die”, only to return the next day to do the “pain” all over again – WHY! because I love it! Sad but true! lol!

I got my Son into Hospitality at 14. He hated it for years and now at 19 is beginning to “enjoy the pain” – Double lol! They have names for folks who enjoy pleasure resulting from pain but I can’t possibly comment due to my “true blue Presbyterian upbringing”.

I do wish we could chat more, over a de-lish gizzy gewurtz, perhaps another time? 

Have a Supa! year.

Much and all as I love what I am doing – I have recently realised that I really do miss doing the Hospitality thing.  I miss ensuring that everyone is well looked after and having a good time.  I miss the ‘thinking on your feet’ to come up with solutions to problems that occur out of normal hours.  I even miss the intensely sore feet, long hours and irregular meal times. 
I too miss our chats and gizzy Gewurtz….. there is so much to miss. 
In the now there is so much to enjoy.  My job does give me much satisfaction, frustration and room to grow.  I work as part of a great team of people who are dedicated to making the lives of others better where I have plenty of freedom to make decisions and take action that best fits the situation.  But its not Hospitality.
I have two delightful grandbabies who bring us great joy. We have them overnight every second weekend to allow for Alisha and Chris’s retail shift work.  Dianne is blossoming in her butchery apprenticeship and Riki is now studying for his Masters in Psychology. 
Rob and I are settling into the routines of an old married couple and are getting to enjoy some just us time while still supporting the extended family (including Mum & Dad). 
Yet within me I feel the wind changing direction, stirring up the dust, blowing the leaves hither and thither…..  not discontent …. just a shifting of focus for the future to who knows where or what.  What I do know is that no matter what my current role I will always be a Hospitality professional on the inside.
Stay content my friend – it’s a phase believe me. All the dust has settled with the move from Rot to Aussie. You are in routine mode now and perhaps getting a little restless.

The hot “naughty” Aussie dessert wind is playing with you.  

Believe me you don’t miss the sore feet especially growing older.

Most importantly you don’t need the bullshit and lack of management especially in these lean times – I can tell you horror stories about how some ‘managers’ are so call managing the hospitality industry here in NZ.

A cool de-lish gizzy gewurtz awaits you any time you’re next in Rottenrua with lashings of chats galore.

Till then sit back and enjoy your life (as is) and especially make time for your family and grandkids.

Glad to know they are all well. Greetings also to Rob, Mum and Dad.

The moment passed and I ploughed into my work with vigor and enthusiasm – achieving goals, taking on more and  reaching new milestones.  My role continued to expand and evolve to greater levels of responsibility, skills and knowledge.  
Zach & Lilly continued to grow and develop their personalities and reach their milestones, albeit a bit late with some of them due to their early arrival.  I have to catch my breath and smile at the intense pleasure I find in being a Nan. … and the year flew passed in a blur of work, grandies, supporting our Christchurch refugees, training and family gatherings.
My friendship with Robs cousin Cheryl has continued to blossom and bloom beyond pleasantries and into the point where we can actually tell each other the brutal truths….. A place where family have become friends.
Cheryl & I at Ambers farewell
Cheryl & I at Ambers farewell
In early December 2012 Rob and I celebrated the 10th Anniversary of our first Date – he surprised me with a bejeweled necklace.  This is a long relationship for both of us and is testament to our willingness and ability to work through the tough bits.  For both of us this has not been our “First Love” but it has been our “Enduring Love”.
Love 2

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