Recently, I ran into a friend, a former customer, from the tearoom and she asked, “Don’t you miss it?”
My first reaction was to smile and say, “Not at all!” but that would have been a lie. I do miss portions of owning and running the tearoom.
I miss seeing my customers, who became like family over the years. The knowledge that we brought some happiness into their lives even if for such a short time brings me joy and sadness that it came to an end. I truly loved that portion of our work. We so enjoyed seeing our customers, watching their children and grandchildren grow, celebrating their successes and sharing their burdens when sadness came marching into their lives.
I miss the changing seasons and the delight on our customer’s faces when the seasonal items were re-introduced, like pumpkin anything in the fall, soup season and salad season changes, or berry recipes in the early summer.
I miss the delight of children making gingerbread houses at our gingerbread house workshop, I miss the accolades from our Timely Tea events, and most of all I miss working with our staff everyday.
What I do not miss is the stress and the way it overshadowed my life affecting my sleep and consequently my health. Stress about making payroll, having enough supplies on hand, will everything get done, what to change, what to keep, what to plan for, what to hope for, will there be enough sales, will there be enough customers, will the tickets sell, will I have enough time to get it all done, how can I afford more staff, how do I get it all done? How? How? How? Why? Why?Why? The stress was endless.
Since I retired, I have time for myself and my family. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. My life has slowed considerably but I am still busy fretting about different things that only affect me, not a larger community of people that depend on my every decision. The idea that a staff was relying on my judgement, my decisions and my abilities to get it done really stressed me beyond my normal capability to cope. My OCD wouldn’t let me delegate as much as I should have.
I am much happier, much more at peace and much more grateful for the friendships I made over the twelve years I owned the Pickwick Society Tea Room. I look forward to running into more of our customers if only to catch-up for a few minutes, to be assured their lives bring them as much happiness as I am experiencing.
In this season of Thanksgiving, I am grateful for those customers being part of that community of Pickwick patrons, friends and family. My life is so much richer because of knowing you. Thanks for the memories.