A little over a month now, and I've made it through the holidaze without quitting or cracking haha! ;-)
New Year's is always a time for reflection and projection, and I've been doing a lot of both lately. In the past two months I've completely changed my life, done so in perhaps the most abrupt way possible. The first month was so jarring and hectic there was little time for reflective evaluation; the second month has been a process of re-assignment and routine building.
Two months is not a long time, yet it has been long enough for me to start treating my co-workers like family, and the restaurant, home. I've never worked so hard physically in my life, yet it really hasn't felt that noticeable. Aside from my new (and ever-evolving) collection of cuts, burns and calluses, my achy lower back and earlier bedtimes are the only persistent reminders that I am no longer who I once was, for better or worse...
The amount of work that gets done during a shift is still bewildering to me. Granted it's not exactly brick laying, but it is a lot of work nonetheless, and it's constant. Generally two projects at a time, while mentally planning the next couple tasks to follow. I start everyday with a mental gameplan of the things I want to knock out first, and the projects I want to work on. Usually the clock is not on my side, and those prep hours just fly by. Before I know it I'm at my station ready for service, with materials for a side-project right nearby, to work on as I go.
It's downright comical to describe my day to someone; it's only when telling others that I realize just how much I actually do. For example this past Sunday I went in at 7am, cooked off a few sheets of bacon, cracked a couple hundred eggs, made a huge fruit salad, whipped cream, sliced up a bunch of different meats and cheeses, made avacado and bleu cheese spreads, prepared salad fixings, setup and restocked my station...all by eleven o'clock lunch service, and I've probably forgotten some things.
Gone are the days of waking up whenever I wanted, to go and teach teenagers how to play guitar while sitting in an office chair drinking coffee, for considerably more money. I now work harder, for less money and almost no "prestige" to the job title, and yet I think - for the moment - that I'm happier. It's still too early to try and project or predict where this all might lead, but for now I'm just trying to enjoy the ride.