Service with Subs and Spanish

One of the best things I’ve found about relocating to a small town is the hospitality in most of the service and restaurant establishments.

Subway Club

Tonight I stopped by the local downton Subway and stayed to study.   They only opened this location a year ago and I have already found this downtown location one of the best franchises in the area.   The employees have been trained well enough to be efficient with their order taking and hold a pleasant conversation with the patrons.It is also nice to realize that the employees are familiar with my standard one or two orders — considering they see multitudes of people over a weeks time.

There was a young gentleman (Jake) tonight who while he was sweeping floors was able to hold a short converstation.  He was notably concerned that he would get his work done on time — an admirable quality showing his conciousness as a paid employee.  I was at the subshop long enough to require an additional sandwich, so Amanda suggested a flatbread egg sandwich — great choice.

I was studying Spanish phrases at a table when two customers sat down next to me. They were string musicians discussing how to switch-play a violin.   I pulled up a video of a fiddler explaining the difference between the left-handed and right-handed violin.  See Video.

OK — it was bold of me to interrupt them and step into their converation — but that is how you meet amazing people in your life.  I interupted carefully and showed them the info I found online about customizing a violin to be held and played in the non-traditional way.  I found out that they where freelance musicians hired to play in the local college musical “Into the Woods.”   We had a 5 minute conversation and then they ran off to the rehearsal that was to last at least three hours.

Spanish guitar is my favorite form of guitar music.  It is incredibly expressive and exhilarating and uses the instrument in so many unique ways other than just strumming chords.

Chance encounters, maybe I will see them again, maybe not — but it was a connection through food and music.

Coffee Conversation

Here at the big “….bucks” cafe, youth are in and out at a steady pace. I’m positioned in a corner spot to be unobtrusive and so I can study, write and observe. The music is a bit loud for my taste but a nice mix of tunes condusive to study. The air is refreshingly cool (a little chilly). The round faux-marble table with antique style base is the right height for me to type. The bench seat is surprisingly comfortable.

Three of my former employees who were forced out of our coffeehouse along with me last September, remarked this past July that they couldn’t go to any other coffee places. They couldn’t accept the formal presentation, almost sterile environment and mediocre drinks with no customization.   They were also trying to heal from what transpired only months earlier to their beloved place of employment.  I, however, don’t have a problem sitting in a different coffeeshop anymore. I know, without a doubt, that my establishment was truely the best ever — unique to the max. My “shop” was comfortable, charming, intriguing, powerful, expressive, spontaneous – – it absolutely radiated life.

My five lively businesses were  “put down” — verbally, spiritually, mentally and financially as had been going on behind the scenes for years.
My multiple life careers (all involving people, not machines) were killed – a pre-meditated act.  When the abusive spouse set out to destroy everything I created, worked to build, and successfully managed (personally AND financially), he was effective in terrorizing us out of OUR coffeeHOUSE with the aid of a vindictive “lawyer” neighbor.   Wow, Mr vO is really enjoying the parking lot my parents paid to pave for MY customers.

Be right back — have to open a space for another customer . . .

Swan and Cygnet Cappuccino

OK — got in my car and drove to another location — secluded for my serenity . . .

Check out this beautiful swan and cygnet cappuccino — a reminder of the artistic, creative preparation of drinks we prepared.

There I was in the *coffeeshop* with two college girls next to me chatting as if in a schoolyard playground about guys and their observations of them on campus.  It was certainly a much more open discussion than what transpired 30 years ago when I was a Co-ed.  Back then, we had our space — our sensibility — our subtle scrutiny.    We were in a public venue.

Now, we have pods for coffee — little packs of liquid and energy.      So many people want everything quick, easy, convienient.    The young ladies left in 20 minutes – probably the maximum level of concentration for an above average young adult.     Where are the filters — coffee or otherwise — that formally defined our conversations?

Pocket the Change

If you change nothing, nothing changes

Written by Sally-Anne Blanshard
Imagine being on a train. You know where it is heading, how many carriages it has, what stops have gone by so far and what stops are ahead of you. Feels safe. Secure in the knowledge you will reach your chosen destination. Now imagine someone asking you to get off that train. Step onto another. With a blindfold on! No idea what the journey looks like. Not quite sure where the train will stop.How would you feel now? Uneasy? Nervous? A little scared.Making changes in any aspect of your life is hard. It takes commitment, focus and a belief in yourself and your future.Change can be exciting, exhausting, fantastic and frightening.I have had a whirlwind two months. My husband arrived back from a business trip announcing that he had been approached about a job in Brisbane. And from there our family was catapulted into change central.I tried my hardest to remain calm throughout the lengthy job interview process. I openly accepted that change was here to stay for a while. What was normal to us was thrown into a blender and mixed on high setting for many weeks.It would have been easy to take the easy option and not move interstate.Less to think about.
Less to plan.
Less to do on the to-do lists.Yet the unknown future was something that was appealing. It was exciting. We could not cover our eyes to what was calling and when we took a peek with a weekend up there, to remind us of what change offered, we liked it.

The other thing that is good about change is the big conversations it starts. What you want for your future. Your children’s future. Where you are at and where you want to be. What you like about your lifestyle and what you would like to change. It enables you to start over with some of those lingering habits.

I personally think change is something we start to fear, as we get older. We can get set in our ways. We react to certain things the same way. I remember having a chat with a friend who shared her concern over what I must be going through. I explained that with such mammoth amount of change going on I wanted to challenge my usual reactions. So, what may have normally been a high stress situation with a reaction of high stress emotions I was channeling as much calm through our family as possible. I think it worked.

It has been an exciting, exhausting, fantastic and frightening 8 weeks. We arrived in Brisbane last week, unpacked, explored and tomorrow my husband starts his new job.

Change is here to stay for a while.

What are you going to change this year?

Where are you going?

Written by Heidi Cornelisson
I am part of a coffee and connection group that meets once a week. Being a regular commitment I have a set route to and from the venue. But one day this was challenged when I left with a friend heading in the same direction as me. He was in front of me and I saw him drive straight at a roundabout where I usually turned right.”Where’s he going?” I wondered, “Is there another way to the freeway?”But I turned right as usual, staying with the familiar. As I stopped at the red traffic light leading onto the freeway I saw my friend whizz past from another side onto the onramp.”His route is obviously quicker,” I thought again and never caught up with him on the freeway. He’d made significant headway.The following week I still turned right at the same roundabout not willing to go straight and potentially getting lost. Sure enough, this time, despite having left after me, I saw my friend whizzing onto the freeway again.”Damn! I should’ve tried the new route,” I muttered.I have since eventually taken the alternate route and it’s not only quicker, but simpler. My route was a huge detour, catching more roundabouts and traffic lights. Although familiar I’d settled for a difficult route.I’m using that roundabout as a metaphoric decision-making point for your life.

  • How many potential decision points do you have in your life?
  • Do you keep turning right because that’s familiar or are you willing to try something different?
  • Which decisions do you continually make that are merely habitual?

Familiar and safe options may have served you well in the past. But, as you know, if you keep doing the same things, in the same way, thinking the same thoughts … you’ll keep getting the same results. I see so many people who feel stuck in their lives because of old habits.

Some people who have started exploring personal development realise the impact of their past on who they are and how they live.

They then get stuck all over again, but now, consciously, in the past.
“It’s because I never had a father that I can’t keep a relationship now.”
“It’s because my mother was too concerned with my weight and appearance that I have low self-esteem now.”
“It’s because my teacher told me I’d never amount to anything that I have a fear of success.”

Whatever the case may be, what you’re saying is probably true and the thoughts you have about yourself are as a result of that particular experience. But remaining in this excuse-place keeps you beholden to the past repeating same behaviours. Is that what you really want?

Once you’re aware of old beliefs and you hang on to them for too long, they’ve become excuses. These excuses are then like carrying around a ball and chain with you, preventing you from moving forward. This would’ve been like my car automatically turning right each week and me feeling powerless to change its direction. I had to consciously fully engage the vehicle and take a different route. I then found myself, within seconds whizzing onto the freeway as well.

As with driving a car, you have the power to change the direction of your life as well. For example:
“Although I have picked up a low self-esteem, a fear of success and an inability to have a meaningful relationship from my past, I can now choose to let these go. This is not who I am as I now choose differently. I am willing to change, believing my life can get better and I’ll ask for help if necessary.”

  • What is it time for you to change in your life?
  • What from your past have you been holding onto
  • Where are you stuck in a repetitive rut?

Stop using the past as an excuse for where you feel stuck. It may be the reason, but let go of attaching to the excuse. Kick off those shackles, choose differently and take a self-empowered step forward in a different direction with new thoughts and beliefs. You may even move through life with ease and learn that the more you trust yourself, the more your self-esteem, your fears and relationship skills will evolve naturally

Time moves in one direction, memory in another.
William Gibson