celebrations, challenges

The Last Hoorah

Every year I take a glance back at that year I’m in around October first. I celebrate. I reminisce. I shake my head. Then I say boom this is what I’m going to accomplish for the remaining days of the year and here is how I’m going to set myself up for success in the upcoming year.

This year is a little different. When I look back I sigh. I celebrate all that has been endured. I shake my head at the insanity. I high five myself for conquering fears and trying new things. I reminisce on this and that. I sigh again and say when is this year over. The shit show has been constantly flowing all damn year. I looked forward to 2022 but now that it’s here I think okay it’s time to go and hit 2023 ever so fast.

Three loose ends dangling in the air. I have to be in limbo until each gets sorted out. Each has its own set of complexities, costs, consequences, and of course risks. The end of year trips are less than exciting. More have to’s than want to’s. Family away for the holidays. I seem to be missing the wow factor to finish out the year. Maybe it’s a new kind shit show that hasn’t hit my radar yet, but hopefully not.

As I take out that calendar for 2023 I see some blah on the horizon in January. A roadblock to maneuver in February. A pivotal decision in March. What I don’t see is the break in the chaos. I see higher expectations. I envision bigger shoes to fill. And then there is taxes. Another thing I love to hate come April.

I guess 2022 didn’t wow me. I’m thinking 2023 won’t wow me as I’ll be recovering from a 2022 hangover. I’m going to have to find some creative mechanism to help shovel the shit for the year ahead because it still looks like shit is going to be around me in droves. Maybe that is just the hint of manure I smell at the farm? As I revisited the post as I do all my writings I thought to myself I don’t really need to post this rant but that’s exactly why I do.

When I began this post I was wallowing in the pitiful mess of life. However reading, revisiting and revising was very beneficial for me. Not only the writing but in life. I allowed myself to be reviewed. I made note of some things I could control and jumped on them.

I added a little sunshine to my end of year. I put a little hope on the horizon. I said no to something I really wanted to show self discipline. As an added bonus others around me became inspired in ways I didn’t see coming. Actions have meanings. We may not always know what or why at the beginning but in the end if you are open to growth you can see. Funny how life works.

In a short 24 hours I saw motivation, action, desire, support, and those around took notice. You do become what you surround yourself with: your environment. Your people. Your motivation. Your success. Each hinges on the other. My final note to you is simple:

Step away. Do something spontaneous. Enjoy the moment. Everything will still be there when you return. You just might see things a little differently to endure the shit show for longer or maybe even find a way out of the rabbit hole.

challenges

The Review

The research was done. 4 stars with almost 800 reviews. Great written reviews at quick glance. The research revealed this restaurant as a viable option compared to the other area options. Everyone was hungry. The drive was 24 miles from the hotel, but 4 stars seemed worth it considering other options that hovered around 2.5 stars.

We took the drive. It wasn’t bad. We arrived to a decent wait of 35 minutes or so. No rush on our end, thus we waited. Observing the wait time grow due to low staff levels. Employees were strategizing at the hostess stand on how to cover the evening with such a limited staff. 

Many large groups left when the wait time reached 1.5 hours. The lobby began to dwindle. Those coming out seemed full and had leftovers. All of which leads me to think they all enjoyed their meal. The text came that the table was ready. Once inside we noticed the establishment was barely at capacity. Such a sad sight given the number of customers that left without buying or even sitting down. Then again the bar was buzzing with those who did wait which I suppose helps with the day’s profits.

The waitress was prompt and kind upon arrival to the table. The waitress offered suggestions as we were just visiting this area. Again all action led me to think we were in for a great experience. All three meals were ordered off the waitress suggestions. This is normally a smart choice. Unfortunately, today was not my day at this hot spot of a restaurant. There were a few red flags.

  • The first problem was a giggle and shriek. The shrimp pasta dish had one long hair interwoven in the fettuccine. Upon further inspection, there was a smaller kinky curled hair. So disgusting. The other person with the same dish couldn’t enjoy their meal thanks to this encounter.
  • Across the table from where the giggle was sat another person who might have indulged in the misfortune of her table mate. That was short lived. Her shrimp and grits dish came to the table with a very strong smell of garlic and onion. Just one bite. One small bite and it was over. It was as if she bit into a very strong onion. Upon further review it seemed there was minced/chopped garlic and onion instead of grits. Not sure who thought that was funny but the foul taste is still in her mouth hours later.

Our small group paid the check and left hungry. It was just one of those moments you shake your head at and move on. Then my text chirps asking me to fill out a survey and how five stars would help a small business. I ordinarily would jump at a chance to help a small business. Today, however, I couldn’t do that in clear conscience.

I decided to blog about this incident for a few reasons. Brushing of the teeth, tongue and using mouthwash still has not removed the onion flavor from her mouth even after several hours. The five star rating one asked for was definitely not worthy based on my experience. I also had some spare time in my hotel and felt a rant was warranted.

Have you ever had hair in your food at a restaurant? I know this restaurant was a big box design instead of a mom and pop place. I guess when you grow big, you may be willing to compromise quality. No business names are listed in this post intentionally. However, I would never return to this inferior establishment. A first impression is a lasting one in my mind.