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Clearing the air – A letter to my family and friends.

May 9, 2012 in Everybody Else, Family, Life


Source: via shane on Pinterest


Dear Mom and Dad, sis, bro, Auntie, my Besties or any other friends or loved ones, worrying about me, asking/warning me about why I am in my restaurant relationship,

I get it.

I really do. You’re worried about me.

  • You hear about me being alone in the evenings and on weekends, NOT with my boyfriend/girlfriend, fiancee or husband/wife, and you’re worried that I’m lonely.
  • You see me making arrangements to come home for Thanksgiving  by myself, and you’re concerned that he/she doesn’t have the time to be with me.
  • You are always wondering “Where is (insert their name here)?” when it comes to getting together. You know, happy hours, concerts, picnics, cookouts, movies, birthday parties…celebrations.
  • You’ve heard that after my restaurant man/woman works a 10-16 hour day, they might go out for a few drinks and possibly get drunk and that makes you feel like they are not taking care of me. (or themselves for that matter)
  • You see how I am usually the one at home with the bebes, and you wonder “Where the hell is this guy/this woman when their family needs them at home?”
  • You can sense my frustration when you ask me what I’m doing this weekend with (insert their name here) when you know they are most likely working.
  • You know, that awkward moment between us when you want to say something but I already know what you’re going to say so one or both of us avoid the topic all together?

Yea. I want you to know, I know.

I wanted to send this letter to you so you know, that I know you’re worried about me.

Thank you for being concerned about me. It means a great deal to me. (Even if I don’t know how to express that to you)

I want to try to explain so you hopefully will feel better about why I am where I am.

I can’t promise that this will help ease all your worry, but will give you a sense that I know what I’m doing… even if it seems like I don’t.

There are three places I can be:

1. I just started dating someone in the restaurant industry and I am still figuring out if this is what I want, right now it’s fun and exciting.
2. I have been with my restaurant man/woman for a while now, am still not sure, but until I know, I am sticking around.
3. I am fully aware of the ups and downs of this type of relationship, I’m aware that I’ve accepted them all, (in good times and bad) and have no intention of going anywhere else. (in this instance, it’s usually “Till death do us part.”

Please read my response based on the phase that i’m in, so you can get a more specific answer to hopefully help you understand.

1. I just started dating someone in the restaurant industry… right now it’s fun and exciting.

I know it must look like I’ve lost my mind. This is definitely not the kind of relationship that you expected me to ever be in. Perhaps, it wasn’t mine either. (Or, if I have had any early experience with the industry myself, this kind of relationship might’ve been tempting to try out at some point and maybe that time is now.)

I understand why you’re worried. I do. This is something TOTALLY different than what most relationships look like, the hours we’re together, the type of job he/she has…it makes sense you’d be concerned. Yes, we don’t see each other often, but when we do, we have SO much fun! He/She takes me to all these amazing restaurants, I’ve eaten food I usually would NEVER consider trying (or affording), never mind he/she is SO connected to where to eat and the people who make it happen, that this MUST be what it’s like being one of the Rich and Famous! They are SO passionate about what they do that its contagious! It makes me want to find something I feel passionate about myself!

I’m also learning the not so fun part too. He/She is usually so busy at the restaurant, that as you’ve heard, I can feel lonely at times. (I know.. hearing me feel lonely is why you’re worried about me.) I miss him/her when I don’t get to see them on the weekends, and we don’t actually talk much because when he/she is at work, because they are usually being pulled in so many directions. I won’t lie, it does cause arguments sometimes, because it’s so easy to feel like I’m not important. I try to tell him/her how it makes me feel, but I’m not sure he/she gets it because they seem to always be needed at the restaurant. Because of this, I’m learning that:

a) Because I too, am such a busy person… with my girlfriends, my job and my active social life, that it’s actually kinda nice, being able to do what I want to do on my own time, focusing on myself, and can still hang out with my girlfriends without feeling guilty OR

b) I don’t really like always being on my own. It definitely has it’s moments, but I’m realizing that I might want to be in a relationship with someone who will be around when I’m available.

Either way, I’m still not sure if I want do do this long term, it’s still too soon to tell, but for the most part, I’m having fun. I’m learning a lot about myself and what I’m looking for (and not looking for) in a relationship, so for now, please don’t worry. You want me to go out there and do it all, well trying out different types of relationships is one way to do it. 🙂

2. I have been with my restaurant man/woman for a while now, am still not sure, but until I know, I am sticking around.

We’ve been together a while now, have settled into a groove. I know when I’ll see him/her and look forward to those moments. I love it when I’m able to support him/her, makes me feel like I’m a part of his/her vision. Yes, those lonely moments are still there. There are times when I don’t mind so much and others when I doubt whether we have what it takes to do this for the rest of my life. He/She have their shortcomings, as I do too… and like any couple, we work through them as they arise. The excitement of always going to different restaurants have settled down a bit, I have learned a lot about how the industry works, by hearing about it through his/her experiences… and still find it’s never a dull moment in the restaurant. At this point we:

a) have talked about what his/her future plans are and they seem to include me. There are definitely things I’d like to work on before we take it to that next step, but for now I like where things are and are excited to see whats to come! OR

b) don’t really talk much about what they want for the future, part of what I really like about them is their ability to really be in the moment. While that pushes on me sometimes because I like to know what I’m doing, I’m still learning a lot about myself and how I can maybe not worry so much about everything in the future. Taking it a day at a time.

Either way, like most couples, we have good moments and not so good ones (as I’m sure you do too), there are things I wished we had (a day off TOGETHER, for instance) and some moments that I will never forget (like how he/she rolls out the red carpet when I take YOU to go to eat at his/her place, remember that?) There are so many things I love about where we are, but I’ll admit, I’m still not 100% sure this is long term. It’s those tough times that show me our real strength or weaknesses. I really want to figure out whether I want this for the long haul, if I can deal with the tough times, before I decide to go anywhere.

3. I am fully aware of the ups and downs of this type of relationship, I’m aware that I’ve accepted them all, (in good times and bad) and have no intention of going anywhere else. (in this instance, it’s usually “Till death do us part.”

I don’t know if I can remember the specific moment or not, but it hit me… I am EXACTLY where I’m supposed to be in this restaurant relationship. I love him/her very much, I am absolutely aware of the ups and downs that the industry brings and feel I have what it takes to do this for the rest of my life. YES, I still don’t get to spend every evening/weekend together, but it’s actually not that as bad as I originally thought. I have learned to be self sufficient and work around his/her schedule in order to create moments for just us. I know he/she works really hard and I’m really proud to watch what he’s/she’s creating. I can see his/her dreams come true and I want to be a part of that. I’m not oblivious to the challenges either. I know I am/I’ll be the one doing most of the care taking as we begin to have a family, and:

a) I’m hopeful that with a little creative planning both in and out of his career trajectory, we can most likely carve out regular moments of special time – both together as a couple and as a family. I look forward to creating our own traditions and rituals (Yes, even around the holidays too. Thanksgiving might be officially and permanently rescheduled)

b) I have learned that in this industry, it takes lots of hard work, and persistence to make it. He/she is working so hard on his/her dream, and I fully support him/her. I am happy to be the one, standing on the sidelines cheering, while they work hard to make their dreams come true. I know that all their hard work will pay off and I want to be right there when they reap the rewards. I understand that YES… this is NOT the typical kind of relationship. If our relationship was a sport, we’d be a relay race than a football team. He/She does their thang and then it gets handed off to me. (Most of the world is used to the Football team mentality, everyone on the field at the same time.) And BONUS – He/she supports me in making my own dreams come true. He/She is MY number one fan in what I want to accomplish.  Together, with continued devotion and dedication, I believe we can have the best of both worlds.

All this is to tell you I NEED and WANT your support.

I know this relationship looks very different from how you live your life, the challenges, and goals/dreams are different too. I know there are challenges… things to work out and “get creative with”, but what, in life ISNT like that, right? Anything worth having involves putting some work into it, right? I just wanted you to know that I’m alright, that I APPRECIATE your concern when you hear the times when I’m not sure how to handle things and I want you to know I promise I’m figuring things out.

*BONUS – Now I have this AMAZING community here to help me when I’m struggling and celebrate with me in the monumentous moments! I know you might not completely understand where I’m at but TRUST ME – There are SO many significant others out there that understand and can relate to EXACTLY where I am. I KNOW I am not alone.

At the end of the day, what I’ve concluded is to ask myself “Who says what any relationship is supposed to look like/be like anyway?” Isn’t it up to each individual to craft what they want it to look like? It makes me excited to know I can learn to maneuver through the parameters of this relationship, reach out for help when I need it (And I promise I will) and enjoy the benefits when they come (and they will too!) Whether we’re together a few months or years or a lifetime… I want you to know I hear you and appreciate that you care about me, and I’m excited to see what’s to come! My wish is that you will be excited for me too!

In gratitude,
You’re loving sister/brother – daughter/son – niece/nephew- friend.

Art of Relaxing

June 29, 2011 in Expectations, Life, Weekend

365: May 25, 2009 by Jessi Hagood


With the 4th of July coming up this weekend, I thought we’d talk about something I’m sure plenty of you deal with (or don’t know how to deal with, is more like it). How to relax.

It’s no surprise to find most of you are the primary do-ers in your relationships. You are the one that makes most things happen. Making plans, coordinating, cleaning, and preparing for whatever and who evers is coming over this holiday weekend. Most likely, what you and your family have planned this weekend will mostly be managed by you. Even if you’re traveling out of town, the coordination most likely goes through your hands. Okay, your restaurant man or woman might want to set the menu for the cookout/BBQ/shin dig that you’re having, but the rest of the details have your name on it. (especially the cleaning up AFTER their rampage into all the pots and pans in the house! Right?)

The 4th of July and many other so called ‘holidays’ are usually just reasons to be stressed out while everyone else relaxes. No wonder why we feel exhausted at the end of our long weekend, we need a vacation from our vacation!

Especially for us ladies, we want to make sure everyone ELSE is having a good time so most of the time we take on way too much so we know it’s all taken care of. Sometimes it’s because we’re neat freaks, Type A personalities that just has to have her hands in everything or bottom line “who else is going to take care of this?”.  Maybe it’s because that’s how some of us were raised, the residual role women took with the house and gatherings…leaving the men to the title of grill master (ESPECIALLY if your Restaurant Man/Woman wants to do all the cooking!) and taking out the trash. (Sounds like a throwback to the 50’s but there are many 20s and 30 somethings that are challenging this belief today, I’d like to believe that has somewhat evolved into sharing more of the load) perhaps? (not?)

Anywho… with the holiday steadily upon us, I wanted to share three ways you might bring some ease and relaxation into your plans this weekend. Allowing you to look back with a sense of peace instead of frustration.There is a reason why they call it the ART of Relaxing… it’s an art to find ways in which relaxing becomes incorporated in your celebrating.

  1. Create a game plan – You might be the unofficial coordinator, but you could be like the coach who directs his team to make that touchdown. The Goal is to have plenty of relaxing with your guests WITH them. The mission is to delegate as many tasks to your team so that it’s evenly dispersed. Think of the tasks that would be finished with four (or six) hands instead of two. With efficient delegating, you might be surprised that the dishes are in the dishwasher AS you clean instead of piled up after the festivities are over. (If there are younger children, you could make it a game where they can be your assistant. And if they help shuck all the corn, etc.. they can get the first piece of pie.)
  2. Tell your guests your goal (to relax)/Ask for help – Maybe it’s not your nature to relax until it’s ALL over. It’s that way for a lot of us. Enlist your family in your mission to take it easy, ask them to remind you of what your goal is so you can take advantage of the valuable time spend with your family and friends. Sometimes all it takes is a gentle reminder to create some great memories. You could make it into a game where they hand you your glass of wine every time they see you busy doing something.
  3. It will be there later, Enjoy the NOW – Yes, you might want to make sure everything is done before you sit down, a make sure  the leftovers are put away, dishes are done before you sit down. (Very common for most of us) It is usually those moments after a meal that are the most gratifying, being thankful for being together, sitting on the back porch watching the sunset, watching the kids light sparklers or taking a dip in the pool with the family. Start telling yourself NOW that it will all get done, tell yourself  now that you give yourself permission to leave it there, that your goal is to have that one moment when you realize you are relaxed, and feeling like all your cares are somewhere else, even for a few minutes or hours and be present in your search for that moment, as you go thru your day.Which one do you think would work best for you? Share with us your thoughts on how you’d like to be more relaxed this holiday weekend.

    Whatever you do, remember you deserve to feel just as comforted, as ‘taken care of’ as your guests INEVITABLY feel during their visit. That while it is your house, your gathering that everyone is enjoying, that YOU have the same reason for being there as everyone else… to RELAX.

    Happy 4th of July Holiday! Here’s to the Art of Relaxing!