Hello and good day!
I'm not going to sugar coat it. It's Sunday. I have been working long, hard days all week. And I am tired. Normally, Sunday is my one day off. A day to spend with the family and decompress.
I might even find myself sprawled out on the couch dozing off. Not always easy with three sons running around. They look for a good opportunity to catch me unaware so they can jump on me when I least expect it. On the verge of a cat nap is prime time for jumping on your old man.
But today, I will be working my seventh day in a row.
I'm up as I write this at 5am. As you may be aware, I am in the midst of a pledge to write one of these daily emails for 1,000 days in a row with no break for weekends, sickness, travel, or anything else. I figure that 1,000 straight days is a good way to prove my dedication to our family business.
Also, trying to achieve a goal that requires daily activity for almost three years straight keeps me in tune with the necessarily long term outlook of a business like ours.
Our supply chain on every single piece of chocolate we produce is 7-8 months. This time frame encompasses the time it takes from when a cacao pod is cut off a tree and we buy it, until the time our shipments of chocolate show up to our little warehouse in Issaquah, WA. We've got our money tied up in inventory during that entire period.
Natural disasters and protests can cause our supply chain to stretch out. Ditto with wars and pandemics and international trading disputes.
It is never easy and it takes a certain relentlessness, a drive to overcome any obstacle that may be thrown in our way, to continue to bring chocolate into the world year after year.
The cacao harvest just ended in August and it is going to start again in January, once the holiday season is over. Almost time for us to get it fired up again. By my count, this will be our 15th year in a row buying and processing cacao.
And we have many more to come. Heck, we're just now getting really good at doing this whole thing.
Anyhow, back to working Sundays.
One of our store managers is on vacation The young man who was supposed to work today called in. That leaves just a couple of options. I am one of them. My lovely wife Nery is another. It looks like we are going to tag team it.
I am heading in to work a morning to early afternoon shift. Maybe I will take one of my sons with me to help out. Depends on if they get their chores done or not. Working the shop and earning some money is a reward. I plan to take a suit and tie with me.
Another team member offered to come and work for just two hours. She has other plans today that she can't break, but she agreed to give us two hours. When she comes in, I am going to put on my suit and tie in the bathroom and head straight to a religious ceremony that we attend every Sunday. I'll meet my family there.
My wife is going to take the afternoon shift and at least I will get some time with the kids today in the afternoon and that will be fun. Again, as long as they do their chores. If not, it won't be fun.
As you can see, there is one saving grace to the whole thing. At least we are a family business.
I'm not in this thing alone.
I worked with my brother Brian yesterday, we always work Saturdays together, and that was very fun and very busy. The lines are blurred a bit and that is helpful. Even though we work hard and we work a lot, we are in it together and that makes hard work so much more fulfilling.
No naps for the weary today though. But I do believe that today is going to be a great day.
I get to go serve customers and give them free hot chocolate, and help them pick out gifts. I get to spend some time connecting with a higher power. I believe in a creator even though I am not particularly religious.
From years of experience, I know that spending time in reverence of the creator that I believe in is very energizing and inspiring. I look forward to that.
Then I get the three boys all to myself in the afternoon and evening while my lovely, hard working, talented, brilliant wife goes and does her thing serving customers.
Tomorrow starts a new week and I'll have to work another 6 long days straight, assuming our manager Wade gets back and is in good shape.
That will make 13 days in a row.
Next Sunday I am going to nap for sure. If you've got the day off, and you get to take a snooze, don't take it for granted. Savor it.
I hope that you have a truly blessed day!