Wednesday, October 03, 2012

9 years but who's counting.

Long time no speak.

As predicted back in July, I've allowed the time demands of owning and operating an ice cream shop get the best of me again. A number of blog ideas have come and gone since then, with a few even making it as far as one of my endless index card to-do lists. The chaos of the summer scoop season has finally waned, the new crew members are up to speed, and with the help of a dark and rainy day, I find myself with a little free time to crack open the trusty Ice Cream Diary.

I hope this entry finds you well. And that this summer brought you many days of 'fun in the sun'. We couldn't have asked for much better weather, that's for certain. That, along with continued great word of mouth, many BearFest 2012 visitors, and you, all helped make this another record-breaker for your favorite scoop shop. And for that you have my sincerest thanks. As I've said since day one, I've got one of the greatest jobs on the planet.  Sure, it's a ton of work, but it's way more than a ton of fun to be able to make a living providing happiness in the form of frozen homemade goodness.

Speaking of day one, a friend emailed me today to wish my baby (Mt. Tom's) a happy birthday. She turns 9 today. It's hard for me to wrap my head around that number. Time truly does fly when you're having fun. I remember when I first decided to do it, I said to myself, 'give it five years, and if it's not a success or I'm not having fun, I'll get out and go back to engineering. Or try something else.' Well, it seems I blew right by that five year checkpoint and am rapidly approaching a decade behind the apron.

That thought just makes me realize how fast time goes by and precious it really is.

Gretchen Rubin is dead-on when she says 'The days are long, but the years are short.'

During one of my Mondays off this summer, I took the folks on a hike to the top of Goat Peak on Mt.Tom.

It was a beautiful sunny day, and the view of our happy valley from atop the fire tower was radiant. 

On the way home, I suggested a stop at the dinosaur footprints on route 5. We walked down the short path from the parking lot on the side of the road to the long flat rock face where the footprints are captured. If you've never seen them, you shouldn't go with the expectation of crawling around Prius-sized craters in the shape of two-story high Tyrannosaurus Rex paws. No, these are much more modest prints. The more impressive part is their age. Their makers walked the Earth nearly 200 million years ago.


That's more than 2,000,000 lifetimes ago.

And yet, they still remain. A tiny slice of our planet's history preserved within a giant rock.   Pretty cool.

As we walked back to our car, we came across a muddy section of the trail. Within that mud were a number of human footprints in various shapes and sizes. To which my Mom commented casually, 'I wonder who will be looking at those footprints someday in the future?'

That thought made me feel both insignificant and hugely significant at the same time.

We're all given such a short time on this earth.  A millisecond in the grand scheme of things. The footprints we leave today may be here in a hundred million years, or they may wash away in the next rainstorm. Time inevitably moves forward into the future, a future formed from what we do in this very moment - the footsteps we take, the decisions we make, the door we hold open for the stranger behind us.

The blur that has been the past few months and nine years reminds me how fast time really does go by.

And how important it is to spend that precious time doing the things you want to do, are meant to do, with the people you want to do them with.

It's easy to get caught up in the daily grind of living, with our new-found abundance of mind-numbing distractions on the screens in our pocket, on our desk, and sitting in the corner of our living room. Life is not always easy, and sometimes what we want and what we have don't always match, but they are all the result of decisions we've made leading up to this moment. These first eight years of peddling ice cream and all things sweet have been a challenging, exciting, and immensely rewarding adventure for me, and I wouldn't change a thing if I could. I'd say that's a pretty good sign. I still don't know where it's all leading, and I've definitely got some work to do on that pesky work/life balance thing, but I'm still very much enjoying the ride.

And let's face it, it really is all about the journey.

Thanks for listening.