Yesterday morning, at Argonaut, our friends sprawled out on the patio sharing biscuit breakfast sandwiches, americanos, and doughnuts. It was the final "Bon Voyage!" to a couple friends we have become close to here in Leavenworth. We are so happy for them as their journey moves on towards new adventures working on the trains in Alaska this summer but it is coupled with a sadness that we may never live in the same place again. Tears started to well in my eyes as we hugged them goodbye, a "so long" to Leavenworth.
It got me thinking about all of the lives we interact with and how our lives move in and out of those relationships. Some relationships are only meant for a short time, others a lifetime. Some for a moment- just an order of coffee, others a daily brew. But all of them shape us in one way or another.
When we decided to leave Seattle, the hardest part may have been leaving all of our friends. It is difficult to leave. Part of me wanted to stay for them but it was just what we had to do. And after deciding that, staying wouldn’t have been the same either. Change is inevitable. But, I miss those daily conversations, the mundane, that in some ways bring you closer. I miss sharing the little details of friendship.
One of my friends moved to New York almost two years ago. It was a huge choice to pick up and move from a place she loved (and still loves and misses) but she is a writer and had a dream. We've had many conversations about how following your dreams doesn't mean your dreams come true and it doesn't mean it isn't difficult. There are things you just have to do. If we don't do them out of fear of failure or a desire for things to always stay the same, who do we become? Or maybe, a better question is who do we not become?
Sometimes, life begins when we say goodbye.
Man, it has been a little while since a real post here. Sorry for that. Lindsey and I have been occupied with projects at the shop (not to mention playing in the mountains on our days off) that we have neglected telling you all about it!
Most notable is, on Tuesday while Argonaut was closed, we got a brand new La Marzocco espresso machine delivered and installed. This is so exciting for me because it is going to bring our already perfection-obsessed coffee game up to another level. We can now count on an extremely consistent brew temperature and pressure while preparing drinks. This will mean a more consistent taste and better steamed milk quality even when the summer crowds arrive and we are making hundreds of drinks per day.
Now, no one had told us that our coffee could be better and I am still proud of the drinks we made on the more basic refurbished machine we started with. The problem was that I knew it could be better. And, I have a very strong belief that if I am going to do something, then I have to do it the best that I can.
My parents taught me this and sometimes even quoted Ecclesiastes: "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all of your might." Now, I don't go throwing Bible verses around every day but this one has stuck with me in a big way. One of my best friends and former housemate also taught me a similar lesson with how he threw parties. We decided to get way into legit slow 'n low BBQ. That same day, we sent texts to everyone we knew alerting them to the BBQ bash planned for the next day. I think we even made fliers. Then, we got to digging. We built a 5 foot diameter, brick-lined pit smoker, bought 2 briskets and 3 racks of ribs. The next day, we had some of the best BBQ I have ever had. While I tend to test the waters and make a plan, he goes all in and I love it!
Go big and give it your all. Whatever my occupation, it is very important to me to give it my all. Not only is it good for the craft or service I am providing, but it is also beneficial to my self esteem. I can feel good about the thousands of hours spent perfecting my craft, even if it is "just" food or coffee or whatever, because making something beautiful is always worthwhile. Work doesn't feel nearly as much like "work" when you are giving it a serious go.
As business owners, Lindsey and I have the difficult task of being our own critics. We are constantly looking at Argonaut from the outside and asking, "how can this be better?" It is exhausting and stressful but can be incredibly rewarding.
I am going to try very hard not to lose the energy and perspective it takes to make my business better. If I ever sit back and say, "Alright, I know it's not perfect but it's good enough." Then, I am no longer being a responsible business owner and don't really deserve to be one. If that ever happens, I hope my friends will tell me and suggest I shape up or find a new line of work.
When we opened Argonaut we used the tagline:
"Be great at what you do.
We do coffee."
I am so proud that 9 months later we are holding true to that and continuing to get even better.