Tuesday, November 25, 2008

One egg at a time.

I remember my first B & B guests. They came to me courtesy of a local bookstore named Wanderlust. Don't you love the name? They were from Calgary and I put them in our old "Fiesta" room. Please understand that the year was 1990 and I had just lived the last five years of my life out of Dallas, Texas. The room was done up in a sunny Southwestern decor, complete with howling coyote artwork. The Calgarians loved it and the Texas talk, you know - the awl bidness, new skyscrapers and the legends of the West, formed a mutual vocabulary. At breakfast, I served them a sandwich that I had always loved making for myself - a thick baked ham slice with both Canadian Cheddar and Dutch Edam, slathered in both honey mustard-mayo dressing and tart French honey-dijon. To make it breakfasty, I served it open on a toasted kaiser with a poached egg on top. Apple slices for garnish. Nothing gourmet but all my own invention. They loved it. And I exhaled. This was a recipe for success!

I was my own man. The very reason that justified my walking away from the percs and privileges of a Foreign Service career was right there in the satisfaction of those first guests. Corporatism, whether it be for profit or governmental policy, takes the "best and the brightest" recruits and drains them of the very attributes for which they were allegedly hired. Initiative is slowly drained away. Brave and independent thought is actively discouraged. Be it ever so humble, give me the work that is done with two hands, where a boss or a committee has no say over which direction to go. Farmers, artists, craftspersons, maybe even architects and entrepreneurs are the kind who will save this planet. Innkeepers may make it a kinder place.

Like so many self-employed persons, I have become a one man band, simultaneously a planner, builder, decorator, cook, washerman, cleaner, marketer, webmaster and accountant. In the early days, there was no one to ask the how-to questions to. No internet back then! I sketched out my future on a day to day basis and felt no regrets about losing the "security" of a regular wage or a guaranteed pension. The creative right side of my brain grew abs of steel. The left side applied discipline and focus. One egg at a time.

Just for fun, check here whether you are using more of your left brain or right brain.

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