Here I sit a little over our month into our “Stay at Home” order. March 17th was the last day that Fika Coffee’s cafe was open. I’m not sure about you, but for me it has seemed a lot longer than four weeks. I have tried to sit down and write this blog a couple of times, but I have not been able to untangle my thoughts.
TIME AND AWARENESS
Have you ever seen a skein of yarn that gets into a mess and you are lucky enough to find one end of the yarn? My thought process has been something like that as of lately. I don’t think that this Covid(ness) has caused the tangle but rather has cast light onto it. It has given me time and awareness to notice it. Now it’s up to me to decide if I will be a good steward of this opportunity and start to make sense of this “tangle”. Or, I can take the easy way out and continue down the tangle rabbit hole.
THE STATE OF FIKA
More on my thoughts in a bit. First, I want to give a brief update on the State of Fika Coffee. March 17th was the last day that the cafe was open. Since that day we have roasted coffee every week, which is good.
Fika Coffee is a two man team right now. Colin is doing all of the roasting, packaging and shipping while I’m doing all the admin work from home. On Monday’s I go out to the cafe to help Colin get the online orders together. We also have a meeting on how everything is going.
It was a bummer to lose the second half of March with our cafe sales, but you MY FRIENDS have really stepped it up online. In the last year have we seen a huge trend in onlines sales, but it was almost like clockwork that when the Minnesota Governor issued the “Stay at Home” order, online sales jumped up even more. THANK YOU!
Our cafe doors remain closed, but we plan on reopening them on Thursday, June 4, with some changes to allow for a safe experience for our staff and customers. More on that soon (follow us on Instagram or Facebook for updates).
The only thing I know about this summer is that it’s not going to be like the summers of the past few years. It will be different. Fika is adapting and coming up with a plan that will keep us here for the long game. I’m finding that sometimes that means giving up short term gain for long term health.
By this I mean we mean we are not trying to push the boundaries of what we can or should do. We have not rushing to open the cafe up, doing curbside or take out. We haven't been looking to push the legal boundaries. Instead, we are trying to take advantage of opportunities to improve our business under the current operating situation we are in right now. We have already repainted a wall, waxed our countertop and started doing some deep cleaning. We’re also reorganizing physical systems in our space.
THE LONG RUN
With a full opening will come hiring, training, payroll, etc. A business is kind of like a big ole ship: Once it stops it takes a big force to get it moving again. While we are not a huge business by any means, it still requires work to get things moving. I want to treat the business as I would running an ultra marathon. It is not the sprint that I could be tricked into thinking it is. With all that said, we will be back! And, when we come back in June it will be better than before.
THE TANGLED MESS
Now, back to that tangled mess I was speaking about earlier. I have had many different thoughts come and go with this new normal. One thought that I keep coming back to is this idea of “doing vs being”. We are human beings but we gravite really easily towards functioning primarily as human doers, at least those of us in a “westernized” context. The thing is though that this world pandemic of COVID-19 has taken the “doing” right out from underneath us. We are being faced with our beings, with the state of our mind, our thoughts, etc. This idea to me is something that I have thought a lot about before. To just be is something that I want to do more of. I do not want to be controlled by time, to do’s and accomplishments. I want to be able to enjoy being who I am and to enjoy those around me.
POCKETS OF TIME
I realize the past month or two has looked very different for everyone. Some people are fighting hard battles right now and life is never easy. In fact, at home we’re trying to navigate distance learning (if the MN Commissioner of Education, Mary Cathryn Ricker is reading this or anyone knows here, let me know, would love to fika with her over Zoom). We have three kids at two different schools in addition to an active three year old at our side. We’re also trying to train a puppy (we got a puppy!) and work (my wife is a teacher) while carrying on our other commitments in life. Despite how rushed and overwhelming our lives might feel, even now, I believe that we can all make pockets of time in our lives just to be.
THE SACREDNESS OF TIME
I have been reading this great little book called “The Domestic Monastery” by Ronald Rolheiser. There is a chapter in this book titled The Sacredness of Time, in this chapter he writes “Our lives are dominated by pressure, the rat race, demands that are all absorbing...we are conscious of our pathological business. We know that life is passing us by, and we are so preoccupied with the business of making a living...rarely is there any time to actually live.” We are so busy doing things that we have little time to just be human. What I have been moving towards during this COVID-19 pause/time/opportunity is to observe more, to enjoy my family more. I have not only gone for more walks, but I’ve walked slower. I have stopped to listen to the birds and then tried to spot the bird. It has given me the opportunity to look at the lake and be in awe; To walk in the woods and smell all the smells. So wherever you find yourself during this time of uncertainty there is one thing we have all given the opportunity to do and this is to just BE.
I would like to close with this quote from Brother David Steindi-Rast which is in Ronald’s book:
“Leisure is not the privilege of those who have time, but rather the virtue of those who give to each instant of life the time it deserves”
I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
Please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you guys! How are you doing and adjusting to this new normal?