Skip to main content

Make Something Happen

I’m nearly six hours into 2015 as I write this and maybe it’s too soon.  I mean, I just had my first real sleep in a month.  How I can I possibly reflect on such a crazy year?  But I had one of those “this must mean something” dreams last night so maybe it’s a good time to reflect after all.

I barely made it over the finish line yesterday.  I thought we baked way too much for New Years Eve and that over tired, ultra depressive funk set in.  We baked too much.  Nobody’s coming today.  What will we do with all this bread?  All our charities are closed!

But then the regulars started coming in to stock up for the next two weeks and when all was said and done, and I gave the last of the buns away to a fellow who came in after we cashed out, all that was left was a small box of sweets for Kylle and Scarlett (our heroic counter crew) a medium box for Joel (our amazing evening cleaner) and three loaves of bread for Cindy and I to take home.  We’ll have good toast for a few days.

We’re closed now for a couple of weeks for our annual January vacation.  It’s a chance to recharge, get caught up on the bookkeeping and the housework, maintain our equipment and maybe reconnect with my family a little.  And Cindy and I will need a few days to figure out what to do in 2015.  Lots of change afoot and pretty much all of it scares me.

Which brings me to the dream I had last night.

photo of Muddy Waters

In the dream, for some reason, I wanted to book a big band into the bakery as entertainment.  Must have been for our Annual Open House in June.  I arranged for Muddy Waters to play.  A legend!  He’s long since passed on, but hey, it was a dream.

So it’s the day of the Open House and Muddy and around 10 musicians are coming into the bakery.  I’m scrambling around to get them chairs, and drinks, and snacks.  One wants a coke, the other a beer, the third ice cream.  That kind of thing.   I was scurrying around like Bilbo when the dwarves came by at the start of The Hobbit.

Then Muddy and I are sitting down and he gives me the performance contract to sign.  It’s for $20,000.   Twenty Thousand Dollars. Urp.

I mean, there is no way, in a year even, that I’m going to be able to put away $20,000.  Can’t be done.  What was I thinking?

So the rest of the dream is spent worrying about how I’m going to tell Muddy Waters, the Living Legend (in the dream, anyway), who has travelled all the way to Orange Boot, with a full band that there’s no way I can pay him.  That the concert can’t happen.  That maybe we should’ve talked about prices on the phone before they headed north.

How do you have that conversation?  When’s the right time?  How can I get him alone?  What if he gets mad – maybe I need backup!  How do I start?  What do I say?

And what do I tell all of you?  What do I tell the people who came to the bakery looking for Bread and Blues?

It doesn’t matter.  It’s got to be done.   So I wait until Muddy is off by himself, looking at a picture on the wall, and I go up to him.  Hey Muddy…

Then I woke up. Angry. Angry at myself.

The #1 thing that was in my head was that I was about to cancel an awesome concert because I didn’t have $20,000.  Instead, I should have tried everything I could possibly think of to come up with the money.  Make ten posters, a hundred phone calls and a thousand personal appeals to raise the money and make the concert a reality.  Be an Impresario.  The Guy Who Makes Things Happen.

I wandered down to the kitchen, made some toast (yum), spread on some of Jennifer’s Apple Jelly (thanks Jen!) and thought hard about the dream.  Am I really making things happen, at home and at the bakery, or am I hiding?

When an opportunity to do something amazing is sitting there right in front of me, will I take it?   Have I made a strong enough connection with you that you’ll be part of it too?

I don’t think I have.  Not this past year, anyway.  I’ve been hiding at the workbench and the mixer and the dish sink.  I’ve spend too much time hiring people to do what we already do, rather than hiring people to do new, amazing things. And I haven’t spent enough time connecting with people so that when all we need is a thousand people to kick in $20 each to Do Something Amazing, we can pull it off together.

I’m convinced that Cindy and I aren’t here only to bake bread and muffins.  We’re here to be part of your world, part of the community, so we can do great things together.  I’ll be working on that this year.

Over to you:  what Amazing Thing are you dreaming about for 2015?  How can I help?  Leave a comment and let me know.

Photo via the Chicago Tribune, on the Internet