30,000 Days

The average person gets 30,000 days to live or 86,400 seconds each day.

How you choose to use them is up to you…choose wisely!

How many days have passed? How have you lived them? How many more do you have to live? How can you add a few (or better yet many more) days to your count? How will you live them?

Everyone gets the same 24 hours yet some can squeeze more juice out of the day. How do you get the most juice out of yours?

Tomorrow (God willing) I will have lived more than 1/2 of those days. And look forward to getting the most out of those that remain. 😃

Being Present & Keeping Depression at Bay

Unfortunately to many want to hide it, not talk about it, & power thru it. The “it” being depression and/or anxiety. My belief it’s because of others poor understanding of what they are. Simply put depression is regret of the past while anxiety is irrational fear of the future.

Believe me no one wants to be walking around like Charlie Brown and a cloud overhead – least of all me.

It is one of the main reasons I speak about my own bouts with depression/anxiety and I’m not embarrassed by it.

The easiest way for me to explain depression to someone who never personally experiences this type of mindset is:

Have you ever floated in the ocean watching the clouds go by. It feels good, nice & relaxing? Now have you ever popped you head up and noticed how far out the ocean has dragged you?

As you are floating you are drifting with no direction just allowing the ocean to carry you wherever it wants. Someone on the beach might notice you and call out to you because you drifted to far. Or they may not.

In either case you have to swim back to shore to safety. No matter how much you like the floating you know you can’t stay out there because you will die.

The danger is getting so far out into the ocean you can’t even see land.

I been there and it’s scary as hell because honestly I felt I was going to die. And the thought of death scared me worse because I didn’t think I knew how to swim back.

The metaphor is the mind is the ocean/world. Drifting is the danger where you are with not direction. The mind drifting is dangerous. Being on shore your grounded with those you love, purpose, contributing, and happy. And swimming is learning the skills to be and live in the world.

It’s our duty for those we love friends and family to look out for them wherever they may be. Just like on the beach looking out at Everyone swimming staying alert so they don’t get out to far. So distance doesn’t grow between you and them. Say I love you or better show it. And if you have to jump in the water, get a life vest, get a speed boat do whatever it takes to bring someone to shore even a stranger.

Then help teach them to become a better swimmer. Here are some of the tools that have helped me remain present. Perhaps they can help you or someone you know. (In no particular order)

  • Not worrying alone. Talk to someone, anyone…just talk
  • Keep an attitude of gratitude
  • Cold showers/ice baths
  • TRE exercises
  • Mediation
  • Prayer
  • Journaling
  • Working out
  • Sleeping with heavy 25lb blanket
  • Healthy eating
  • Vitamins: St. John’s Wort, B12, Omega3

By no means is this medical advice and seek professional help if/when needed or call Suicide Prevention Line 800-273-8255.

Neighbors Serving Neighbors

I want to redefine how we look and treat our customers. But first of all lets stop calling them customers or even shoppers. At Estevez Foodtown our customers are our neighbors so we will treat them as such. While important we cannot measure our success by customer count or basket size alone but need to make every effort to become better neighbors. I want to measure our success by how well we treat and get along with our neighbors. Because being a good neighbor is great for the community and our business too.

 

The basic definition of a good neighbor is someone who is friendly, cooperative and is supportive of others in/and around the neighborhood. Good neighbors look out for one another not just themselves. They support each other in good and bad times. A good neighbor really wants to know how well you are doing and does not walk past as if they never even saw you.  They are interested in you and for that reason make the community better.

 

We strive to be an integral part of the communities we serve. Where we are considered to be a good neighbor. A place where moms chat in the aisles and teachers catch up with past students. Where a dad heads over to talk about last nights game with the kid behind the delicatessen counter. We look for ways to be a direct supporter of local churches, block parties, charities, and girl scouts. To contribute is not just a business model but also an essential part of what Estevez Foodtown is about. Our goal is to be of service to our community while supporting, growing, and inspiring the over 250+ families that make up our team.

 

For us it is not a job where you just show up to work. It is more than that for our team who have become contributors in creating a healthy environment to shop in. Becoming a second family to countless others who have not shared in the same support system or stability out in the real world. For some the team at Estevez Foodtown has been a cornerstone or the helping hand they may have needed. I take great pride in seeing the growth that has come from team members that have been with us 6 months or 25 years. Nothing is more satisfying then when a veteran team member grooms and develops a young new rookie and sees her thrive. Being a successful team member in and away from the store is something we make a big effort to ingrain in our team training and numerous conversations. It is our responsibility to listen well so that we can let our teams flourish in and away from the business.

 

Those that only want a job and not be part of a bigger future need not apply. Those that are only working a job see, a customer not a neighbor, as a disturbance and something to get over with. We want team members that are listening to and are interested in becoming a good neighbor. To treat our neighbors as guests just like when someone is visiting you at home. Helping a mom of 3 unload her cart onto the counter and getting to a jar of roasted peppers that is out of reach. Greeting her by name and genuinely asking how her day has been going.

 

When we choose to view all who come through our door as our neighbors we open ourselves up to making a new friends, opportunity, and possibility.   We need to look at coming to work as a privilege to serve our neighbors. By becoming interested in their lives and they will in yours. One of my greatest pleasures is seeing when a neighbor brings in a plate food from the BBQ their having to one of our team members. Or seeing a cashier brought to tears when neighbor after neighbor ask her about how well her new baby is doing, offering the new mom advice, and bringing her a gift of an outfit and booties for her new baby. That is significant and a big deal! This sort of thing happens often to our team and they love being appreciated by the people they happily serve everyday. For years my brother John has gotten cakes or cookies on his birthday and has people in the checkouts join in to sing Happy Birthday to him. Cakes and cookies baked at home by a neighbor who just wants to show their appreciation.

 

These small acts of kindness from our neighbors to our team are really a big show of gratitude. It’s their way of saying “Thank you” for providing such great customer service and listening to their needs. When you take an interest in another’s well being they can sense it and know if it’s genuine. Having a neighbor bring in a plate of warm food or cookies to you or someone on your team proves that you’ve been listening and your store is a big part of the community and their lives.

 

Some easy thing you can do is smile, greet them by name, buy girl scout cookies or any other school fund raising products. Offer them to try a product they never tasted before they buy. Ask about their sons little league team better yet become their sponsor. Support the local church and food pantry.   Make sure to seek out local charities that are really making a difference in the neighborhood.   Buy an ad in the journal to help the drama club put on their play. Walk them to their car, say thank you, send them home with a sample to try no strings attached. Talk about last nights game and what a tough lost it was or great win their team had. Be sure to complement a grandmother on a new hairstyle, congratulate them on grandkids graduation or new baby. The important thing is to be yourself. Get interested in them and listen to what they have to say. Start behaving like a good neighbor and become one. Remember it is better to treat others the way you would like to be treated.

(Nerve) Wracking

Kids out here cocking

With 2 bangers they be blocking

Taking lives they automatically glocking

This is F-ing insane shocking

Media pundits & politicians flocking

Camera lenses wide they hockeying

Positioning themselves mind jocking

Offering prayers while locking

Silk stockings

Covering up their greed they be mocking

Mothers and fathers keep knocking

Arms wrapped around broken hearts, rocking

Trying to soothe they lacking

Love and compassion we need backing

Our kids shouldn’t be going to school nerve wracking

They should be learning knowledge stacking

Parents on their phone Find my baby tracking

Candles lit, crosses made, never forget notes tacking

Tic-toc time is now click clacking

This Congress send packing

We got to stop the jackings

Hold these fools accountable and pull their financial backing

Whose with me

Slap’em across the face smacking

I couldn’t sleep thinking of the children, parents, and asking how we could do better. Wrote this between 445-530am on 2/16/18 about another mass murder in our schools. -RE

The old adage is true…

Never judge a book by its cover. The risk is missing out on something meaningful, powerful, or inspiring. 

Give it a chance. Don’t jump to conclusions. You might be surprised what you find.