A Day In The Life...

photo by BreeAnn Clowdus

photo by BreeAnn Clowdus

I often get asked what a typical day might look like in the restaurant & entrepreneur world, so, I've been giving it a lot of thought. As I wax poetic about my days, I realized there is really nothing "typical" about my daily life or how I choose to live, but people ask, so here goes!

Let's start with today. I have a snake in my house. Somewhere in a crawlspace under the house, a 5-foot, apparently non-poisonous snake scared off the air conditioning man who was trying to fix my broken air conditioner. It's currently 88 degrees in every room. A wee bit uncomfortable. It's 7:30AM, so after driving my 14-year old to the bus, I am patiently waiting for crocodile Dave, the snake handler and the air guy as I try to wrangle my 2 very warm dogs. 

Let me back up a bit. My typical day for me usually starts at 6AM when I get up and start the uber patient process of getting a teen out of bed. I'm sure many of you can relate, especially, if you are parenting a teenage boy. Uuuugh! We finally get out the door, hot and sweaty at 7:50AM and enjoy the lovely ride to the bus where I repeatedly ask Jonah to get off the phone as he eye rolls me to death.  Yep, I can feel the payback for my rebellious youth.

So, snake man comes, removes the snake and proceeds to tell me about the fortune I need to spend to avoid more snakes in my future. I'm afraid I'll wake up with a boa constrictor around my neck, so I pay.

All before 8AM.

Then off to the gym. Because I'm a wannabe athlete, I'm training for an endurance event which is a great idea for anyone with a million things on their plate! So I head to my workout, knowing it will be a little tight on time because I need to be at one of our 4 restaurants before 10AM. I think I'm doing great until I look at the treadmill next to me where my friend's 75-year old mother is kicking my ass by running faster than me and running at a steeper incline. Oy. 

After I train, I proceed to my favorite smoothie joint and sit to write "the list". It's my daily practice of making a list about what I'd like to get done today. I do it mostly because I get extreme satisfaction in crossing things off the list. It can be anything from laundry, picking up groceries and watering the yard to speaking to an employee, planning our next event or emailing a contact. I highly recommend the practice. It changed my life.

Twenty years in, my life in the restaurant business doesn't feel all that different than day one, except that I no longer have to mop at the end of the day or take out the garbage! I spend most of my time these days creating new recipes, writing weekly menus, talking with farmers and purveyors, putting out fires in our 48-person organization and coming up with new strategies to inspire our team -- from Chef to dishwasher. I step into cook when someone needs a day off or vacation and I find myself looking forward to those simple times when I only have to focus on what is in front of me. I'm one of those people who has a billion projects going on at one time. In addition to restaurant duties, I spent today working on our non-profit, The Zadie Project which gets soups to kids in title one schools. I also had a meeting about a one woman show I'm doing in November, bought plane tickets to London to track down an Israeli chef I'm obsessed with, worked on a speaking gig and planned my next cooking classes. Is it not pathetic that as I write this, I'm thinking that I feel lazy? I obviously need more therapy!

My day at work usually wraps up around 4PM (unless we have a special event or cooking class) and I make my way back to the bus stop for Jonah and we head home.

People often ask what Chefs/restaurant people cook at home. I can tell you what I DON'T DO. I don't bring home food from the restaurant. After looking at our food all day, no matter how fresh and delicious it may be, I just don't want it anymore! I cook very simply at home and I'm certainly not above ordering a pizza when I'm pooped.

I'm notoriously known for being in bed by 9PM which is a challenge when I'm doing a play or have a speaking engagement, but I love nothing more than taking a hot bath, finding my softest jammies and cozying up in bed with a good book or listening to one of my favorite podcasts. Oprah's 'Super Soul Conversations' is my go-to this week.

I'm out by 10PM at the latest. That sounds so lovely doesn't it? Maybe I should throw in the fact that I've started going through menopause, so I really only sleep a couple of hours before I wake up drenched from a hot flash and my snake dreams!

Oh gosh, it's 6AM. Time to get this party started!

My life is a bit eccentric, a bit crazy and a bit frustrating at times, but I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

Please tell me about you! Seriously, I'm interested! How are dealing with parenting your teen? What is your day like? What do you do to relax? Do I sound nuts? Feel free to comment below or email me personally at souperjenny@aol.com

Have a great week!