It’s Cinco de Mayo and I’m not stressed out.

The biggest day of the year for the restaurant company for which I used to work is Cinco de Mayo. When I was a server, it was a gruelling 12-hour, non-stop day during which I would take about 50 times the number of steps I do now in a 24-hour period. The restaurant was new, busy and understaffed. It was exhausting and exhilarating, great money and unforgettable camaraderie. When I was a general manager, it was more stressful and the tips were replaced by a sense of accomplishment. As a regional manager, the amount of work rivaled that of a new restaurant opening. I tried to be the conductor and the first violin at once, as well as the advertising, PR and marketing director. We planned for months in advance: budgets, entertainment, products, staffing… Once I was the COO, things were easier. I oversaw the managers’ work and didn’t have to be there late into the night. Today is the first May 5th since 2003 that I haven’t been focused on festivities and maximizing sales. Ten years. Although, I desperately miss working, I will celebrate this relaxing May Sunday as a silver lining to my situation.

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