I only visited the Grind Brew and Cafe at 220 North Chadbourne Street once. It was truly an enjoyable experience.  So needless to say, it came as a surprise when the shop announced on their Facebook page that they're calling it quits.

Their post speaks to an issue that just might be the most significant cultural phenomena of the century, so far--work/life balance.

To quote the Facebook post "It’s been a fun and wild ride. As much as we love our coffee shop-it’s time to say goodbye. It’s important to have a good work/life balance and unfortunately at this time, and for quite some time, our beloved coffee shop hasn’t been on our priority list. We’d love someone to take over and we are willing to sell the entire operation at a really great price (building excluded). If we don’t find a prospective buyer, we will begin selling our almost new equipment next month. Our last day of business will be Sept. 16th"

All over America  millions of people are making a radical change.  The "Great Quit" many call it. Millions more are engaged in the newest trend called "Quiet Quitting" This is where you resolve to do the absolute least amount of work necessary to get by on your job.  Over and over, Americans are saying enough to working all the time.

As one Georgia based teaching advocate who had been working as a teacher for nearly 5 years told Time magazine, "No matter how much I hustle as a teacher, there isn't a growth system or recognition incentive.  If I didn't quiet quit, I would burn out:.

Given that so many corporate leaders refuse to acknowledge or pay proportionately the everyday workers,  who in many cases sacrifice so much for their successes, it is totally understandable.

This incredible cultural shift seems to have begun in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic.  People began taking stock in their lives during their quarantine time.  In some cases, it was being with the family 24/7 that made many of us realize what we were missing in our relentless pursuits of accumulated wealth in the daily rat race. In some cases, being quarantined away from friends and family had a similar effect. People wanted  more time living their lives away from work.

That's when the whole work/life balance thing came into laser sharp focus. Besides, many of us were able to be quite productive working from home.  No more long commutes and spending time with co-workers we would hardly spend time with otherwise.

It's not often that we see business owners like those at the Grind Brew and Cafe calling it quits. Yet, the burnout and the yearning for a better "work/life" balance is a real issue for millions of Americans.  In other democratic countries, it is common for workers to have longer vacations and more personal time.  Perhaps it's about time Americans began to discover that real living is what happens in your "down" time.

As my grandfather once told me as he was nearing death. "No one ever gets to their deathbed and wishes they had spent more time working, he said. "They get to their death bed and wish they had taken more quality time to spend with their friends and family members making warm memories".

I'm going to miss The Grind Brew and Cafe, but I hope stepping away from the business helps them find what they seem to be longing for as expressed in their Facebook post. It is a courageous decision and one that many more of us will make for better or worse.


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