Every year we celebrate September. We take the 30 days it hath as an opportunity to look back to 1998, reflect on where Summit Coffee has been and where Summit Coffee is going. And each September we face the dilemma: is it Summit’s birthday, or Summit’s anniversary? Here’s where I stand.
I have nothing to do with my birthday. My parents decided once upon a time to have a 4th child, God bless them. And so in April I was born, and each time I circle the sun I celebrate that birth again. There was no active decision on my part to be born in April.
And yes, birthdays commemorate the day of beginning. Of a debut, of a welcoming into the world. And in some ways, that’s what Summit Coffee did in September 1998. It came into the world, fresh as a daisy.
Anniversaries, on the other hand, represent mutual choice. When my wife and I sit down to celebrate our wedding anniversary this October, we’ll reflect on choosing each other six years ago. We’ll celebrate the success of that decision, and the joy in it. And then we’ll continue to choose, each day and each year, to keep our anniversary and our partnership.
In my eyes, that’s more similar to my relationship with Summit Coffee. You can’t change a birthday. You cannot, after 30 years, decide you’d rather not have a birthday, or move it to July because you can celebrate on Topsail Beach.
Each day and each year, I make an active choice to be partners with Summit Coffee. To show up for work, to enjoy showing up for work, and to embrace the relationship. Our annual celebration isn’t a given; it’s a success. It’s gratification for surviving 12 more months in this industry. And, like a marriage, it’s more amazing with each passing year how long this relationship has thrived.
Make no mistake, I’m celebrating Summit’s anniversary this month. I’m celebrating our commitment to one another for the last 12 months, and vowing to continue for another 12 until we can run this back again.
So Happy Anniversary, Summit. Congratulations for making it 18 years, for being stronger with each one. Let’s share a toast this Friday, and then get back to work.