June 2021 we bought a new commercial retail freezer for the farm store to feature products like Windy Knoll ice cream, our Grateful Pizzas, and other prepared foods. Any new equipment we purchase is a big deal since our budget usually is restricted to “used”.

About a month ago, the ice cream started to feel a little soft in that freezer.  The thermostat on the outside of the freezer displayed -6.5 degrees but the thermometer inside the freezer was showing +20 degrees. So, we had our faithful refrigeration guru out and he reprogrammed the thermostat to an even lower temperature.  All worked well until two weeks ago when the same divergence happened again.

Another call for service.  To cut to the chase; it seems both defrost heaters have stopped working in this year-old unit. Now I have to file for a warranty claim. A brand new unit that cost us $2K has died in 13 months! Who knows how long it will take to get another functional unit?  My frustration thermometer burst its bubble.

I’ve started thinking about how I handle different stresses, well aware that tripling diesel fuel prices, slow supply channels and doubling of almost all our input costs can send me into a tail spin.. Our customers have all the same stresses and may not even be aware of how much escalating energy prices are going to effect of the costs of everything…especially food.

Thermometers react. They go up and down as life goes up and down. Situations control them.

Thermostats control. They are a more steady state. Regardless of what’s happening in life, they are always trying to adjust back toward their desired setting. They control situations.

I see thermometers every day. Something bad happens in life, and these folks are in a terrible mood for the rest of the day.

I go thermometer more than I would like. Something doesn’t go as planned, and the mercury rises or falls.

I am striving to be more of a thermostat. “Oh, suddenly life got hot. I better cool that down a bit.” I have found a momentary pause before reacting to a situation has helped to rapidly dissipate the energy in a purely emotional freak out response.