You ever stop and think about how crappy this last year has been? I’m pretty sure if you have a pulse, you have. Every day feels like another day closer to “hopefully soon this will be behind us…” (And just in case you have been under a rock, of course I am talking about COVID….)
What a freaking NIGHTMARE this has all been. Who would have ever thought???
I will never forget the day we got a message from the principal in my daughters senior year at High School; he sent out a message for all kids to bring home their books ‘just in case it’s longer than we expected’. I texted my daughter and told her to grab her books and her response was, “I don’t need my books”…Clearly not realizing the gravity of it all… Truth is…none of us would be able to grasp the reality of it all.
Days turned into weeks, and weeks have turned into months…months are quickly approaching a year of HELL.
I heard from my dear friend today that the doors of her salon are closing with literally hours notice…. (and the words of QUEEN’S song played in my head, “Another One Bites the Dust”)… What a travesty…
(Don’t get me started on our Governor and his “Do as I say not as I do” lifestyle)… Many have suffered the fallout of being a small business; people who have put their American dreams – blood sweat, tears, and all they own into something that doesn’t stand a chance in this pandemic…
In the wake of my friends salon going under, I can’t help but reflect on all the lives this has impacted.
My daughter was Class of 2020… her last and most anticipated few months of her senior year; Prom, Senior Sunset, etc…her grand finale disrupted and ripped away without warning… and it was what it was….
I thought she had it bad. I felt bad…we grieved, we cried, we screamed…we did our best to come to terms with all we looked forward to in her life. And it sucked….
But here we are, eleven months later…STILL dealing with all this Pandemic “stuff”… and I feel the fallout is WORSE for Class of 202I. I don’t feel it, I KNOW IT.
I don’t want to say Hindsight is 2020, because if I had my say in life, history and going forward…I’d never mention 2020 again… (who’s with me on this)…
But this year keeps bleeding its nastiness out to the world, and things are feeling darker and uglier, and we are all STILL trying to make sense of it all and find the light at the end of the tunnel and it feels like literal HELL….
Some days we are left feeling like, “Will it ever end?” And let’s be honest, many times it feels like “No”. And here is where I want to sink in…here is where I NEED to sink in and lean on HOPE…and say…
Here’s the thing…many years ago when I was pregnant, I will never forget my sister in law made a statement about my future in having my first child. She said, “I can’t wait to see what your story is”…meaning…I can’t wait to see how the birth of your first child unfolds…
I wasn’t sure how to take that, but I remember when she said that, it sparked a curiosity (and let’s face it, a FEAR in me) about how my daughter would be born… and the question in my mind about it all is “What’s your story?”
It’s been over 20 years since she uttered those words, but I still think about them on many levels. Because in life, we ALL have OUR stories.
The reason this all popped up in my head is that I was just talking to Aspen recently about our ancestors. My parents had MANY stories growing up about their families (our ancestors) and the hardships they went through getting to this country and how they HAD to come through Ellis Island on a boat, and that BOTH sides of my family had their names changed, because those that checked people in couldn’t be bothered with the details… so on my dad’s side, they left a Z out of the surname for my grandfather..and on my Mom’s side, they left out the O’….Our family lost something just coming across “the drink” (ocean).
Both my parents were first generation Americans…their parents all came from “the old Sod”…Romania and Ireland.
Though my parents have told stories of their families over the years, I never got tired of hearing them and they were repeated time and again (so I could basically explain where all the crazy came from, but you’ll have to buy me a pint for the details).
I write all that to tell you all this….
THIS.IS.OUR.STORY (I’d insert a thousand exclamation points, but my key is dead and my computer is going in for service, so work with me here…)
THIS…is our story…
The Truth is, we have been spoiled and pampered over the last few decades. NO ONE is guaranteed joy. We have been GRANTED much joy in recent decades (including but not limited to the days of shoulder pads and Aqua Net)…
But as life Ebbs and Flows, we have to go with the flow and pray for better times.
I’m so sad for the class of 2020 and even more for the class of 202I…but this is their story.
I was talking to my friend today about how this last year has strained so many relationships (marriages, teenagers, parents, etc)… And I told my friend how there are times I feel this will never go away. But then I think back to 9-II… The attacks…the loss of life… the MANY postings of missing people we ALL hoped would be found alive… it literally felt like forever. And we knew when that attack happened, that we would NEVER be the same…I’m tearing up just recounting that time. It’s as fresh in my head, heart and eyes as it was those many years ago… And that is our story.
I write all this honestly as a story of hope. I know it doesn’t sound like it, but being my age and living through many trials and fears in life…I have learned that we need to keep pushing forward. We have proven time and again that we CAN prevail. We ARE resilient. And we HAVE lived through much suckage in our lives.
Over this time, I found a quote that I really love and it’s helped me many times find my ground. It was by Joel Osteen… he said, “Our past does not define us. Our Past PREPARES us…”
As I look back on my 50+ years of life, I can find some scary times that I have lived through and that we have lived through as a nation and world. TRUE, it feels pretty volatile now, but the best advice I can give you at this time is to do your best to “keep it local”. Manage your life in your small bubble so that you don’t get overwhelmed with all the global details. Don’t come at odds with your neighbors, because you can’t control them and they can’t control you… Focus on what YOU CAN CONTROL and let the rest roll off your back.
If you are a parent, check in on your kids. Take a drive with them, have a heart to heart talk about future goals and aspirations… Help them find something to look FORWARD to.
I know this time is hard. It weighs heavy on me on the daily. And when I hear another business has gone under it reminds me further to keep it local and care for the businesses in our community. Though we may feel powerless, we have more power than we let on. I’m doing my best to let Amazon carry its own weight and focus my attention on our smaller businesses who could benefit from our patronage.
What will YOU do to make your story great and how you made a difference when you thought all hope was lost?
We all have a story…it’s just yet to be written. Make it count and make it great. No matter how big or how small, you CAN make a difference. Let’s help each other and let’s get through this on a strong note.