“It’s not a bad idea to occasionally spend a little time thinking about things you take for granted. Plain everyday things.” ~ Evan Davis
I’m guilty! Guilty of the failure to appreciate, sometimes even to notice just how good I’ve had it – how good we’ve all had it. By comparison to life in the COVID-19 era, most of us, unless we’re Holocaust Survivors or lived through the Great Depression or endured some personal tragedy that left us with broken bodies or broke spirits – have probably been pretty lucky. Lucky to live in the greatest country in the world, to enjoy personal freedom – freedom of movement, freedom to congregate, freedom to go about our business without interference and unfettered by fear. Where I live, I’ve had the luxuries that liberty affords – the blessings of starting a business from nothing, of marrying the partner of my choosing, of having and raising outstanding children and being a part of the lives of our amazing grandchildren. My family I have been blessed with good fortune in abundance – and from time to time . . . maybe even most of the time . . . I’ve taken it all for granted.
Unless some set of circumstances, like physical trauma or the death of a loved one or a temporary “reversal of fortune” gave me pause, I’ve gone blithely, maybe even a bit smugly, on my merry way, Reveling in my accomplishments – celebrating what I’ve achieved, little as it may be, but impressive to me from whence I came. Life has been good. And it’s still “good”, but oh so very different.
As an Event Professional, my business has been shuttered, its income stream gone dry. Absent events, we have no earnings capacity. None at all. When people can’t congregate, we can’t operate. Except for those who can “work” from home or perform “Minimum Essential Operations” in our facilities, our team has been furloughed. We’ve no idea when this will end or how it may profoundly affect us, not just in the short term, but for the long haul. What will life and weddings and celebrations and funerals and festivals and fund raising look like – how different will the events world be? Everything we thought we knew is now called into question. Everything we’d come to count on is in limbo.
But here’s what I do know, I’ll never take my good fortune, experienced in any context, for granted again. And I’ll never fail to sit close to my husband and take his hand or hug my children or hold my grandchildren. I’ll treasure every team member and show them proper appreciation for their efforts and their contributions. I’ll value every client and customer and be thankful for every opportunity to meet their needs. I’ll be more gracious and more helpful. I’ll be kinder and gentler. I’ll be ever so much more aware of what’s really important in this journey we call life.
I’ll remember these dark days, but focus on the lessons learned, not the price paid. I’ll believe, fully and completely, that there won’t be a next time, and that if there is, we’ll be better equipped to find another, better way. I’ll consciously and continually count my blessings. I’ll face the future with hope and courage. I’ll embrace optimism and eschew fear. I hope you’ll do the same.