So many paths forward

That quarantine life is upon most of us now, and everyone is living and feeling a new reality. Disruptions in daily life are far reaching, whether as minor as not being able to go to your favorite restaurant or as major as not being able to work at your restaurant job. Lives have been paused, rearranged, adjusted.

Our family is currently doing okay, but in a holding pattern with our jobs and income. Ronnie voluntarily closed the gym to help flatten the curve and is providing equipment and home workouts to his members while trying to keep the community aspect of the gym alive on social media. We hope and pray this doesn’t last long and the members stick with us through this time, as otherwise there might not be the funds or a gym to open back up whenever that happens. We’ve just learned it will be at least 30 days due to the city’s Stay at Home order announced today.

At Hallmark, those of us that can are required to work from home. They are making other arrangements for other parts of the business and roles in order to balance business needs but also support those that cannot work right now. I don’t envy our leadership team’s job right now to lead a giant company with thousands of employees nation and worldwide through this. Trying to determine the short term choices versus long term consequences and health of employees and the business is no easy task. It’s possible with the way this has impacted the economy and all different categories, that even many of us that are currently employed now may not be in the long run. But I guess that’s always the case with any company, it’s just a more realistic possibility now, even after surviving hundreds of layoffs earlier this year before COVID-19 was even a concern.

While all of this up-in-the-air-ness causes concern and worry over the future, our financial stability, and our current way of life, I also see opportunities. There are so many paths forward, through this strange time and afterward. Choices for us as a family, choices for our community, choices for businesses, choices for our country and the world. We all have them. Choices in how we handle this new normal and if we make the best of it, or allow it to annoy us or make us bitter. How we treat each other, connect with each other, help each other. We have opportunities to take advantage of now that things are slower and there are fewer things to do outside the home. We have opportunities to re-evaluate our current state, and how it can, should or has to change, depending on our circumstances. We have a new perspective now, that we never or rarely considered a couple weeks ago.

I hope that those in dire circumstances are able to find solace and support, and the presence to know that they are alive and enough. I hope they see the kindness of those around them. That they can focus on the day and needs at hand. And that those with comfort and security will find stillness and freedom, and opportunities to help those in need right now. And for all of us, if we can dream, consider how to change our trajectory, even if it was “fine.” There have already been and will continue to be innovations that arise out of this. Whether businesses trying to find new income streams in this new normal, or people just finding new ways to connect while maintaining proper social distance. Some may find time on their hands to try something new, explore new hobbies, and expand their knowledge with a learning opportunity like the many free online classes and books now available. These is so much available to us in this new world, if we stop, open our eyes and hearts.

For our own family, and for the world, I see so many paths forward. Not without hardship or difficult decisions, but also with unexpected joys and goodness. To illustrate these thoughts, I experimented with some new materials (for me) and an intuitive art process. As is the title of this post, so is this 11” x 15” watercolor and soft pastel mixed media piece, called So Many Paths Forward. Available for purchase, $65 (original, $20 print).

Mixed media art

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2 Comments

  1. oldbigbluff says:

    Your Mom told me to read this. I’m so glad I did. Mom and I are really proud of you!

  2. Thank you. I’m glad I have art as a way to think through these things now.

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