April 04, 2020 3 min read
The last five years have been a whirlwind. Building my business
aboard luxury cruise ships while continuing to design and manage
my studio. From countless trips to the Mediterranean and then to
Asia, South America, the Amazon, Australia, New Zealand, Greece,
the Azores and more…it was as exhilarating as it was exhausting.
And yet, I kept pace.
My forward momentum was abruptly cut off. Cruises cancelled in the midst of port closures worldwide. A pandemic spreading faster than health officials could keep up. But an interesting thing happened. The initial days of worry about what to do – for my employees, for my friends, for myself – gave way to peace.
Not going to lie, it’s an uneasy peace, but peace none-the-less.
For months at a time I have been travelling. Missing out on the beauty in my own backyard. This time of a forced “reset” has given me a renewed passion for design, a renewed appreciation for my beloved mountains, a renewed energy for planting a garden, sorting through drawers and cabinets to divest myself of unnecessary items, reclaiming my health and so much more.
That said, I am keenly aware that the ability to shelter in place is a luxury. Not everyone can work from home. Our first responders and those who work in “necessary businesses” are on the front lines facing Covid-19 every day. At the grocery store I was so mindful that the pandemic is affecting all of us differently. Be kind. In fact, be more than kind to those you interact with as we deal with our new normal.
So how can we turn off the panic in the pandemic and turn it into peace?
Feeling like you are missing out on
things (FOMO)? That the world is
moving forward but you can’t? The reality is the entire world is
in slowdown mode, so take a breath and let yourself slow down
too. Don’t fight it, but find the positive in this necessary time
of “social distance” and home quarantine. Take time to appreciate
the framed photos in your living room (that you usually just
glance at on your way out the door), clean out those drawers in
the kitchen that are overstuffed but you’re usually “too busy” to
worry about, sort through the stack of cards and mail still on
the desk from the holidays. You have the time. Appreciate what
you can do in the safety of your own home. (And then do it!)
One of the tasks I took on was putting in new garden beds and planting seeds. I'm trusting that the future is right around the corner and enjoying the time spent outside with dirt between my fingers.
My friend Kyle has started sending cards (yes, actual snail mail) to friends and family members. An unexpected birthday card filled with confetti in this age of Facebook celebrations is such a treat. A short note to a local doctor to let him know she and her family appreciate his efforts. A funny card to a friend who lives alone. In this age of technology-based friendships, mailing a card or dropping a care basket or bouquet of flowers off to someone (leave it on the porch) can be the perfect way to reach out, rather than focusing on what you “don’t have” at the moment. Staying connected is important, why not arrange a Zoom Video Meeting with family members and have an online celebration?
When this virus has come and gone, our economy may recover
slowly. We, too, need to recover slowly from this stressful
period. Think about what you are currently “missing” and what you
have discovered you don’t actually miss about your normal,
everyday, full life. I love all the cruise travel, but I know it
needs to be more balanced with my design time and relaxation in
my beautiful NC
mountains. Plan to let a few things go, and have a
more balanced life. Appreciate your neighborhood, your town or
city. Take a walk and drink in the view. Reach out to friends and
family and take time to connect more often over a leisurely
dinner or game of cards. This may be a forced “reset” at the
moment, buy why not use it to make changes that will result in a
more fulfilling, slower paced lifestyle?
As for me…I’m going to take a mug of tea and sit on the porch for a bit. Just want to take a look at these beautiful mountains before I clean out another drawer…
Drop us a line on Facebook and share how you and your family are social distancing and finding a bit of peace along the way. We could all use a little inspiration!
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