As with everyone, this last week we had to make some really tough decisions. Closing our space was not something that we took lightly and are still feeling that deep pit of uncertainty in our stomachs. What will come of our members during this time. How many will we never see again? How many businesses will survive? What we did know, is that this was the right thing to do. No matter what the fallout is, at the end of the day if we prevent the spread of this disease to at least 1 person, we did the right thing. We’re just about a week into working from home. My “coworkers” aka kids, cats and dog are less than supportive of me working on my laptop. The 4 legged ones are either trying to catch my mouse, stepping on my keyboard or barking at the dogs happily on walks outside. The 2 legged ones work pretty well independently for a while, but inevitably that all falls to shit and they end up fighting or hiding, trying to get a few minutes of ipad time in before I find them and confiscate. Boredom even with a very thought out schedule is still happening.

For the few minutes of solitude I am enjoying right now, I thought I should put my worries down on paper. That way they don’t fester in my head becoming big scary monsters that will rob me from finding any silver lining. There HAS to be a silver lining right? My logical brain is going to come through and not let the monster get bigger than it already is. I’m just going to tackle my top 3 things that are keeping me up at night. 

How badly is my business going to suffer?

Being the realist I am, likely pretty bad. I am going to lose members which is how we stay in business. How many, I don’t know. Some of their companies just won’t exist anymore. So yes, I will lose some people. Let’s reframe the question. How many members will I keep? That’s up to me. The reach out campaign starts today. Feeling so out of control of everything happening around me, I’m have to focus on what I can control. I’m going to keep the connections going, communicating with people is all anyone is asking for right now so that’s what I am going to focus on now. We started our business with just 5 members and built it up to the community we have today. If we did it once, we can do it again. Even if we lost everyone in this, we aren’t left with no one. We are left with an army of people who have our backs and will either come back when they are ready or will be our voices of support and will do their best to send people our way.

How am I going to do work and homeschool my kids?

I think this is the question of every parent out there right now with kids. There’s a reason I’m not a teacher, also a reason I’m not a SAHM. I parent best when I have balance between work and home. They are all blended in together right now and that is a huge adjustment to make. Work days look much different than they did before. Breaks are frequent and uninterrupted time to focus is hard to come by. On the flip side. We aren’t rushed to get out the door in the morning. Alarms have turned off. I get to say “yes” when they want pancakes for breakfast and kids are learning so many life lessons. Work still gets done just not all in one block of time. It actually gives my brain time to recharge rather than forcing all the focus in one setting. Lastly, this is not permanent. At some point even if school is done for the rest of the year, our summer nanny will eventually start and I’ll eventually get back into the office again. This forced down time will likely never happen again in my lifetime so I’m going to do my best to enjoy the slowness of life and endless ponytails.

How can I help?

I’m not a medical worker, engineer, or scientist. I am not on the front lines. For those that are, please know how appreciated you are. I’m doing my part in staying home. My kids are only playing with one another. Friends are seen from a distance. I just have this overwhelming feeling that there is more I can be doing. Like others, we’ve cut out takeout so extra tips are out. I’m not hoarding supplies. I have as much on hand right now as I did a month ago. I am showing kindness and understanding to everyone I talk to. What else? What am I missing? What are you doing to help? It’s an empty spot in my soul that I so greatly want to fill but just don’t know how.

At the end of the day, I am thankful for so many things. My family, my job, a roof over my head and food in my pantry. These are things that some right now may not have. Even finding the simplest things to be grateful for right now is enough to hold my head up high. It’s not always necessary to hold your stiff upper lip, breaking down is ok too. Breaking down is a great starting point to building again. We will put ourselves back together, just in the way we always have. We will never be the same after this, the cracks where we glued our pieces together will always show.The economy will rebound at some point and people will raise their glasses and congratulate each other on making it through and coming out the other side. Until then, let’s be kind to one another and show compassion to all. 

Jamie Rissi