Today I’m taking a little break from projects and inspiration to get a little personal with you. I’ve stayed mostly silent since the start of the pandemic. I’ve mentioned briefly that it’s because I’ve had a hard time dealing with all of it and finding the motivation to talk about the topics I share here seemed insensitive or out of touch. Here goes.
When 2020 arrived, I was full of excitement. B had just had a great year at his new job, he was flying high with how much he’d accomplished. Despite having a slow holiday season, I was excited about my own business because I had completely turned my planning process upside down and had set some of the best milestones and goals I think I ever had. I had a great work-study student that was finally starting to show interest in the strategy stuff and she was helping out a lot in the shop.
As January turned into February, B and I had planned a long weekend in Las Vegas, by that time business was booming and my business was almost 25% ahead in overall sales revenue from the year before. I was feeling amazing about things and was feeling confident that all the hard work I had put in the planning and strategy was finally paying off.
As our Vegas trip approached, I think B and I realized that the COVID illness we kept hearing about on the news was going to get bad. We started buying extra groceries each week just so we would have a small reserve. We kept some extra cash at home in our firebox just as a fallback and decided to hold off on any large spending just until we saw what was going to happen with what was not yet a pandemic.
By the time we returned home from Vegas we realized we traveled just in time and only about three weeks later, we were under quarantine and were no longer aloud to leave the house except for groceries or meditations.
That is when everything changed. My business hit a brick wall and sales literally stopped over night. B was told his entire company was going to work from home until further notice and we all know what life has been like since. It was scary for B too because he didn’t know how long he’d have a job either.
I’ve struggled a lot since then. I know I have so much to be thankful for including B still having a great job that allows us to pay our bills and put food on the table. We have our health and we could be so much more worse off. I constantly remind myself of how fortunate I am despite watching my business fail so quickly after doing so well.
Like so many of us, the pandemic has made us step back and reevaluate everything. For me personally, I’m talking EVERYTHING.
Being forced to stay at home really stripped away so much about our lives that we’d taken for granted, and made it clear what does and doesn’t really matter to us. I suspect we still have a long way to go with this pandemic, but it’s clear even now that what we’ve been discovering about ourselves will likely change us forever in some ways.
Despite personally struggling quite a bit through this time, looking back at the past few months, I realize I was given the very thing I’ve so many times wish for; a pause.
A chance to catch my breath and figure out where I really want to go with my business and this blog. This pause has given me that long sought after chance to stop and take a deep breath and take a good long look at what I actually miss and what I’m actually relieved is gone. It’s been a funny revelation.
While I don’t want to downplay all the terrible that has been happening, the sickness, loss of loved ones, the inability to spend time with loved ones, etc. Yet, during this time I have quietly been doing what I can personally to make the most of my own experience. Even though I felt I needed to take time away from the blog because I couldn’t quite pinpoint or articulate where I was being pulled, I feel like I’m finally starting to get some clarity too.
For a long time I’ve had this vision to center the blog around living your best life, sharing ways to make everyday beautiful. The idea isn’t about how much money you make / have, not about the size or location of your house or your age or family status. It’s more about finding beauty in your life where you are right now.
This may come in the form of making a new recipe to enjoy, painting a room or building something from scratch. Maybe it’s exercise or finding a great beauty product or hair style. Maybe it’s updating your wardrobe or rearranging furniture.
Above all, it’s about living more simply. Finding ways to slow down, cut out the excess or the fluff and focus on the beauty, the joy, the happiness that can be found in life no matter what your situation.
And that brings me back to the blog. You may notice the look has changed a bit. I have quietly been working on a more simple look, clarifying the brand starting with the logo and tagline. Maybe you don’t even care, but to me these changes are significant. I feel like it better represents the direction I want to go with the blog. – Simply Beautiful Living –
Finally, if there’s one thing this year has tested (aside from the obvious), its the acceptance that even the best plans can be changed.
I had a solid plan for the blog and my business this year and was so excited about what this year could be. Just like with my business, the pandemic left me sitting at home watching everything I had planned, crumble to nothing.
It was very difficult to watch and for a time avoidance was my way of coping. Lately however, I’ve been seeing it more as an opportunity. An opportunity to more clearly define why I’m here and what this blog can do to help and inspire others.
The next months will be a journey. A journey of the human race navigating this horrible pandemic, a journey of cleansing out the things that aren’t important and the journey I must take to best put this vision I have out into the world.
I hope you’ll be along for the ride.