Week two of social distancing in the books. Here in Charlotte, NC, we began a County ordered shelter in place this week. Public School buildings are closed until at least May 15th. And the Governor just ordered a 30 day statewide shelter in place beginning Monday. With this backdrop, and with plenty of time to adjust to the temporary new normal, here are some thoughts about where we are and where we’re going.
Let me start by saying I hope you all are doing well and staying safe. We need to send thanks to all of those on the front lines in healthcare, in our groceries, restaurants and throughout the supply chain working to ensure we are all cared for during this time. And also sending love and prayers to anyone who is impacted by, or knows someone, impacted by the virus. As this goes on, unfortunately it seems we all know and love someone who is impacted.
For me personally, working virtually is the norm. My work from home journey is in it’s 6th year now, and I have long been focused on being location independent. But it is a different feeling having two college freshman, a high school junior and a fourth grader all working from home as well. They are all doing well, doing class work online, with of course the older kids being generally more independent. And if I have to play tech support for our youngest, I try to just have fun with it. But honestly it can be stressful with more people in the house all day everyday. Not to mention that everyone seems to always be hungry!
I am now generally the one doing all shopping. Which now seems to be little daily trips to the grocery store to pick up and find what we can. Amazing how we take meal planning for granted, and how it’s changed when you cannot find something like ground beef for almost two weeks! It’s also the time when pollen is abundant and allergies are kicking in – so every sneeze and every cough can leave you a bit more concerned.
My mother is 79, and is a virtual shut in, and luckily my youngest brother is there as support for her around his work schedule. Typically a caregiver comes in to help with Mom daily. With every entry in and exit out of the house, it’s hard not to wonder. Is she a carrier? Did she thoroughly wash hands, clean and disinfect enough? What happens when she runs out of gloves? Not to mention masks that aren’t available.
Needless to say, there’s a lot of opportunity to focus our energy on worry and fear. But I choose to redirect my thoughts to gratitude. And being thankful for the things mentioned above and more. And bringing me my idea for the day, makers are gonna make. Yes, a poor play on Taylor Swift lyrics. But when you have a daughter who grew up in prime ‘Swifty time’, you go with it!
So if you find yourself drifting towards worry, moving with fear, think about all of the amazing makers out there who are taking their content online sharing for all of us. And the makers out there who can sew, and are using their skills to provide masks for healthcare workers. Not to mention the makers out there who can cook, and are providing meals for the few and in some cases the many.
I’ve been amazed at the artists who have taken their talents live in an effort to raise our collective spirits. Chris Martin from Coldplay and John Legend are just two examples who have done live concerts. In Italy, Mauricio Marchini has been serenading his neighbors from his balcony.
Writers across genres are reading parts of their works online. Poets.org has a poem of the day, which are amazing. And if you haven’t yet, you can sign up and have the poem of the day delivered to your inbox! Museums and arts groups are opening online exhibits. Locally the Charlotte Ballet did a live performance last night. Just so much beautiful art to consume.
The times are especially challenging for people in the food service industry, and furloughs and layoffs are at unheard of levels. This also left a good deal of inventory at risk. Instead of letting food sit, go bad and be disposed, it’s being put to use helping others. One of my great friends from middle and high school is a Chef in Omaha, Nebraska. Chef Wheeler worked to coordinate chefs and cooks preparing the extra food into meals to feed people in need locally. Not to mention Chef Andres who has to be approaching sainthood status. He and the organization World Central Kitchen are mobilized and assisting with feeding people across the country in multiple scenarios – kids in LA, first responders in DC and NY. Their efforts are nothing short of miraculous.
And then you have individuals and organizations banding together to provide masks, gowns and other personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers. Even Fanatics which makes fan gear for your favorite sports teams has shifted from production of hats and t-shirts to masks and gowns.
Then each of us, we are makers in our own right. Whether it’s writing a blog or diving into a work in progress book. Starting a new song or finishing one you started ages ago. Or sitting down to sew or knit, draw or paint and create our own next great personal masterpiece. And when you can, share these with the world. Post pictures, videos and examples on social media. It will not only lift the spirit of others, it will give you an immeasurable boost as well.
So again, with a some apologies to Taylor Swift and the army of ‘Swifties’ out there, if I feel myself moving into worry or fear, I focus on the idea that Makers Gonna Make. Share a moment of gratitude for all of the beautiful art being created and shared. Find the content from our own personal favorite artists. And then get back to our own making, like me finally finishing blog posts like this one.
Hopefully this gives you a reminder and a push to not carry fear, but to focus on hope. And if you aren’t already, time to get creating! Be well, stay safe,and sending you much love, light and laughter. ❤️🙏