Adapting to changing plans and a new world

I’ve tried to write this column at least six times, but things kept changing, so I kept starting over.

Little did we know back at the beginning of March just how different our daily lives would be at this point. I guess that’s how life goes, though. We plan and plan and plan, and life just takes us where it wants. And while we may not have any say-so in what happens, we sure do have a say-so in how we respond.

No one really likes change, right? Right. Even though we all want to believe that we’re adaptable and open-minded and progressive, it’s tough to roll with the punches sometimes. A worldwide pandemic, wreaking havoc on our daily lives, way of living and kids’ schedules, definitely qualifies as a tough change. I became a 5th grade teacher in a matter of moments, while working remotely full-time and trying to salvage any ounce of sanity I could manage … what about you? What did you become? Here’s what I hope has happened, personally and professionally.

I hope that I never forget how happy it made me looking across my dining room table at my daughter: me working, her doing schoolwork, simply enjoying the fact that we had the opportunity to spend our day together. Being a working parent presents its own set of challenges. The constant struggle between longing to have more time with your kids and the feeling of accomplishment for your professional successes is never-ending. I have cherished this time with my girl and I already dread not spending my weekdays with her.

I hope that we all are taking note at how productive we can be from anywhere. There are many essential businesses out there who never shuttered normal business operations and that, my friends, has been impressive. Major props to you for maintaining your goods and services, because we needed you! But for those of us who adjusted everything we knew about our industry, packed up our offices and headed to the house, we quickly became proficient in video conferencing calls and email streams that would have normally been meetings. It has been a challenge. At least it was at first, a little intimidating even. The Chamber staff has adjusted the way we do business now for almost four months and have not missed a beat. One main reason? Our leader isn’t afraid to go off script or to adjust our daily practices and routines to what works best for now. Which brings me to this last point …

I hope that we all allow ourselves to continue this growth once this is all over. I am one of those people who truly believes that you can find something good in every situation, no matter how challenging it may be. Let’s continue to allow ourselves to do things differently. Less “this is the way we’ve always done it,” more “let’s take a look and see if we can make this better,” Be adaptable, open-minded and progressive. Don’t be afraid to delete the whole article and start again. Sometimes the greatest successes come from the toughest struggles.