Let me begin with this.... I am by no means a writer. You will find grammatical errors in this, but that isn't the point. We have all been through a rough year, what follows are my thoughts and observations. Hope you enjoy... and please leave a comment
With 2020 FINALLY coming to a close I took some time to think about the past year more than I normally ever do. I think more often than not we take so many things for granted. I can be honest and say that at times I do as well despite my best efforts.
The past year has been unlike any time I have ever experienced in my life…. And not all of it was bad. Being from Nashville, TN we have certainly had some extra servings of CRAP to deal with.
2020 Started as any other year until the early morning hours of March 3rd . The city I call home and the surrounding areas were devasted by an F4 tornado. It ripped through the downtown, east Nashville area and continued east through multiple cities. Each one receiving devastation of their own. The evening of March 3rd I decided to take a break from the news coverage of the tornados to watch some basketball. Game one was great. While awaiting game two to start, they come on the air and say that the game had been cancelled as a result of an official reporting symptoms of COVID-19. Little did I know this was just the beginning.
March 4th 7:39pm. I get an email from the Arnold Expo informing us that the Expo had been cancelled for the first time since its inception. As a small business, we DEPEND on these types of events to keep the company moving forward to the next day/week and getting ourselves to the following event. With the EXPO cancelled and having sunk every dime we had sitting around into the Event fee (5500.00) and the stock to have items to sell, I really began to get worried. When I got the email I was on my way to dinner with friends (also not knowing that was about to NOT be a thing anymore) I decided to have a couple bourbons and try to not worry anymore about it until the next day. As you can guess, I still worried. I decided to post up a huge sale and hope to make enough money back so that we could live to fight another day. Fortunately for us, that indeed worked. We posted a sale on Thursday, and from that we made enough to cover all of our bills, expenses and losses from the EXPO being cancelled…. NOW, I am not a super spiritual person, but I felt like I needed to do something to pay our good fortune forward. So for the next 3 days, we would drive around and purchase supplies (water, tarps, gloves, etc) and donate to the Tornado relief in Nashville. In addition, we went down and help with some of the clean up…… Have you ever heard someone say “that did me more good than you?” Well, the truth is I got WAY more out of that experience than they did out of the money I spent buying supplies or what “help” I provided cleaning up debris. I was able to see the GOOD in humanity. Helping your neighbor in need, and folks being selfless in their time of need. One of the business owners who had lost everything, was delivering coffee and donuts to volunteers.
March 13th. Here is an insider piece of news. I still work my day job. I work from home and they allow me a lot of freedom. My wife works crazy hours, so I still do both because I don’t want to get bored. Anyway, on Friday the 13th (non the less) I find out that one of the clients I was doing projects for had decided to leave our company for a competitor. So, you could say that that added stress added to everything else that was already going on. I had just set up for a competition the following day (not knowing it would be the last for a LONG TIME). Anyway, tried my best to move forward with the things I could control and not the things I couldn’t.
As you can image what follows over the coming months is a mass cancelation of events and competitions. We begin to notice that so many of our friends were being forced to close their doors on their businesses.
The following months would be plagued with layoffs, shutdowns, lockdowns, and overall uncertainty with the world we found ourselves in. With all of these NEGATIVE things, I did find some positivity.
I would love to tell you all that the turning of the calendar will end the CRAPOLA of 2020. Truth is, the Caca we find ourselves dealing with probably isn’t relegated to only a calendar year.
The clickbait, negative mentality of people always looking for more of a reason to hate instead of love. To push others down instead of lifting them up. The human race is better than what we are giving each other right now.
You say “well I can’t change the way things are in the world”. Well, you are right, you can’t change everyone and you can’t effect change if you do nothing….. but what you CAN do is effect change in your immediate circle. Start with your household. Look for the positives and focus on those. Spread that to your friends and extended family. I get it that aunt Karen is crazy, but let’s not focus on that but on the fact that she is a really good singer (bad example), but you get where I am going. When you are in the store, smile as you pass someone (even though you are wearing a mask). Say hi, help a friend, neighbor, pay for the person’s coffee behind you in line.
Can you change the world all by yourself? No, but you can change yourself, and that shit is contagious my friend.