Friday, April 17, 2020

Some things have to change

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Have you ever wanted to tackle a task that needed to be changed in the first place?  Hold that thought for a moment.
In a world that for the moment everything is uncertain; your job, your finances, your shelter, food, entertainment, or the lack of any of these things have been questionable.  This virus has even slowed down those people who have thought they were invincible and thought that they had plenty of money to deal with the uncertainty.
Although this is not the conversation I am having today, the one thing I do want to talk about is the word THINK.  Think and thinking are taking on new meanings these days. More importantly, the question I want you to think about is, “where will I be in 6 months? 1 year? 5 years?”  I will tell you that your answer for right now is different from when that question came up if it came up at all, and some of us knew exactly how to answer, while others struggled to get a word out of our mouths.
Three things
I am struggling with my business.  This is the main topic for entrepreneurs for the last month.  We all thought that this was some cute little virus like the flu, and like the flu, it will go away, and we will all get to laugh about the chicken soup remedies we shared online, what happened while we were in for a week or more.  Well, Covid-19 is not your cute little virus.  This virus is like the plague, the Spanish Flu of the early 1900s, and so on.  When you have whole countries shutting down, telling people to wear masks and gloves when going outside, staying 6 feet or more away from each other.  S Even shutting down Disney parks to the point where they will be furloughing employees on April 19 because of this pandemic.  It is messing with essential things like food, toilet paper, and other important supplies, as well as people not taking things seriously, but it is serious.  My minister says that God is asking us to do a hard reset, and re-evaluate what is more important in our lives.  It does not matter if you believe in Him or not.  On second thought, it really does. More on that later.
school systems and all but the essential jobs come to a screeching halt.
It is to the point where the government has to help out those people who are struggling, which we all are.  A stimulus check was in order, but who will get it and when.  There are several flaws to the check requirements, which I will not get into, but it made me put in an application to help out my business.  I signed up twice because the first one, which is a grant from a group called Hello Alice, said that they were setting up a grant for a few select people.  I thought it was part of the one from the SBA (Small Business Administration).  They are separate from each other. The one from Hello Alice is not a guaranteed grant, and neither is the one from the SBA, which I signed up for today.  I signed up for the one at Hello Alice two weeks ago.  This is where the questions I proposed were based on.
6 months
That is the easy question, but in a way it is not.  Personally, I want a new home.  The current home is an attached condo, and though I am blessed to have one, it would be nice to have a change of scenery before I enter into senior citizenhood. I also want a new car.  I am questioning the ability that my car’s transmission for the moment is not the best, and those who had to replace a transmission on the car know that it is better to get a new car than a new transmission on a car that is over 10 years old with no new models being made for this car. (2008 Dodge Caliber). 
As for my business, within 6 months I would like to have more brand recognition.
1 year.
This is even harder than the last one.   A year ago, I thought:
  • I would have good memories of my trip to Walt Disney World in December.  I had to cancel it in October due to some financial situations with myself and other family members.  Plus, I had not even told my father that we were going.
  • I would have more customers and my business would be in a space away from my home.  That has been delayed.
  • I would have a new car.  I am currently having transmission problems with the current car (see under 6 months).  With this corona thing.  The test drive alone will have to wait. 
  • I was going to own a house and have my second membership with Disney Vacation Club.  Guess what?  (crickets!!)
So you see, even though these are goals, which I am not going to talk about 5-year goals yet, change can happen any moment now, and even if it may hurt for a moment, you have to do a few things, like readjust and rethink.
Photo by Pixabay (c) 2020
The Readjustment Period
I am not going to leave you hanging.  After all, this is about things changing.  Let me explain:
These days, everyone is “about doing it now or else”, but what has this season of uncertainty has taught us.
  • Life is short.  Instead of concentrating on making goals to be completed in a day or a year from now, make sure to concentrate on “If they are not completed by THIS DATE, reexamine and move on.”
  • Maybe the task does not need to be completed NOW, if ever.  Not everything is meant for you or to be done by you.  concentrate on the basics, and add things when they come up, but do not wait too late.  If anything, seek a second opinion on things such as remodeling a kitchen or opening a second business. 
  • Some things require a little more, like finance (money).  I always say to budget everything.  For example, I have an idea to have a craft room.  I talk about it all the time to family and friends.  I know what I want in the room, which is my second bedroom. This was to be complete in 2018.  My nephew and his girlfriend moved in, and at first, it was only to be a couple of weeks, which went into a month. There sat my second bedroom, filled with stuff that needed to be put in other spots in the condo.  I gave them a task: clean out my second bedroom, and you can stay in it until you can find a place.  Ok, they went to cleaning, and they stayed for 2 years until the birth of their child forced them to my parent’s home two months ago.  Both of us agreed that carrying the baby up and down the stairs would be too much.  Now I have this empty room (well not quite, a couple pieces of their furniture is still in there), and I am ready.  Alone the way, I had to adjust to fit things into the room for when they did move out, as well as making financial plan adjustments.
Do not look at this virus as signs of defeat.  Think of this time as a slow down period and regroup.  Also, consider this:
Readjustments also mean reconnect.  Not only reconnecting to things you once held as your guiding principles and your moral values, but reconnect to family and friends.  I know at the moment we cannot visit them if they are far away, but you can do other things:
  • If you have kids, take the time to do things with them.  If they are school-aged (4-18), they may not be able to see their friends, so helping them with their schoolwork, doing activities with them, and teaching them your values is a way to connect with them, see what is going on in their head, and so on.
    • Read with them.  Mom and dad’s homeschool is in session.  If you are Christian (I am going by what was taught to me by my parents when I was a child), this is time to introduce them to the bible and God’s teachings and how He wants us to live.
    • History lesson:  if they do not know about their family history, teach it to them.  Contact their grandparents, aunts, and uncles if you cannot remember it.  Teach cultural history, such as Black history.  Yes, February has passed, but if you are Irish, Asian, even an independent woman, teach that history. Give your child a reason to know that they have come from somewhere.
    • Go on outings…. Inside your home.  For example, create things such as safaris, a trip to Disney, or a trip to the moon.  Have a cooking show (nothing that involves a stovetop), shop in your own closet.
    • If quarantine permits, have a real outing, but not far from your home.  Remember 6 feet apart.
    • Journal.  If you have an extra notebook or two lyings around, have your child start a journal.  This is a good time for you to start one too.
When it is all over….
When the governments give the okay sign to get back to normal, it is not going to be the same.  By now, you should have a good sense of what is going to change for the better and what is going to be business as usual.  For one, I hope that we all will take into account to:
  • Never take anything for granted.  I do not know about other countries, but here in the United States, we have been wasteful, quick to judge and walking over each other.  Now that everyone from the rich to the poor is basically in the same boat, I hope that we will realize that when we get back to do the norm.
  • Everything can change in an instant.  It has been a month since this whole thing hit the United States.
  • Everything is a luxury item.  When you panic, you can think the worst, from running out of products (masks, gloves, toilet paper) to not having enough money to pay bills.  Big corporations, as well as the 1%, are finding out what is it like for the lower middle class to the poor to not have.  Perhaps it is a reminder for them when they did not have any money or maybe this is the first time (meaning they were born into money).  However, they have arrived at this or because of their income they may not see that stimulus check is coming, the 1% are finding out what it is like to be denied. 
It is kind of funny how everything is working out, but as the title says, some things had to change…for the better.  It will be alright if we exercise a little faith.  
Comment below on how you are adjusting and regrouping your life and how is your family dealing with this change.

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