NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS COULD I HAVE FATHOMED THE CURRENT STATE OF OUR WORLD. Oh COVID-19 you stopped our moving, spinning world and ripped it right off it's axis. And with that changed the daily life of every single human on this planet.
Not one person hasn't been impacted. No one. Instead of maintaining the daily hustle and ferocious striving we all have become accustomed to, we now all find ourselves sitting, contemplating and trying to wrap our heads around how to proceed or even IF we can proceed.
Things will never be the same. Nope, not for one second will things remain the same when the world re-opens.
At least I'm hoping things won't be the same. That somehow through this season we have learned at least one lesson that will better ourselves and the world around us.
I know firsthand just how much I have been changed--altered in the deepest part of me-- during the last three weeks alone. I went from being a multi-award winning CEO, who turned down business left and right to pushing carts in the pouring rain at a big box store. There was a series of unfortunate events that led me to this place even before the virus altered our universe, but I always rested on the fact that I had income foreseeable on the pipe line. I had no reason to ever be concerned with guaranteed money on my calendar in the form of future events, but when my industry was forced to shut down as unexpected that it did, well...it was hard to plan for it. In fact it was impossible to plan for this.
Read how God how prepared me for this financial blow here.
I am not the type to sit and wait for things to work out. In fact, for my personality it is easier to go "do" than to sit and wait. I've learned the value in both. I've learned when it is the right time to go and be proactive and when it is of more value to sit and let God. In this particular instance I knew deep down in me that I needed to go get any position at any establishment and God flew open the door to confirm my hunch.
Going back to work at a big box store making a mere fraction of what I am used to is and was an act of worship for me. It has been the most humbling event of maybe my entire adult life. My third day on the job and I was asked to go push and bring back all the parking lot shopping carts. I trudged outside with my fake lashes and perfectly created half up do, donned the bright yellow glow-in-the-dark vest and made my way outside just as the sky decided to cry it's own tears. As I pulled on my hood and my eyes filled with water, I could do nothing but think of all the times I took for granted my God given blessing of being able to work in an industry that I loved, making a high dollar while doing it. Pushing carts may only be a seasonal career for me, but it's a full time, life long career for others. Just in the last few weeks, I have had fear laden customers scream at me to not touch their groceries, jump away from me as if I carried the plague, and witnessed other employees exhaustion come out in the form of ripping each other down.
But it was right there in the yellow vest that I realized the most one important fact of this whole social experiment: expect the unexpected in life. Plan for things to go wrong and off course. Anticipate that it won't end up how you thought it would. Life is a series of unexpected, tumultuous events. One after another. So why in the world do I fall victim to my own thought of how did this happen and the inevitable fear that follows?
Shift Carla. Those were the two words that kept my own tears at bay as I chased after carts that day. Shift.
This isn't the end of the world. Going through hard, difficult, sucker punch to the stomach events are not the end of us. It may be the end of a season, but that is it. It is merely the end of a familiar season. We just need to shift our perspectives to accept that a different season is upon us. Shift with the moving sand, shift with the unexpected news, shift with empty bank account, shift with the diagnosis, shift with the way we see others and interact with them. It's time to shift people!
Oh my word, can I just tell you how much these past few weeks has shifted my perspective? To the way I engage with my kids, to resting my soul, to loving perfect strangers I encounter in public (yes I'm still in public as an "essential" employee.) I have re-learned the forgotten practice of kindness. It's not that I wasn't kind before it, but I most definitely was DISTRACTED BY MY OWN AGENDA enough that other people seemed to be a speed bump over an opportunity to demonstrate love. Ironically, this whole global fiasco and working as a retail employee during it has shifted my heart back towards loving people better. To putting down my to-do list and SEEING others, believing and Knowing that I impact every single person I come into contact with. I have the power to make their day better. You have influence over every person you interact with whether it's in person or online. If we learn NOTHING BUT this ONE THING from this virus, may it be that WE ALL HAVE THE ABILITY TO AFFECT ONE ANOTHER in the most positive way. We can show up for others (as being seen over and over in this crisis.) We all have the ability to be a light, to be speak a nugget of love, to serve others in some capacity every single day.
Shift Carla. I hear it in my mind every time I enter the big box store. Because I KNOW, it is only by going through hard things in our own life that we have the empathy to shift our perspective. SO no, hard events are not the end. They are the beginning of something new and much more beautiful and by the end of it this world might be a little more of what we all hope for--a less self-focused, slower paced world.
Side note: I will never not put away my cart again, those people work too hard for what they get paid.
P.S. and if this encourages you in some manner, consider sharing!