Inspired Chaos is… surviving a global pandemic.
This morning I opened my eyes to the sun gently peeking through my curtains and my windchimes singing in the strong breeze. I stretched, looking over at the time, realizing it was another day where I didn’t have to be anywhere. No obligations to anybody – no urgent errands to run, no meetings to attend, no work that HAD to be finished right then and there. I could go make a cup of coffee and pancakes for breakfast while listening to a morning newscast. I could meditate for 20 minutes and get a long shower. I could take Fern for a quiet hike through the woods. No rushing. I could take slow, easy breaths.
Then the dark demon (panic) tried creeping in, reminding me that I have the time because my business is closed. No regular cash flow, no hugs from supportive customers and friends, bills that still need to be paid and the fact that none of us know what’s going to happen and when. And that’s the part I don’t like – the not being in control.
It’s a terrifying time to so many people. I know I’m not alone in my worries.
Yesterday I saw a comment on social media that read, “These small businesses just need to figure it out and stop whining” and several acquaintances have said “Well, you own the house that the store is in so at least you don’t owe a landlord money and don’t have the overhead…” They're right. I don’t have a “landlord” to pay – but I do have a mortgage to pay off. Let’s please remember that we never really know anyone else’s financial situation so it’s important not to make assumptions.
I’m not one to complain, and I hope it won’t sound that way because the outpouring of support for my shop during this closure has been such an immense blessing. But what I’d like to say to those comments are…
Small businesses are allowed to be scared of what will/could happen… anyone is allowed to be and I hope their concerns can be heard instead of criticized. One local business has already had to close their doors permanently and we're all holding our breath that we don't hear of more friends needing to shutdown.
Small businesses are allowed to try new things while we attempt to figure it out… anyone can try something new to get through and I hope they’ll be met with grace and praise for their efforts.
Small businesses are doing their best to “figure it out” just like everyone else.
Now isn’t a time to compare businesses or financial situations – each are unique and have different obligations.
Now isn’t a good time to criticize people trying their best.
Now IS a good time to say, “I’m sorry you’re worried. I hope you know that I want you to make it through this.”
Now IS a good time to say, “Thinking about you, neighbor.”
Now IS a good time to say, “I hear ya.”
Now IS a good time to stay kind and listen. Now is a good time to connect (distantly.) Now is a good time to care.
Like I said, it’s scary, but my family is doing our best to “find the happy in the crappy.”
Many of my neighbors, my community, have offered such generous words of support and sent in orders through social media. I’m incredibly grateful for the time I’ve been able to spend outdoors and reading books that have been collecting dust on my nightstand for a year. I’m glad to have had days where I don’t have to rush anywhere. My priorities have changed with this virus, my eyes have opened and I’ve learned so much in my five weeks of being closed. I won’t go back to the way I lived before and I’m indebted for this chance to grow.
These are unprecedented times – pure and total C H A O S, and all we can do is our best to find a little bit of I N S P I R A T I O N while we try to make it through.
“At Inspired Chaos, we celebrate beautifully messy lives, cherish sweet ordinary moments and find wonder in the everyday.”
(Photo of Fern added for cuteness. She doesn't appreciate how social distancing keeps people from petting/scratching her.)