We Shall Endure

Cesar Chavez said “We draw our strength from the very despair in which we have been forced to live. We shall endure.” Now I am in no way comparing our struggles to the struggles of Cesar Chavez but we have been experiencing struggles that many of us have never faced. Your businesses have been down more than 50% for over one year. You have “pivoted” changing your business model: you let your employees go, then rehired some of them, you negotiated with your landlord’s (or tried to) for reduced rent or perhaps enter into a new lease. You painted to freshen up the place and cross trained your employees. You did everything you could to stay afloat and you HAVE endured. Some of you are gone. I hate to say this but it was probably inevitable. It may have been time for you to retire or just close the doors. As you may or may not know, I owned a dry cleaner for 14 years. I often wonder if I had stayed in the business, would I have had the tenacity to survive this COVID virus?

Every day, it appears we are conquering or at least understanding this virus more. There is some light at the end of the tunnel. It is difficult to believe it has been one year since the lock downs started but now, they are lifting so we are hoping for better days ahead.

Now you need to focus on yourself! YOUR wellness is the most important factor in your life. Over the past year, I am sure you might have gained some weight, maybe picked up some unhealthy bad habits. It is critical that you get back on the wellness train. First there are webinars and online programs that can be found everywhere. Just google “wellness apps “and you will be pointed in the right direction. There are apps specializing in stress relief and exercise programs. Some of the programs are free; others may charge. These programs can be done in the privacy of your own home. And please consider seeking counseling if you find you have entered into a dark place.

The new buzz word is “UNPLUGGING.”  According to Michelle Cederberg, “An over tasked, stressed brain has no ability to plan, to focus, to solve complex tasks, to pay attention. And when that happens, your productivity decreased and that is not good for your dream: big goals.” Michelle can be found on https://michellecederberg.com. Her recent blogs include Why It’s Sometimes Better to Think Less and Do More and Three Ways to Shift Your Pandemic Perspective. You might want to check her out.

Experts are recommending that you need to unplug from your devices on a regular basis. Think about it. What percentage of your waking hours are your plugged in – checking emails, texting, posting to Facebook or Twitter, surfing the internet, etc. Probably more time that you care to admit.

 It is necessary to create a cell free time in your day. Schedule a time to be cell-free and stick to it. Put your device in the other room. Leave it there. Spend your time doing more productive things:

• Read a book. I love to read, mostly fiction. I just finished The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah. This book really touched me. Reminded me of what we are going through now. You should check it out.

• Play music. No matter what type of music you like, music will either energize or soothe you. Put in your ear buds, sit back and relax. It can promote your creativity

• If you must tune into social media during these down times, try these two different websites. They are fun. Civilizedcavemancooking.com. George Bryant offers up more that his love for cooking. Paleo cuisine as he shares more about it and happiness. His coined hashtag is #hugsandbacon. Another is AndrewKnapp.com. Andrew has taken the world by storm with his adorable version of Where’s Waldo? His version is Momo and stars his border collie.

Your health and wellness are your top priority. Please UNPLUG and spend time on yourself. You owe it to your family, business, employees and yourself.

Spring is here. Keep that smile on your face and hug those close to you.

About Jackie Smith

Jackie Smith has been in the dry-cleaning industry for over 40 years. Her experience spans from owning a drycleaning business to working for Henderson Insurance Agency who specializes in the fabricare industry. She currently serves on the CCA Board as well as the board for So Cal Cleaners Association. She can be reached at jmshb@socal.rr.com.

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