Let’s be real for a second, for most people, the last two years have been challenging and traumatic. Between the pandemic itself and the economic disaster it created, our lives have had more drama and stress than is normal. As I write this today, our future is no less cloudy than it was 6 months ago. A few months ago the pandemic was surging, but then it stopped, but wait…it’s surging yet again! Who knows what Covid is going to do? I give up predicting that!

On the economic front the Fed has already raised our interest rates once and is expecting to raise them again multiple times this year. This is now leading to discussions about the possibility of a recession. Meanwhile, inflation is currently well out of control and it is placing tremendous pressure on both businesses and our employees. For most of us, it is fair to say nobody is winning today. We are all simply fighting to survive. So, it begs the question, how do we get through this?

Find a Cheerleader!

While I have a number of people who have been very helpful to me in my career, today, I need to give thanks to my grandmother. I have known for the past week or so that the end was near for her and it has led me to reflect on her life and our relationship. By any measure, my grandmother led a great life that should be celebrated. As I told my friends, I will be a very happy man if I can be in my 90’s, still driving, healthy, and living independently. But selfishly her loss still hurts.

I learned quickly, after my wife and I opened this business in 2014, to call my grandmother on days when I was lacking in confidence or was worried about the business. She never failed to rise to the occasion to support me. “You’ve got this”, she’d say. “I am so proud of you for taking this chance and working at it, you don’t let any grass grow under your feet!” While nobody is perfect, I can tell you that I always got off the phone with her more confident in myself because she believed so much in me. That little boost of support from her, was a huge mental health boost for me. While she hasn’t been the only one to give me that support, I will say it was somehow different and motivating coming from my grandmother.

Look Around You

In my reflections over this past week, I just kept coming back to the deep appreciation I have over her unwavering support. Often times, just a conversation with her was the kick in the pants I needed to keep going. As I thought about that, it also made me quickly realize that there are a number of people around me who are facing much larger challenges than I have ever faced. How can I repay the faith my grandmother had in me to others? While I can’t replace my grandmother, I do believe I can honor her legacy by being more intentional in my support of the people closest to me.

As we move through the next 6 months, I believe all of the issues facing us today will likely be the same or similar issues facing us tomorrow. If we are all tired, frustrated and angry at the world right now, imagine what our mental state will be like in 6 months? For me, I am eternally grateful for the circle of friends I have had around me over the past two years. I do believe the people I have around me have been of enormous benefit. I just hope and pray that those same people look at me as a person who gives as good as he gets. While I will no longer have my grandmother to draw on for support, I have no intention of forgetting the lessons she taught me.

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