As we all know, there are seasons in our lives that call for us to merely just endure a hardship. Living and surviving take constant effort, hard work and redirection to ensure we are keeping up with world changes, our work life and the stress that come with tragedy, loss or, perhaps, the fact that life looks different than what we imagined. Each year of my last fifteen years at the business I acquired after my late husband died has presented one challenge or another in our industry, with our customers and with our business. We’ve seen low market prices, industry shifts that were difficult to manage, and personal tragedies within our families and friends that derailed us more than any other factor. I’ve concluded through observation and the wise words of many front counter conversations that the trick is to keep going, to hold on until things get better and to be brave enough to move forward in the midst of uncertainty. Here are a few quick reminders for enduring when times are tough and our hope starts to fade:
- No Matter What, There is Always Hope
Hope is one constant that is always available. At the beginning of my late husband’s cancer journey fifteen years ago, a nurse came into the room to do her daily rounds. In the midst of a casual conversation, she turned to me and said, “Someday you will get your life back!” These words didn’t resonate at the time and yet they stuck in my mind. Now, many years later, the words make complete sense. It may not have been the life I planned in my younger days and far greater than I could ever imagined in many ways. The journey has been very difficult at times and, every now and then, memories of the tragedy still haunt. That being said, hope provides an outlet for the future.
- It’s All About People
The greatest “things” in my life are not things. They are life experiences, the greater powers that guide us, and they are people. They are family, friends, wonderful employees, and customers whom we have all come to know as friends. I am humbled and privileged to be a part of a local community and a business team that has allowed mistakes, latitude to pick up the pieces and compassion to know that we are all in this together.
- Embracing the Real Picture
Although we cannot predict the future, we know that most years will bring challenges as well as opportunities. The world conditions are real. Our family dynamics, heartbreak, unforeseen tragedies and the stress of living are real. We know that we need to shift our thinking, our way of leading, our decision-making and our daily routines accordingly. Perhaps our promise is in our commitment to do our best, day in and day out, work with and support each other, find new ways to manage uncertain times together, and to do our part to take care of our community and the people in our lives who also take care of us.
- Reaching Out For Support
Our pride, as well as our desire to not bother anyone with our woes, often creates a situation that is more dismal than necessary. During challenging times, look to the people in your life for support. Be brave in reaching out to others to gain support, lend a listening ear and to be a friend. When realizing that someone in your life needs this support, all it takes is just one simple step to give someone else the support they need.