We're only halfway through 2020 and already this year will go in history. Some of us have lost loved ones to COVID-19. Others have lost their livelihoods. We all have lost freedom to move about the country and even our own hometowns as we are accustomed. We lost the ability to handshake, to hug, to console. Now our city streets are full of protestors and rioters over injustice for George Floyd and for others who came before. Fear, anger, and worry abound. Those are some stories we will tell. But there are many others. I will remember how our block started checking in on one another. Simple quick texts: You ok? Do you need anything? I'm here for you. I will remember how my band of woman-owned businesses came together to support one another. Bergen at Lilla Barn made face masks, Erin at The Nimble Bee helped with designs, Carly at Unpatterned and Lidia at Lidia Varesco Design helped with tone and messaging, Ressie at @Properties shared video tips. Many more listened with empathy as we all struggle to move our businesses forward during a pandemic and now a civil rights movement. Many are worried about protecting their storefronts while at the same time inspired to get involved in bringing about long-overdue change. I will remember my son's 11th birthday and how we talked honestly and openly about race over dinner before he blew out his candle wishing for peace, not presents. I will remember how much I appreciate the small businesses in my community and that I took for granted that they would always be there. I'm grateful for how they adapted so gracefully to curbside pickup and home delivery. I can get my local coffeehouse Perkolator's cold brew delivered to my door. Seeing that half-gallon jug makes me smile every time I open my refrigerator door, which, let's be honest, is a lot during this time. I will remember 2020 as the year my daughter learned to ride her bike. She went from 'I can't do it!' to 'Mom, look!' in days. Her sense of accomplishment from overcoming fear and self doubt to riding happy and free was a total God drop in an otherwise heavy time. I'm not sure who was more proud but I know she learned a lot more about herself than how to pedal. Those are some of the other stories 2020 will tell. The year we took stock. The year we found appreciation for the people in our lives and the things we took for granted, from iced coffee to civil liberties. With plans cancelled and protective curfews in place, we have time to pause and think about what really matters. It's not the stuff. It's not even the trips. It's the people we share these joys with and basic human rights. So, 2020 already has many stories but there are countless more yet to be heard. Perhaps the most important thing to do right now is LISTEN. Listen to people of color. Listen to our young people. We ALL have stories of our own to tell.
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