Finding the Silver Livings

Throughout the year I have checked in with myself and asked the following questions…

How would I feel if tomorrow I woke up and all things Covid related were gone...restrictions were lifted and we were able to go back to our normal routines, hobbies, and favorite places?

How will I look back on the hardest year ever?

What are my takeaways, skills, and lessons learned that I might have never ever had the chance to tackle if it wasn’t for this past year?

I am one that always tries to focus on the positive side of things – because looking at the bright side of things simply makes situations easier to handle.

Allowing myself to reflect on this past year, it has been incredibly hard, for so many reasons – but what I am realizing with one full year behind us, is that although this time might have been challenging throughout the learning process, I know I will come out a better person because of it. And, I am finding the silver linings along the way that will stay with me much longer than this pandemic.

First, I have acquired new skills because it seemed best for us to do things ourselves – or things simply weren’t available during this time for others to help. So, if this creative agency gig doesn’t pan out, I’ll be setting up a chair in my backyard to cut hair: kids, men, women, grandparents…come on over! I love cutting hair!! And I have happy “customers” when the job is done! It’s a special time to have those conversations you don’t always get to have as well as some much-needed self care for the person in the chair. To see the immediate transformation of a person through the power of scissors (and occasional clippers) and how it makes them feel so good is very special to me. I look forward to continuing this skill, if my “clients” are willing.

I have also made changes in our home that make it feel more like us – in functionality and also design. I have had the chance to bond with my home and my people in it so much more than I ever would have. I understand what we truly need to surround ourselves with in order to thoroughly enjoy our time when we are together…and there has been a lot of time for togetherness!

Outside of our home, the people we saw most were our neighbors. We came together to support each other in more ways than we would have ever imagined this past year. That is a bond that will never break, and I am beyond grateful for them. Would we have had the chance to form those relationships if it wasn’t for this past year?

Time not spent with my family this past year I will not get back, but to be together again will be savored and appreciated so much more and certainly not taken for granted. And anticipating moments in restaurants, traveling and events will certainly be cherished more than ever. A sense of gratitude for what could be considered the simple things is more abundant than ever.

Somehow the days have gone by faster than ever (thank goodness, but not sure how!), and we are all trying to figure out this life we are in that we never anticipated or have ever experienced before – and the message that keeps coming up in conversation with others when we have no words to explain the situation we are in is… “We are all in this together.” That is comforting to me and I would like to think when we are all in a similar situation we can relate with one another more, which hopefully means we can sympathize for one another more as well. Even complete strangers and those different from ourselves seem more relatable. Hopefully we are all more sympathetic to others around us because we are all in this together. A hello to a stranger from 6+ feet away between two masked people feels so darn good these days!

We are better together – and I hope this past year offers a way for people to realize and appreciate the importance of togetherness for those around us more than ever and allows ourselves a new found compassion for others.

Instead of thinking about things I could have done during this past year – I am choosing to think about things I am so very grateful for and the lessons I have learned, the skills I have honed, and the relationships I am so ready to keep nourishing more than ever.

Beyond my own experiences, I am inspired by what others are doing as well. One of my favorite observations is every Friday at 5pm on the corner of Nicollet and 40th (weather permitting) people gather and have silent dance parties with their headphones on…this started this past summer – sometimes it’s a party of one or two, and this Friday with the warmer weather it brought people back to the corner and there were 6-8 people all dancing to their own music playing in their ears, yet enjoying the experience together, and so were the passersby, myself included…I always wonder what everyone is listening inspired me to start my own dance party playlist…maybe I will join them someday.

So, here’s to silver linings and inspiring others, and when looking back at this year we might find the positive experiences that we gained that never would have happened otherwise. Use your skills to help others, leave some goodies or flowers on a doorstep, show compassion to a friend, neighbor or a stranger, tell someone you care about them because it means so much these days – and it means so much any day – so let’s celebrate those silver linings we have created from this past year and keep doing more of that even after this is all over.

Wishing positivity & togetherness to you all,

~Mollie Windmiller
Owner & Creative Director of LAB

Some silver linings shared by our followers…