Take care, wash your hands and open your heart.

I sit, tucked away on the third floor at the Brentwood Bay Resort. We are closed for guests and have been for an entire week now. Room 310 is mine until the end of whatever it is we are all about to live through. I can stay as often or as little as I like, with the exception of Fridays when I am on shift as the mandatory duty manager for a 24 hour period. Today is my first overnight, and soon I’ll make dinner in our eerily empty kitchen and walk the security rounds to make sure that the property is tucked in tight. 

There are 10 of us who are cleared to come and go from the resort. We are the last 10 people still currently employed. We have committed to seeing only each other, or the people the we live with, as long as the people that we live with are being careful in their own lives. We often eat lunch together at the large boardroom table I pushed together in our smaller, most elegant restaurant. All of this means that as a group we feel a level of safety, at least for now.

The stunning fragility of everything that we do and all of the relationships that we have has been thrown into sharp relief for me in the last 14 days. Two weeks ago we had a thriving business. We were busy, the property was filled with happy and laughing (sometimes sullen and sulky) guests who were ours to look after. Within a matter of days we had no one to keep our doors open for, and we swiftly shut down service in every single one of our venues. We had management meetings twice a day to asses the latest news, the latest revenue reports, and the latest cancellations. Our game plan changed at every meeting, leaving us breathless with the speed with which it was all unfolding. 

I love my job. It lights my fire in a very real way. To watch it simply evaporate overnight was humbling to say the least. It made me think about all of us showing up most days of our lives in these careers and jobs that we dedicate so much of our time and energy to. We do these things because we believe that there is stability here, that there is constancy, that there is reliability. For the most part this proves true. We wake up and our daily hustle is here. 

But not always. 

Personally, I laid off over 35 team members in a 72 hour window. As a resort we laid off 115 in the span of 5 days. And that level of unemployment rippled out in every business that I know of in our industry. And so my thoughts have been about fragility. My soul has felt paper thin and my heart threatening to crack. I kept sitting down to write about this very real feeling of being breakable. This feeling of grief that we are all experiencing. I even wanted to write about how important it is to allow these feeling to truly shake our souls. 

But the words kept getting tangled, coming out wrong. Instead, I realized that all I want to write about is my own experiences, and the way each day feels different in this time. I want to write about resilience, and about the extraordinary flexibility of the human heart. I want to write about how everyone I know now asks each other “how are you doing?” with intention and care behind the words. How we sign our emails with “take care,” “wash your hands,” “sending love,” and mean it so much more than we ever have before. I want to write about how grateful I am to have this pocket of serenity and community right now. 

There is so much gratitude circling around for all of the little things in our lives. It makes me pause and think about how this blog was born, and where the name came from. It was always supposed to be a reminder and celebration of how the littlest bits can make ordinary existence into extraordinary moments of beauty. So here’s to finding resilience and flexibility in your own life. Here’s to maintaining friendships, finding new lovers and facing everything that is coming towards us with open hearts. 

2 Comments Add yours

  1. mckimensart says:

    Greetings Granddaughter…

    Thank you for sharing…it gives me a bit of a picture into your days…

    I posted on FB for the first time in forever a shared post from my dear friend Linda’s son Andrew who unwittingly exposed a lot of folks to the virus before he realized…it is worth the read…but one has to scroll down to find the first day of writing…and up for the next etc.

    Rainy and cool here a slow achy day for me after not sleeping well… will write more later my love but I need to use the little energy I have left this evening to view more of Mike’s slides while it is dark…

    SO grateful for YOU…and allowing yourself to feel…are you dreaming and remembering? tomorrow more exercise am working to improve balance…cooking…using staples and from the freezer. Whole foods and New Seasons allow only so many people in store at a time and the first hr is for those that may be above 60 or immune compromised…though reports are showing up of individuals from all age groups …

    be well…and we do cherish our support groups… GN >

  2. Barbara K. Braswell says:

    Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful thoughts with me. This is a trying time for everyone, but I’m convinced we can make it through with many prayers from all. My love to you. Aunt Babe

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