How Quickly Life Can Change!

55869470_10216187047602261_5972124683326193664_oIt has been over a year since my last blog post! A lot has changed in that time frame. In April of 2019, I left the American Red Cross after 18 years and began my “fresh start” as the Development Director for Operation Fresh Start.

It has been a whirl wind of a year! Leaving a job after 18 years is very emotional. Especially one that has been the fabric of my life for almost two decades, but I knew it was time.  I can say, I am were I am supposed to be – helping opportunity youth in Dane County, on their path to self-sufficiency.

That brings us to our current state – COVID-19! Where do I even begin?

If someone would have told me mid-March, stores would be shut down, only those essential business are to be open, we would be sheltering in place in our homes, thousands of people are dying around the world and all in person socialization with my friends and family would come to a halt I would think I was watching some crazy sci-fi movie! Sad to say this has been the reality for almost two months.

For the most part, I have been ok. Like everyone, there are good days and bad days. I am a glass half-full type of person, so I trying to focus on the positives – connecting more with friends (virtually) than I have in the past, realizing I have to much “stuff” and have done a deep purge of my household, finding the time to lose myself in art, crafts, a good book and movies. Trying out new recipes, baking and oh so many dishes (this part I can do without). My most favorite thing that I have been doing is getting out in nature! Picking up trash or hiking in our county and state parks! The outdoors has been my salvation!

When I am outdoors in our parks, I also feel a closeness to our young people at Operation Fresh Start. Our supervisors and crews are out year-round beautifying our parks so people like me, can enjoy time on the trails. I have a much greater appreciation for the work they do! Picking-up trash in my neighborhood has been my other activity that brings me a sense of calm. I take pride in all the bags I have filled in trying to clean up Mother Earth!

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I am going to use the rest of this “Stay at Home” order to focus on what I have been doing, not what I have not been able to do.

I can’t wait for the day I can see my family and friends in person, see live music surrounded by hundreds or thousands of people, eat in a restaurant, travel, get my hair cut…… but until then, I will do what I am asked – stay home, wear a mask and continue to try and help my community get through this…. And together we can!