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Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes (turn and face the stranger)

Melissa J.  |  06.20.2023

Do you ever have times in your life when you feel like you’re . . . not exactly failing, but not exactly winning, either? Like, you keep throwing things at the wall hoping something will stick, and even the things that used to stick aren’t sticking anymore? Gosh, me too. That’s me, right now. Guys, I feel like a rookie.

I don’t want to solely blame a worldwide pandemic that changed everything and everyone, but in conversations with people lately I get this overall message that nearly every darn thing is different in the last couple of years. Every business owner I talk to: we’re all trying to figure it out. Your shopping habits have changed, which means the way we run our businesses has changed. Our communication habits have changed. Some people just want “quick, easy, in and out in a jiffy,” but we’ve always been about warm smiles, easy conversation, and legendary guest service. Can those two things co-exist? I admit, when I go to a grocery store, I’ll hit the self-checkout because I think I can do it faster than the checker two registers over. But we are losing something crucial to human survival: connection.

It feels like the world has sped up and keeps gaining a frenzied kind of momentum. I heard a speaker say that we as humans endured about 8 years’ worth of change in the span of two years (between ’20 and ’22.) That’s a lot of change, and fast. Faster than we are wired to adapt. I can’t quite put my finger on what exactly is different, and I don’t have an answer to how to fix any of this or if there is a fix. I just know that something has changed, and now the question is: what’s the best way to adapt? Like the David Bowie song Changes says, “turn and face the stranger.” Are you feeling this way, too? If you’re feeling like you’ve been turned upside down, just know that I see you, and I’m feeling the same way, too. “Time may change me, but I can’t trace time.”

With blessings and gratitude,

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