About a week before all Hell broke loose and everything started shutting down, I got a new wheelchair which I promptly dubbed “the company vehicle.” I fully intended to be all over town in my chair spreading the word about my business. I fully intended to be too busy for my own good by Memorial Day. Before my state locked down due to COVID-19 I had three different companies that had expressed interest in my work.
Then everything went silent. And rightly so. No one could confidently put a freelance writer in their immediate budget. I don’t know if I adjusted with a great deal of grace, but I’ve kept writing at least.
The events of 2020 have reinforced for all of us the importance of preparation for the unexpected. Actually it has made clear that there is no preparing for the unexpected.
Because it’s unexpected.
That’s kind of its jam.
You don’t see it coming.
So “preparation” may be a misnomer in this case. The only thing even resembling “preparation” for it is to maintain a state in which you are able to respond even when events unfold that are unlike anything in your experience. It is safe to say 2020 fits that description.
Full disclosure: I have a job apart from my freelance work. I would not be broken were Dailey Freelance to disappear tomorrow. But though I have not had any leads or clients in months, I have not stopped posting on my company Facebook page. And with a few exceptions, I have kept this blog the “weekly” that its name says it is. Because, simply put, it means something to me.
I’ll never be in the shoes of a person who has built a business for 30 years only to see it crash because of the COVID-19 fallout. But I have listened to people who are in that position, and I feel that what they have to lose means infinitely more to them. Because they believed in it enough to make it their one and only source of income. That speaks volumes, I’d say. I am only working my way toward that, right now.
I know we are a nation of people who will hold fast to what we have worked for. Now that we are able to – or soon will be able to – begin rebuilding, we will do so with the same heart and soul we put into our businesses when we first started out.
With a renewed vigor.
With a renewed sense of why we ever opened up shop in the first place.
We don’t agree on how or when or how quickly we should return commerce in America back to “normal” and mistakes will inevitably be made. But one thing is clear:
People are responding to the on-going lock down the way they are because getting back at it matters. The foundations they’ve built their lives upon matter to them. And I have to respect that.
So as we try to bring back some semblance of linear motion in our lives, please, take care of yourselves and your family, but also please, please….you know what? Because it feels extremely appropriate right now I’m just going to leave one of my favorite Red Hot Chili Peppers lyrics for whatever it’s worth:
One, two, buckle my shoe / take care of me ’cause I might be you