This poster was made by artist Brooke Fischer for the Creative Action Network

I start each day when Gracie and Nikki, our pups, belly alarms go off. Gracie ever so softly licks my face until one eye opens. She then sits and stares at me until the other eye opens, by then her joyfulness has willed my body to move off the bed. Nikki is already dancing in front of her dish awaiting what I do believe is the highlight of her day. I simultaneously put food in their dishes, fill their water bowl and push the button on the coffee pot, not necessarily in that order. With my first cup of coffee in hand I then do what I believe is the most important thing of the day. I say, “God, thank you.” I take a minute to let my surroundings and all I have in my life sink in, and then I say, “Let me be open to learning and growing today. Let me be a force for good and let all I do be from selfless contribution.” That’s a tall order, but I figure if I can come even close to living each day like that, I’m living pretty well.

The corona virus. It’s not easy to focus on much of anything else. It’s 24/7 information overload and I’m pretty sure I’ve learned all there is to know about the proper way to wash my hands, the lifespan of the virus on hard surfaces, and the right and wrong way to wear a face mask, among other things. Of course like many creatives most of my events and projects have been cancelled. Unless the governor wants someone to live paint at one of his press conferences…um I don’t think my phone will be ringing anytime soon. Empowering girls just isn’t what people are thinking about. Understandably. Most disappointing is having to postpone the holocaust project I’ve been working on for the past six months. Noticing the women survivors still living in Broward County. It’s heartbreaking knowing they will go unnoticed or put “on hold” for even one more day. I know in my heart I will still make the project happen, but I can’t help but wonder until we get through this difficult time, how do I contribute? Especially when what I contribute doesn’t really seem to hold weight when literally the world has been held captive by this virus?

I’ll start with what I’m not doing. I will not contribute by adding to the stress and fear that so many people are feeling each day. This includes contributing my unsolicited opinion on social media. Nor will I soak up the opinions of others, my screen time is down 70%. I will not feel sorry for myself. There is no space for me to complain. I am reading more than ever, sucking up all the knowledge I can gather on all the things I never have time for. I’m going back to day one with Girl Noticed when no one knew what Girl Noticed was and I had to creatively figure out how to move people to notice. I’m excited for the possibilities ahead. I’m excited about the idea that I can make what I had originally set out to do, even better.

I have reinvented myself so many times in my life, but this time I realize no matter how long this thing lasts, no matter how much things change, I don’t need to reinvent myself because I finally know who I am. The force, the power all lies within. Nothing can change that. Life and all of its circumstances will happen. Things may not go the way I planned, but there is a plan. I don’t need to know it. I do know, that god willing, I’ll wake up tomorrow to puppy kisses, coffee and a prayer. Let me for just one more day  be open to learning and growing. Let me be a force for good and let all I do be from selfless contribution.

Be safe and be well. 

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