Today, there's a word on my mind: PROGRESS.
Take a look at this picture. This was our OG Blue Willow store in Maryville, RIGHT before we opened. Just over four years ago. Yes, this really was Blue Willow.
In a year when we've been literally pummeled at every single turn - haven't all of us???? - it's easy to forget how far we've come. Whether it be in our weight loss, our fitness, our grief recovery, writing our book, learning another language, finished our education, raising our children, progressing in our job, or growing our business, it's SO easy to forget where we've come from.
Truth be told, this picture is a little overwhelming to me. For so many reasons that I can't really put words to at this moment, but also because it is the PERFECT example of what is possible. Stick with me for a moment.
Let's consider 2020. If we wallow in the chaos, stress, and suffering of it all, it's so hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel, an end-game, or a way out. But when we consider what is possible, when we consider Blue Willow four years ago, that has to give us hope. That has to make us believe that wherever we are at this particular moment isn't forever.
Hear me when I say this - how you are feeling right now, the suffering you may be enduring, the grief or despair you're feeling, the divisiveness in our communities - this is just but a small moment in time, and IT WILL. NOT. LAST. This too shall pass, and with time, and perspective, and distance, we'll be able to look back through a different lens and see things in a different way.
So when you consider yourself, and your life, and your progress, or lack thereof, give yourself some grace. Everything is a process. Everything takes time. Blue Willow is what it is today because I trusted the process (not always, I've been hanging off the ledge more times than I could begin to count). But I knew that I would get better, the business would grow, and I put in the work to make that happen, and I trusted the process. And I'll keep doing it. And four years from now, I KNOW I'll post another one of these photos and we'll all look back together at how far we've come.
So do me a favor, look back four years with me. Grab your phone right now and scroll back four years. Take a look at where you were, what was bothering you then, who was in your life, what you thought you'd never achieve, where you were failing, and what you were wishing for. Take stock, my friend. I'm willing to bet you'll find a little perspective there, and find fresh hope for your future.
Enjoy your day - make it one of rest and reflection. And hope.