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April Jeppson: There’s a rose to be found in every thorn bush

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

 

Welcome to round 2 of quarantine, folks. I got really mad about it the other day. Thinking of all the small businesses that are trying their best and actually following the rules. Thinking of people who are out of jobs now. Thinking of those who are trying their best to comply and yet here we are — again. 

I got really mad, then I got sad. Apparently, I’m at that stage of grief where I make jokes and just roll my eyes because I feel like I live in some bizarre movie. Some people may think my humor is ill timed or inappropriate, but we all deal with stress and uncomfortable situations differently. You may scream, chain smoke or crack open another beer — I make jokes.

April Jeppson

The good news is we’ve done this before. This is no longer the first time we’ve had to live through a lockdown. As I had to prepare documents at work and write up a press release, I was able to utilize the things I had written back in March. As my boss discussed shifting staff into different roles to keep everyone employed, we used what we had learned months ago to guide us. This isn’t our first rodeo.

After a day of anger and pity, my staff quickly jumped in with ideas on how we could make this experience tolerable. We learned a lot being shut down for three months. I’m not sure about you or where you work, but April 2020 is known as the dark or bad times. We were struggling this spring. Struggling to find joy and see the good. We were initially told in March that the shutdown would be for two weeks. So, when it extended into four weeks with no end in sight, it chipped away at our morale. Basically, anything that happened during the month of April is excusable because, well, that month was hard.

So far on Monday we have matching shirts planned, and we’ll probably order lunch. I’m sure we’ll have music playing abnormally loud at the front desk. It’ll be fun stuff, too — songs that will make us say things like, “Oh, yeah! I love this song. I haven’t heard this in forever!” or “Ooh, do you remember the dance to this?” Back in the spring, we learned that we needed to take dance breaks. It really does help improve the mood.

We’re also going to celebrate a co-worker’s birthday, and we’ll be ridiculous about it. I know I’m going to put way more effort into it than I normally would. Why? Because we’ve learned that it’s the little things that bring the most joy. It’s stepping away from the computer to enjoy lunch. It’s filling your boss’s office with balloons. It’s having theme days at work and listening to every Elvis song you can find. It’s cutting out a photo of your co-worker’s face and strategically placing it on top of another photo and waiting patiently for them to discover it and then laugh and laugh way too long about something so simple.

I know the governor said for four weeks, but remember, this isn’t my first rodeo. I’m sure we’ll be making such good progress and strides in the right direction that four will turn into six and possibly 12 — but it is what it is. Thankfully, that’s his job to figure this out and not mine.

I’m no longer mad or sad about this decision. I have decided that there is good in this — acceptance. That’s the stage I’m at now. For as hard as this spring was, we did have a lot of fun, and I have the pictures to prove it. These next few weeks will be exactly whatever you make them to be. In the wise words of Poison, “Every rose has its thorn… which I like to think also means, there is a rose to be found in every thorn bush. Go find some roses.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams.Her column appears every Saturday.