2020 was supposed to be a year of new beginnings, exciting business adventures, and chasing dreams. At least that’s what I had in mind last January. 2020 had other plans for many of us.
Many of our journeys took some unexpected detours, leaving us challenged personally and professionally. This year has been very hard... on everyone.
My struggle began earlier this year when COVID forced me to shut down my in-person beauty services for three exhausting months. Those days away from the clients that I love felt like a prison sentence. Like many salon owners, I tried to be patient as I waited to reopen, but it was so hard.
When reopening was finally approved, and it was safe to invite clients back in, I was so excited to get back to work – but also very nervous. The weight of keeping my clients safe was so heavy, and that was my main priority. I moved forward carefully, so grateful to be working again. My schedule was packed with a waiting list that stretched into June and July.
Life was good. Then, once again, my world was shattered.
I had been exposed to COVID. Not only was I exposed, but I tested positive, and my business was shut down again, this time for the entire month of August. While I was sick at home, I became depressed, angry, worried, nervous, anxious, and stressed. I struggled being confined to my bedroom, tucked away from my daughter and husband, with Facetime as our only way to communicate. Even worse, my daughter had contracted COVID as well. It was so hard for me to see her crying as she fought her illness from our basement, knowing that I couldn’t be there for her. All I wanted to do was comfort her, but I was too sick to get out of bed.
I felt helpless.
My husband tested negative and remained isolated on the main floor of our home. After I recovered, I realized how difficult this situation was for him. He also felt helpless. He struggled with trying to take care of us while keeping himself healthy. This was an emotional journey for all of us. Through it all, family, friends, neighbors, and clients delivered food and necessities to our door – their kindness and generosity will always be remembered.
By the second week of September, I was COVID-free and finally had the strength to return to work. I was so thankful to be working again. Then, another detour...
That same week my twelve-year-old niece and goddaughter Ruby was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer, Osteosarcoma. I was heartbroken and sick to my stomach. My mind was flooded with thoughts like, “How could my niece have cancer?” and “Surely the doctors are wrong.” Denial turned to anger. Why Ruby? How could God let this happen to her and their family? How will they get through this? Then, the anger was replaced by sadness. I couldn’t believe my sister and her family would have to watch their precious daughter suffer through numerous surgeries and struggle through chemo. My heart hurt.
My heart still hurts, but I’ve moved into the acceptance stage. Ruby has been so strong – she is a fighter. Watching her has reminded me that no matter how difficult I think things are, I’ve never struggled the way she is right now. In the midst of that, her example has been powerful and this experience has reminded me of so many things. Most of all, always be patient, kind, and smile. Those simple actions may be the silver lining in someone else’s day.
As we’re approaching the end of 2020, I have learned to appreciate what matters most - my faith, my family, health, love, and kindness. My life is a blessing filled with small miracles that show up every day. Yes, my business has suffered in 2020, but my faith has grown, and the time I’ve spent with my family is irreplaceable. The love and kindness that so many have shown to me, my family, and my niece is a blessing that will forever be engraved in my heart. I’m so grateful for all the love and support I have received from so many.
I refuse to let these detours sideline me and see a different path. My business will thrive once again – nothing can hold me back. In the meantime, I want to make a difference. I want to be the reason someone smiles.
Watching Ruby, she has never once complained about having cancer, being in the hospital, suffering through her chemo treatments, or losing her hair. When I ask her what I can do to make her time in the hospital better, she just says, “Stuff to do so I’m not bored.” Due to COVID, and because children like Ruby are so susceptible to infection, they can’t leave their rooms. They are stuck there for days, weeks, and even months at a time.
This year, Arch Addicts Beauty will be taking a percentage of profits and purchasing gifts for the University of Minnesota Children’s Masonic Hospital. We’ll be bringing these kids arts and crafts, legos, puzzles, and games, as well as Amazon, iTunes, Target, and Starbucks gift cards. We also have a huge stocking at our Twin Cities location for those of you who wish to donate an item. Let’s see how many times we can fill up this stocking! Thank you all for supporting Arch Addicts Beauty. Because of your kindness and generosity, we’ll be able to pay it forward and make a difference in the lives of these children and their families.
2021 is almost here. We’re coming to the end of a year we’ll remember forever, and we’re looking forward to new opportunities and open doors in the days to come. This hasn’t been an easy journey, but it’s one that has brought lessons we’ll hold on to forever.
Love and Blessings,