The French artist Henri Matisse said that, “There are always flowers for those who want to see them.” This has been the frame of mind that I’ve tried to commit to over the past six months. It has been challenging at times though. We had planned a spring break, Caribbean cruise with friends that was canceled. My oldest son, Liam, missed out on a week-long class trip to Wolf Ridge in northern Minnesota, a much-anticipated trip for lots of students. I’m on the board of our local Little League, and it was very difficult making decisions for the program that would affect 500-plus kids in our community with limited or inconsistent information. Both of my brothers have faced exceptional stress being in law enforcement and health care. My dad had to leave his part-time job at Target to help protect his own health…although I’m not sure him being home more has been a net positive for my mom 😉. While I haven’t yet found myself sitting at my computer typing, “all work and no play makes Steve a dull boy,” it has been a challenging year.
Kidding aside, I’ve been grateful to have the support of a wonderful group of colleagues and loving friends and family. We managed to play a regular season of Little League baseball with my son, Alec. I coached his team and found that hour or so each day of being at the ballpark with a terrific group of 9-year-olds to be a much-needed respite.
Liam and I have been out fishing more than in past years. Liam has also been playing more golf, and I’ve really enjoyed getting out and playing with him. Soon hockey season will be upon us and I’m very hopeful that both boys will get to play, and I’ll get to coach.
My wife, Mandy, has poured her time and energy into her garden and a home remodeling project that has occupied most of the summer.
Our pups have been oblivious to the trials of 2020, wiling away the summer months as they usually do on our porch.
Despite everything, I have really appreciated the ability to slow life down and enjoy time with my family. So often I was off to work before they were up in the morning and racing off to an activity in the evening with them. Seeing them throughout the day has been the highlight of our change to working remotely. There are times when I still need to try hard to see the flowers, but they’re usually there. I sincerely hope you are all well and are finding the flowers this year as well. I know all of us at Birchwood are thinking about you often and are wishing you all the very best. I find words to be very powerful and wanted to share this with all of you from The Light in the Heart by Roy T. Bennett, “Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.” Be well and take care of yourself.