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Shocked, But Not Surprised

I was prepared to write an article about the joy of ending 2020 and starting fresh in 2021. I was ready to write about setting new goals of excellence and fortitude. I was thrilled about my new commitment to intentionality and creating a vision that enforces and inspires the actions and movements for the new year. I was relieved that the end of 2020 was at hand.

I was thankful that we were getting through to the end of the sequestration and quarantining due to COVID-19, thanks to the initiation of vaccinations. I was thankful that we could imagine an end to the mask-wearing. I was happily planning my November birthday trip.

I was celebrating the new administration that is inspiring new possibilities and hope. I was elated when Georgia reinforced that this was a new day. BUT THEN!

Then, the unbelievable began to unfold before my eyes. I was at work and began getting text messages from loved ones who were not sure where I was physically located and if I was at risk.

The “surreal” nightmare that took place on Jan. 6, 2021, brought to mind that we must always be thoughtful and be prepared. We must be hopeful and excited but we must anticipate and be ready.

If 2020 has taught us anything it is that we have no way of anticipating what is going to happen tomorrow. There are so many of us who have lost loved ones or got sick this year, that we should have learned that tomorrow is indeed not promised or scripted. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

I am still hopeful and excited about the future but let’s get our houses in order to be prepared. 2020 helped me to think about “JIT,” Just In Time thinking; it just doesn’t work. We should always have the staples in life to get through if we have the resources. We should not have to run to the store for food to get through the next few days as we see with snowstorms, or stock up on toilet paper for the next six months denying our brother and sister their ability to be sustained for the week. We should have cash on hand for necessities.

We should approach the possibility of expected and unexpected events with a plan and steady preparation, not while panicked in response to a crisis as it unfolds. We should be strategic and considerate. If we move into crisis mode we are focused on survival and forget about our brothers and sisters and community. We know that life and death are a part of life. We know that sickness and incapacitation happens. When we don’t plan, those we love are impacted. We forget that together we are better.

The theme for this year is intentionality. Without thoughtfulness, we are by default letting life happen. With thoughtfulness, we are living each day with purpose. I am blessed to have the opportunity to sit with individuals and families who are committed to strategically planning and building their legacy with purpose. They are not willing to say, “Whatever happens, happens.” They are seeking to build their future with intentionality.

This week has been one where actions and reactions have been shocking. But if we had been paying attention we should not have been surprised. The actions, the words, the energy has been consistent with what has gone on before.

I am intentionally being mindful of what is happening around me and intentionally choosing the path to peace that passes all understanding and joy unspeakable.

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