Checking In!

I figure I had better check in with everyone. See how quarantines and homeschooling and all of it is going. I myself am doing well, feeling healthy and aware of how lucky I am to be here at all. It’s been a wild 2 weeks since our mandates in Wisconsin closed my restaurant and other businesses. I am fortunate that through this I only have to worry about myself and Miss Zelda, I know a lot of people dealing with kids that want to see their friends, partners that are getting under their skin, etc.

The job situation, well, it’s changed. For 10 years I worked at my job, and I loved it. It was a good overall experience, and I made a lot of friends and people I consider an extension of family. March 17th we were ordered to close by the state, and I very sadly left that day not knowing when I would be with my Solea Family again. It turns out I won’t be there again. The owner had to make a decision, based mostly on the fact that his lease in that building was up, and he decided that he would permanently close that location, effectively putting me permanently out of work. While I am devastated by this, I completely understand this is only a business decision. At the end of the day a restaurant needs to make a profit to stay open. A increase in the rent there was going to make it very difficult for us to turn a profit. When I talked to Lalo, I could see how difficult that was for him, and I told him to hang on to my number, if he ever needs me for a new place or just to help in a pinch, I would love to be the person he calls. One chapter closes, and I will miss everyone there for always.

When I posted that I was out of work (before he decided to close it up for good there) I got a message from a friend that Costco was looking for seasonal help. I applied and got an interview and was hired on the spot. It happened very quickly, like wait, what? I have a job to get me through this time? Thank you Sweet Baby Jesus!! Now, it has been around 30 years since I worked in retail, and the retail I worked was nothing like this!! But it’s a good job, very decent starting wage, and there may be an opportunity for me to be hired on permanently. We will see. I can’t worry about that in this moment of uncertainty that we all face right now. I am just extremely grateful I do not have to depend solely on unemployment benefits right now. I understand the increased risk of being what is considered and “essential employee” right now. It is overwhelming how many people come through there each day who thank us for working, for being there. EFWB, for sure. So stay tuned for continuing coverage of Coco’s Costco adventure. So far, so good.

I am following along on Facebook, mostly, how everyone is faring through our state’s “Safer at Home” mandate. The stories of homeschool activities are a hoot. People are funny. That is good because I believe that a sense of humor is necessary to get through this whole situation. If you can’t laugh, at least a little, each day you will make yourself cry instead, which won’t help you or your family. I am not going to lie, I would be of no help to some poor kid trying to get through math. I believe all of these kids will learn a lot more than just their lessons through this period of time, so be a good teacher, at the life stuff.

So how are you feeling these days? I hope you are finding ways to keep occupied, yet taking the time to relax too. It is good to slow down the machine once in a while. Don’t just binge watch that “Tiger King” thing everyone is talking about. Myself, I have no interest in that. I have watched a few movies here and there, but the new job has kept me occupied. But no matter what you are doing, take care of your mental health too. Reach out to friends, message them, video chat with them. My siblings got together on a Zoom meeting the other evening, and that was a pretty cool thing. It was almost like being with them, as we were all talking over each other, and Paul did everything he could to attention seek. Totally normal. Haha! But the point is, there are tools available if you want some interaction while staying safer at home.

We do not know what is coming next. That is scary, but it can be ok too. If it all gets overwhelming, reach out. There are many people going through this. As I have said many times, the only way through this is if we get through it together. You do not have to do this alone. Your friends or your family, and many times both, want to get you through the tough spots. I have heard from a lot of people checking in on me. My neighbor dropped ice cream off for me the other day. My other neighbor mailed me the sweetest note. If you pay attention, this is bringing out the good in people. Look for the good, and be a part of the good. Take good care of yourself, and wash those hands!!

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