They say a picture is worth a thousand words.
These are the stacks of chairs that have not been used since March 11th. I see these unused chairs every single day. They serve as a reminder that while we have reopened, we are not out of the woods yet. They remind me that our family business isn’t the same as it was 5 months ago and, quite possibly, will never be the same. They remind me that this is one of the hardest professional and personal challenges I will face. They remind me that while one battle has been fought, there is another just around the corner as we rebuild. And probably many more…
I’ve thought about moving the chairs. Moving them far out of sight. A dark storage shed somewhere, perhaps? Especially when I turn on the hallway lights each morning. Man does this hurt, like a punch to the gut. I flip the lights on, face the chairs, and know before the day even starts, no one will be sitting in them today. And a lump forms in my throat. I think about how many people have sat in them over the years and created, connected, and celebrated. And you know what? Through the pain, these chairs have served me well.
So no, these chairs shall not be banished to a dark storage shed somewhere only to be forgotten. Instead, they will live in the hallway and continue to serve by reminding me of so many years of the hustle and bustle, crazy studio days, waitlists, sleepless nights and all of the life that this studio breathes.
Life is not normal. Business is not normal. As we enter what is typically our slow season, tough decisions have to be made to preserve what is left.
Please be kind out there. Stay safe, but always be kind. For some, kindness is natural, for others…well, it’s a choice. So many of us are struggling with constant reminders of what was and what may never be again.