Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a crystal ball to see what’s coming next? Through this global Covid-19 pandemic, we are living in unprecedented times. It has changed the way we go about our daily lives. It’s uncertain how our lives will look from here out and seemingly no end in sight for this crazy situation.
This global pandemic has affected us all in different ways and I wanted to take a moment to shed light on how this is affecting us and the progress on the Golden Exchange renovations and opening. When we were consulting others about this project becoming a reality, we were told time and time again that these kinds of projects are a marathon, not a sprint. We needed to prepare ourselves that while we made educated plans for a timeline of the project, there would be things that set us back. In reality, we needed to prepare ourselves that the project would never be completed as soon as we would anticipate. I assumed that meant that there would be delays in paperwork, rejected approvals, and things like contractor setbacks. I never anticipated that there would be, not one, but TWO pretty big slowdowns in our lives that would delay this project before we even really got started.
Months ago, (around December 2019 for reference) we not-so-expectantly found out that we were expecting our second child. We were definitely excited, but the timing was questionable especially with all the big plans we already had in place for our lives. With our son, we had graduated college, started a business, got married, and soon after found out we were expecting. I remember telling Justin in December that these are the kind of situations that we were made for, apparently! As always, we trust God’s timing, even when it doesn’t fit with what we have planned in our own lives.
In December, we were on site at the Golden Building taking measurements of the existing structure. I was sharing with Meredith, our designer and project manager, of our excitement for this child and how thankful I was that I had not experienced any morning sickness. Little did I know, a few days later that would take a turn for the worst. I started experiencing sickness that seemed to get worse and worse as each day went by. I had tried every preventative measure in the book only to get no relief. My doctor would prescribe medication which seemed to help for a few days, only to be back to where I began. For months, I battled daily with being able to eat and retain any fluids, which in turn left me debilitated, most days bed-ridden, unable to care for my family the way I normally would, much less take care of my day-to-day business responsibilities, including plans and progress with The Golden Exchange. Ultimately I was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum which is an extreme form of morning sickness that affects less than 2% of pregnant women. Lucky me. This became an everyday battle that drained me physically, mentally, and emotionally, making me question if I’d ever feel myself again.
Finally, after one of my hardest weeks of pregnancy, things took a positive turn. I had reached five months into pregnancy and was at a place where my sickness was manageable with medication and my energy was returning. I remember celebrating when I made it an entire week without being sick. Not even a week later, the announcements of the dangers of Covid-19 made their way to the States. Schools began closing, followed by restaurants, small businesses, and ultimately non-essential workers. Thankfully, we have not been directly impacted by the sickness, but we are taking the recommended precautions put in place by the CDC. At higher levels, historic renovations have been slowed or halted unless deemed essential construction. While there are a few things that we can continue to do to progress this project, many things have been put on hold until the government entities are back into a routine and able to process new projects.
Although these two major setbacks have been discouraging for our hopes and dreams for the Golden Exchange, I am choosing to have faith in the way that these situations have come into our lives. It has required me to slow down and allows more time for me to plan thoroughly as well as spend time with Justin and our son before our daughter arrives in July. I have been able to see the responses and creativity from other small businesses and observe how they have adapted to this crisis. I hope we are never in such a situation again, but it has been important for me to take note and be prepared if our own retail and restaurant businesses if we were to experience a global pandemic.
Sharing this journey with you has helped hold me accountable for the big dreams that we’ve shared together. I want you to know that we are human too and these situations give us learning opportunities that, more times than not, look a little scary and give us plenty of reason for worry. While times look uncertain (and we could really use that crystal ball right about now!), I trust that these learning experiences will better equip us for the bigger picture and will help us to know how to better serve our community.
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