By Jamie Kirk

We have successfully and unequivocally been thrust out of our comfort zones. The nice little lives we had of brunches, working from home on Friday’s, Sunday Funday, pool parties, bbq-ing on the deck, and traveling have literally been replaced by Zoom “book clubs,” having Sunday Funday at home, binge-watching NetFlix, and working from our home office 50 hours a week.

If we are all being honest, most of us were thinking surely by the time of the Peachtree Road Race; all will be back to kinda normal. Well, upon finding out the PRR was moved to Thanksgiving Day and subsequently labeled that word we now despise – “virtual,” we are now finding ourselves having to just get with the program and find a new routine. A new routine, yep…a new rhythm.

From coffee dates to on-line dating. From car-pooling the kiddos to ensuring the internet is working for them to log in to their classroom from the guest room. From fighting traffic to deciding if we will shower on any particular day. From yelling Roll Tide to yelling at our significant others for talking to us while we are on our weekly work Team call, with at the kitchen table.

Life has surely changed. But that is not a bad thing. We have been forced to find renewed beauty in what lies directly in our faces. We have been told to suck it up and deal with it in so many words. If your favorite place to read the NY Times and have coffee on a Sunday morning is closed, what options do you actually have? Well, it’s up to us to create and explore and get settled into those options. No coffee shop, no problem. We can simply fix our coffee at home, and stop by Publix and pick up the AJC and walk back home to settle in on our sofa.

Look at the example and how we created several options which are pretty cool. We saved money by making our coffee at home. We supported the local newspaper. We even shopped locally to buy the paper. We got some exercise by walking to the store and then the biggy; we chilled at home. In the comfort of our own home. Perhaps even threw our legs over our partner’s lap while they played video games or looked at porn; oops, I mean worked on a school project.

The current climate of social injustice, coupled with the upcoming election, gives us the chance to educate ourselves or read up on topics that help us decide on who will earn our vote in November. We have been challenged to seek out information in areas we felt vulnerable and uninformed. There is such beauty in being smart. Smart people are confident. And everyone knows confidence is sexy. Had there been no pandemic, we could be ignoring all of this beauty surrounding us.

Beauty comes in so many different forms.

People are beautiful.

Souls are beautiful.

Kindness is beautiful. 

Being loving is beautiful.

Empathy is beautiful.

Art is beautiful.

No one person can define beauty for another. This definition comes from what you value and what you expect/see to be extraordinary. And most importantly, what your eyes see as unique, exceptional, and individually appealing to YOU.

I happen to feel adaptable people, evolving people, and people that can create lemonade from a bag of lemons (e.g., 2020) are beautiful. People that can look at their situation and focus on what they can control and what they can fix are beautiful in my eyes. Folks that are unwilling to grow refuse to change and use sentences like “that’s just how I am” will not get far with me. I don’t respond to that energy; it’s defeatist, draining, and unproductive. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Just as beauty is in the beholder’s eye, so it may be said that a burden is on the shoulders of the bearer. So make good choices, always make good choices.