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So this month I had this really great idea to get a video of all of our staff saying what they were grateful for and to have a special statement from Jim and Penny. Penny, by the way, hates pictures and videos of herself, hence, the statement. And then….I started exhibiting symptoms and Swim-in Zone made the decision to shut down for the rest of the Fall session, and now I am stuck with “what am I thankful for?”

Mr. Dan is thank for…

Many of you are not aware of some of the personal issues that hit me earlier in the year. I’ve been dealing with the fallout of my marriage. I’ve had to adjust my living situation and I got a roommate, then of course, Covid and quarantine and the rest of the dumpster fire of 2020. And now, I’m stuck at home, quarantining again, because I may have gotten it. It would be so, so easy for me to wallow. I mean, this year, specifically, I could beat almost anyone in a “Woe is Me” contest, lol. But, I won’t. Mostly because I have started to look for the silver linings

Hey, look at those silver linings over there!

And yes, it is so easy for me to say to look at the silver linings and be grateful for what you have this November. It’s practically a November cliché. But this one is different. It is different because I’ve had to change my perspective on every aspect of my life, and honestly, if it wasn’t for my Swim-in Zone family (because, that’s what you guys are at this point), I’m not sure I would have gotten through this year so unscathed.

I’m so, so thankful that I was super poor in 2013 and decided to apply to SiZ. I had/have a job. Some of you know that I am a professor at Northampton Community College. But, adjuncting is hard and inconsistent. So, I applied for a job that I knew I could do since I worked at various YMCAs teaching lessons throughout high school and college. I thought, “hey, this’ll be easy and fun”…and probably short term. From here, I met all the staff that would eventually become my family. Betsy, who worked at SiZ until recently, is my de facto big sister and emergency contact. Dana, who is the office manager, and the one who responds to your general emails, is my best friend. Jim, Penny, and Sue, the owners of the business, are my parents and saviors and life guiders and sometimes pain in my butt, all rolled into one. Many companies say that they are like families, but so few actually achieve the sentiment. I am so glad that way back in 2013 I couldn’t get a summer class and needed a job. Like I said, silver lining, right. 

And even though this is so fresh, I am so glad that my life turned absolutely on end this year. There’s an idea I always see floating around the interwebs and that is the concept that an arrow can only be shot forwards by pulling it back. So, the saying goes that when life drags you back, it means it will eventually launch you into something great. The first 3 months of 2020 were a personal hell for me. Jim and I had a candid conversation and he asked me what I needed. And the only thing I could think of and the only thing I could honestly do, was to keep working. I said, let me just keep working. And they did. Ooh, they certainly did. The pandemic hit in March and Sue, Jim, and Penny decided to reorganize and I got promoted to Swim School Director and working with the Marketing team and helping with communication to the Staff and training instructors and front desk reception and getting made part of the administration team and now I’m doing the blog and they totally kept me working! The silver lining is that I am actually better off now, then I was a year ago–definitely financially and most definitely personally. Life certainly did fling me forward, more than I ever thought possible. 

So, as this year comes to a close and I am now stuck quarantining at home with potential symptoms of Covid and more than likely not able to join my friends and adopted family for Thanksgiving, I am reminded that there are silver linings and there are things to be grateful for and there is goodness and kindness and caring still happening in the world. If there is one thing 2020 did for us, and I mean all of us, was to give us the time (literally) to keep looking, and most importantly, to be all of these things.