The call was made. Today Indiana shut down all non essential business and instituted a stay at home mandate… and I’m totally ok with that.
Typically, I don’t appreciate being told what to do. Let me be clear, no one running a small business appreciates being told what to do. It’s in our very nature to decide for ourselves what to do and how to do it. It’s just what we do. We are stubborn. We are survivors. We are deciders.
For the last week, we have been doing just that. Adapting, innovating, grinding, deciding…in a thousand different ways. While those who work for others had the decision made for them over a week ago, those of us who work for ourselves have been in a constant state of weighing fear and measuring judgment. We have been caught in the tug of war between the heavy responsibility of being ours or our employees only source of income and the constant barrage of information, often conflicting, calling us irresponsible for not responding to a threat we cannot see.
We have been serving those who underreact, serving those who overreact, uncertain ourselves of how to react and sifting through both panic and apathy.
And the cleaning…seriously with the cleaning…My hands are a shriveled monument to the corrosive nature of bleach and I have become like a dystopian gypsy trader bartering for Lysol.
We are the non essential. While we don’t keep you alive, we sure make life a whole lot better. We are the ones who dreamt up the thing and then had the drive to go do the thing. We are mistrustful of governments, skeptical of media, makers of our own reality, and we don’t carve out much time for fear based decisions…otherwise we never would have gotten here in the first place.
I like decisions. I don’t mind making them. One of my most endearing flaws is that I move to the order of, Fire! Aim! Ready!…it doesn’t always serve me well, but it does make me grateful for my business partners who tend to slow the trigger.
As we navigate our fledgling business, we work together, constantly reorienting, constantly deciding to move regardless of fear and circumstance. But this week, we’re tired. I think all business owners are tired. Tired of the grey direction of politics, tired of all the opinions, tired of talking about it, tired of updates, tired of whining, and tired of cleaning. Information changes hourly, confidence fluctuates hourly, and even the advice I try to wring from medical professionals steadily becomes more unsettled.
We are told we are either part of the problem or part of the solution, except no one really knows which problem or which solution or for how long.
We’ve been serving members, calming employees, adapting long held systems on a hair pin turn, fearing backruptcy, weeping over layoffs, all the while fumbling with the current reality that everything seems fine. We are the people who touch you, move with you, create space for you and connect you to yourself and we are now expected to put that magic online…and in many cases, it’s just not possible…try it with your waxer.
We are generally independent, generally fearless, and generally hard working, but today we are generally non essential, and every bit of fearless independence is squeezed into places too small for containment. We could not have made this decision ourselves. We are tired, and we are too driven to survive. So today, I’m grateful someone else made the call.
As a small business, we can stop pressing forward and sit in a vulnerable reality that, as a group, we are unaccustomed to doing. We cannot work our way out of this one.
We turn the wheels of tiny communities. We love what we do and the people we do it for. We carve our dreams out through service, and fiercely defend our right to do so. So, to us, even a mandate can be made to look like a definite “maybe”…so we still have to decide. To trust the system, respect the fear, and to honor the individuals who will bear the burden of our choices. You know…the essentials.
Every business owner right now is putting their dream and their livelihood to death in the hopes of saving life. And if we all go bankrupt, we’ll start all over again. It’s just what we do. We are the leg that gets cut off hoping to save the whole life, and we are ok with that. When this is over, we’ll learn to walk through the limp and move forward again. We don’t mind. We love our members more than the business we built to serve them, and I like a challenge.
As members of the ragged band of Non essentials in Indiana, 148 Wellness is grateful and honored to play the small part we are given by locking our doors and saving our bored and restless members from having to make their own decisions. Many of you would still come in given the chance. You’re scrappy and stubborn too, and that’s why we like you.
We love you.
We are praying for you.
We are grateful for our essential members. The ones who are still working tirelessly and the ones who are home trying to work through tiringly long days.
We are still here to serve you, and we’ll be here when you get back.