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CANT STOP, WONT STOP

The East Side. What comes to mind when you hear the words East Side? Rough around the edges perhaps, drug users, drug dealers, poor people (although current housing prices would beg to differ), uneducated, Hastings and Main, China Town? Or maybe that’s how I up grew up knowing the East Side since I lived and breathed it half of my life. When I lived in the East Side, I remembered there were a lot of immigrant families from different cultures who hung their hats there and it was accompanied by the “work hard” mentality because back in their country most did have to work hard. It’s going time, what are you doing time, where are you going and with whom time, why is this not done time, where’s the money time? Time, it’s a neat thing, isn’t it? It has the ability to heal things, makes you forget things, and most importantly it changes things. I like a lot!

The East Side now is best known for its eclectic culture, hosting an array of mama n’ papa shops, and it breeds diversity. It has changed so much. I mean take a look at Chinatown alone, are there any Asian stores left? Like I said before, time changes things. Let's take this pandemic for instance. It has changed people’s lives across the globe overnight. Our environment is changing daily and it’s forced most of us to stop. Can’t stop won’t stop huh, but why? This type of mentality is not sustainable this pandemic has made me realize. Unlike most, I cannot believe how much I have embraced this forced stop time. Have you ever heard of downtime is prep time? I used to feel guilty when I had downtime but now I’m feeling guilty for enjoying this downtime. I know, it’s crazy!

I could possibly attribute this go-go mentality with my immigrant upbringing but I think modern society has made a lot of us think that grinding to achieve your dream is the only way to attain happiness. But is it?
A friend who built and ran a successful salon for the last 10 years is basically forced to build things back up once the current COVID “crisis” (I don’t think this is a crisis and I’ll tell you why in a minute) allows her to re-open. She was in a state, “why did I bother building this up when this can all be taken away in an instant?” I asked her whether she enjoyed the journey and she said, I could have been more present.
I was too concerned with how my staff will make money to feed themselves, will my salon get broken into? So many worries she said and I’m sure we can agree that we all have them. This is why I don’t like pairing the word crisis with COVID-19. Is it a crisis when it forces us to realize what is important? Is it a crisis when we get to have more time doing the things we love? Is it a crisis when it allows us to realize that family, love, and feeling cared is the only real thing that can keep us feeling “sane”? Money helps sure, but when you’re forced to close shop and not make money what can you rely on? It’s support from the community, support from your family and behind the support is a nurturing love which money cannot buy.

So if you ask me what I think about can’t stop won’t stop? I say you can stop and you should stop (every once in a while). When you’re in stop mode, remember to lean over and smell the roses, hopefully with masks off. Tell people you care about you love them, be kind to others, and especially to yourself.
When your cup runneth empty, the likelihood of bringing a crappy attitude to work and lackluster workmanship is way higher. Self-care isn’t selfish so the next time you hear yourself telling yourself can’t stop won’t stop, just stop and breathe because breath is life.

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