With the coronavirus full and present among us I cant help but to introspect about a past tragic event. Almost 20 years ago, during the aftermath of 9-11, I discovered the benefits of having a lot of free time and extra space in my life.

My husband and I had a tourism based publishing agency in Florida when the 9-11 tragedy hit. Just like today with our current pandemic, all travel and tourism came to a screeching halt. Our agency lost tens of thousands of dollars in contracts virtually overnight.

At the time, it was super scary as we did not know how to handle our employee payroll or how we could hold on till the unforeseeable future when the hospitality industry would be able to revitalize.

We downsized but eventually had to close our business early the following year. In the end, there was a silver lining and a HUGE blessing in disguise.

The realty was that we were on the money train and no longer happy working in our business. Looking back, we should have never expanded. We should have stayed in the lane where we were self-sufficient and living a life of freedom.

When we hired employees and brought in admin staff, our business became a stressful burden and something that we no longer enjoyed.

We had a much better and more fulfilling life when we were simply two partners working from home as a successful design and publishing agency.

After we closed our doors, we had the unique opportunity to pause, assess and reinvent our life. It took the space and vacuum of free time with no obligations to get clarity about what was important to us. I am not saying it was instant happiness BUT we did end up fulfilling my husband’s dream to move back to his hometown in San Diego to begin life anew.

Ironically, before 9-11 when we discussed moving to California from Florida, the jump in housing prices appeared to make the move impossible. But guess what – it didn’t matter where we were located because when you are broke, you are broke. Funny things happen when you gain a new perspective!

II know for a fact that if I did not have the space of time to meditate, pray, and soul search to discover what really made me happy, I would never have been able to reinvent myself and begin a new career as a Professional Organizer and Image Consultant. What a huge blessing the whole tragedy was to me!

After I reinvented myself I stopped saying – I wonder what I should do when I grow up? I now say I LOVE what I do for a living! My career brings me great joy because I am able to be of service and make a difference in the world as I help clients remove their blocks and move towards their business and personal goals.

I write this story simply to provide hope and to uncover the blessings that I have learned to see. Even in the face of what right here and now is a crazy and seemingly uncontrollable event, there is always a light that will appear in the end. There is always order after chaos and there is always light after darkness.

There will be breakthroughs in technology, medicine and multiple inventions that would have never happened without the force of time and space while we are all sequestered.

This is the perfect time to assess your past decisions and reboot your life and possibly your current career. Take this time to plan out the next phase of your life and reexamine your current career or calling in life.

All of these companies and many many more began during times of huge economic downturns: IBM, General Electric, FedEx, Hyatt!

My ask for you right now is this – What can you do to create a happier, more fulfilling life for yourself during and even after this pandemic has played out?

What makes you happy? As Marie Kondo asks, what brings you joy? This is the time to look within and get to know yourself a little deeper. Our priorities and goals shift as we move through life.

Shine the light on your life and assess what you can do to become more balanced and joyous. You might be surprised at what you discover! You might decide to shift your life and start a new business or switch careers. You might even decide to finally take that long sunset walk on the beach you have been dreaming about. Because guess what – even though you will want to steer clear of other people for awhile, nature is not cancelled!

I am determined to make lemonade out of this lemon and I hope you are as wellthat is after we all wash our hands!