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It’s very tempting during this incredibly difficult and strange time to just plow through each day, looking to the future, when hopefully things return to “normal.” And most days, that time seems very far off.

Instead of waiting for a time that has become a moving target, what if, instead, we’re meant to flourish and be our very best selves right where we are? What if we’re supposed to take our current circumstances and look at them through a different lens?

For me, not being able to connect with others has been the most difficult to bear. As the weeks have turned to months, I’ve begun trying to figure out ways to interact with others, both personally and in our business.

On a personal level, I wouldn’t say I’m an extrovert, but I do like getting together with friends for coffee, giving them a quick hug and leaning in for meaningful conversation. That feels awkward, at best, now. One or both of us may be uncomfortable with the situation because of our own or a family member’s health concerns. So I’m figuring out some other ways to nurture friendships - things I plan on continuing when the specter of COVID-19 is at least off in the shadows.

I’ve just joined an online writers’ group. We all live in Navarro County, but instead of meeting in person, we see each other on a computer screen. Is it the same? Maybe not, but it’s such a respite in this weird time where we’re not able to interact as we did just six months ago. For an hour we talk about our current and future writing projects. And we hold each other accountable for following through with what we said we’d do the previous week.

In April my husband and I had a virtual happy hour with friends who live in California. We spent an hour or so just visiting and catching up on each other’s lives. Phone calls are great, but being able to see someone I hadn’t seen in awhile lifted my spirit.

Every Friday morning, at 7 a.m. I have a standing phone date with a friend. We catch up with each other and spend a few minutes praying for one another and our families. It’s been a highlight of my week for months now, and something I plan to continue doing, either on the phone or in person, once it feels safe to do so. I’ve also been encouraged through our church’s online worship service. It’s got to be tough for the pastor and worship team to interact with us through the camera’s lens, but it’s been meaningful to me nonetheless.

Our business has also had to learn how to flourish in the current situation. We’ve had to focus on what we can do, not what we can’t do. Before we could have glampers out to our property, our priority was selling produce. Now glamping and private farm tours are happening regularly. We’ve had to find out what works and learn new ways of meeting the needs of our customers and clients.

How about you? What ways have you found to flourish in your personal life and in your business? I’d love to hear!

Sherry Asbury Clark is Co-Founder of Purdon Groves and a freelance writer. Her column, Finding Myself in a Small Town, appears each week in the Corsicana Daily Sun. You may reach her at sherry@purdongroves.com. For more information on Purdon Groves, a farm, table, venue and retreat property, check out purdongroves.com or visit their Instagram or Facebook pages.

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