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  • Writer's pictureShannon Elisabeth


Updated: Jun 13, 2020

We can all agree that this draconian COVID-19 pandemic hurt our lives like an asteroid far from everything we consider normal. It shattered many of our plans and dreams for the year and suffocated the not so fortunate.

Overnight, we had to cancel or postponed all of our cooking retreats in France, which was the responsible thing to do. For my chocolate shop, we temporarily closed one shop and kept the main one open for shipping and curbside deliveries. Laying off a dozen employees wasn't easy to ingest, either. I am hopeful that we all will persevere. The equal measure of kindness and selflessness that some display genuinely inspire me while the vacuous leadership of others infuriates me.

"Problems are opportunities," my Frenchman says. He has been unusually favorable throughout all of this and believes it might make a better world. He also reminded me to be sensitive at how this affects others: some panic, some become hostile, and others become depressed. "Their feelings are all reasonable," he emphasizes. I am not confident in the future, but I will keep walking toward it and following my heart.

For one, spending will be cut (not that I've ever been a big spender)! We will live on the lean this summer in the countryside of Mailly-le-Château and work on projects that we hadn't much time for before. Our little house needs some attention, beginning with exposing the stone wall. Also, the rose bush, clematis, jasmine, and grapevines need trimming. Tomatoes, herbs, edible flowers need planting. And there's Jean-Jacques's garden, of course, that we want to help tend.

I postulate that many of us will ask ourselves why we are doing what we are and return to those early remembrances of when our businesses were smaller and that we were happy with less. Time has been the greatest gift as it has allowed me to work on my book in quiet and contemplate what matters.

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