this is how you can let the past year go

Are you feeling a bit stuck these days?

Maybe lost? Or longing for something you can’t quite place in the confusion of our times?

This week marks exactly one year since we went into lockdown, quarantine, sheltering in place, and for many, the beginning of fear-filled CHANGE.

It was such a scary time, and in some ways, it still is.

Last year on this very day, 91 people had died in the United States. Today, we look at devastating numbers that surpass half a million people lost in this country alone.

It’s the most mismanaged, confusing, frightening tragedy of our time.

But here is a suggestion since we can’t go backwards.

Let’s stay present and focus on where we are right NOW, today, March 16, 2021.

Let’s focus on all that we DO have. And maybe even the gifts we received from pausing to take stock of our lives.

With this more positive lens (remember your lens is your choice), today I hold HOPE looking back at how much I learned, how grateful I became for what I do have, and how far so many of us have come.

In my own little bubble, I remember one year ago today frantically packing up my 3 kids with a “mama bear” mindset to quickly get them out of New York City and onto our family’s farm in Maryland.

I felt the energy of parents everywhere wondering what would happen to their kids’ schooling, when toilet paper or milk would run out, or what would happen to our kids if we breathed in the urban air a bit too deeply.

As for my work, I remember with clarity gathering with my business partners in my office on Wednesday evening, March 11th, and deciding which day we should close and for how many weeks. Headquartered in Chelsea, we ran indoor children’s play spaces called apple seeds, and kids’ music franchises called songs for seeds for 14 magical, joyful and successful years.

How could we know that when we decided to close our doors to hundreds of families the very next day that we would never reopen them again?

All we knew was that parents with children newborn-5 years old would not be gathering anytime soon, and our ongoing rent mixed with the uncertainty of our future caused us to close down our beloved community play space forever.

The ensuing year was tough. Closing down a business is not easy – from letting go of vendors and staff we cared about, to releasing our own personal expectations and emotions. But still, when I look back, I can find many positives.


Because there is always beauty in the brokenness. ALWAYS.

Stuck apart, my partner Allison and I quickly pivoted, stayed afloat, and began to bring our popular songs for seeds music classes online, using Zoom’s functionalities to replicate the early childhood educational sections of class.

And it worked! We had 500 families join our first day of class last April and we felt a responsibility to serve them with educational fun while quarantining at home with their toddlers.

What else happened?

With the newfound time, I saw an opportunity to expand my coaching business! What was a side hustle for years is now this!!

My full-blown love affair. I fall in love with each of my clients, members, and virtual workshop groups for Press Play on Life. And now I can give them my everything.

I help people with specific ways to find clarity.

I remind them to pause to find their purpose and then play to find their JOY. 

This is a gift.

Another gift I found in the madness of this past year?

Getting the chance to observe my children’s learning up close.

If you are a parent, it’s pretty easy to get caught up in the craziness and somewhat arbitrary nature of online school for kids.

Do they even have school today or is it a remote day? Is the WiFi up to the 5-person-at-once challenge? Will my teenage girls focus on learning, or text their friends at every turn? Will my younger son be able to sustain Zoom for more than his usual 2 hours? Should I just let go and trust that all my children will be just fine in the long run? (He is! We all are!)

So my offering to you is this —

Instead of spinning in the confusion, let’s find gratitude in the fact that we even have the technology to attempt school! What did the parents of children living during the Spanish Flu do? Or WWII? 

Can we find gratitude for the fact that our kids are continuing their learning in the best possible way? AND that we have a window into their minds, one we may never have had before?

This is not to say it’s not frustrating (oh man, it can be). But I remind you to hold this gift when you feel frustrated. The kids will grow up and then they’re off. Just like that. When I think of that future, it helps me soak up their learning like I never have before.

Soooooo, now with all of that said, the confusion is real and these gifts can be hard to remember.

It’s no wonder that many people feel lost, stuck in a “comfortable rut,” a malaise, or confused about their next steps.

First, if you’re like me, you lost your business or job, and therefore your identity. Or maybe you work from home now and it feels hard. Destabilizing.

Second, if you’re a parent like me, you lost your routine and maybe your time for other things, especially if you have kids who need more attention at home. Frustrating.

Third, if you’re a “Mover” and “Explorer” play personality like me, you felt totally trapped by the inability to travel and go places. Or maybe my Play Quiz showed you that you are a “Connector” personality and you were left with Zoom or texts as your only options to realize what brings you joy.

But here we are. And we made it. 

We are still standing. Standing through the loss, grief, pain, and confusion. We moved through this year.

We added a layer of resilience. We (all) see things differently now. And for that, life will never be the same way again….not ever.

We KNOW that.

So with that knowledge, and with the gifts I hope you can mine through the darkness, what will you do with this time?

Will you find the beauty in the brokenness and find the motivation to make the most of your one wild and precious life?

Will you live out what brings your joy, do more of the activities from your AQ Play Persona Playlist and add a little more meaning (and fun) to each day? Maybe your work can even become that?

Can you live your life with joy as your guidepost knowing it could all change tomorrow?

I wish you a year with much more resilience, a lot less confusion, a hell of a lot more PLAY! Mostly I wish you a deeper sense of gratitude for all that you already have, and all that you already are.

With fierce love,
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