Michael Kennedy: When laid off in Squaw Valley, climb higher | SierraSun.com

Michael Kennedy: When laid off in Squaw Valley, climb higher

Other Voices
Michael Kennedy

Like many other people I just became unemployed. I moved across the country to live and work in Squaw Valley, one of the largest ski areas in the United States, host site of the 1960 Winter Olympics.

But due to the pandemic, our enchanting little village shut down.

The surrounding mountains full of fresh powder sit idle, uninhabited by hoards of would-be tourists, local skiers, boarders and onlookers, as we wait this out.

Adversity: the start or end of something great.

Don’t be the guy or gal who made no use of this down time. Embrace adversity with boldness and courage.

Adversity is a peculiar thing. It can debilitate or liberate. It can be a catalyst for fantastic change, or push you into deep despair. One thing for sure, none of us is immune to it.

Many people will view adversity with optimism, as an opportunity to discover hidden talents, untapped resources, untested courage and resolve.

Some people will approach adversity with a “woe is me” mentality. “Why me? Why now?” They will find their excuse for aiming low  — or not aiming at all  —  in this nicely wrapped gift called adversity.

With the fast moving spread of the novel coronavirus impacting everyone, everywhere in the world, life as we know it has forever changed. Collectively we’re facing a new kind of adversity, one we’ve never experienced in our lifetimes.

We can choose to cower and live in fear, or we can make the most of our “down” time as we spend unusual amounts of it at home. It starts with an optimistic view … led by action.

Distance Learning

We have a chance to learn new skills and improve on skills we already have, gaining a marketable edge like never before.

There are dozens of websites at our fingertips offering free education. Sites like Coursera.org where you can gain world-class education from leading universities and companies on subjects such as business, computer science, art, literature, poetry, language learning, history and more. Take advantage of these learning sites.

Give Back

What can you do for others? How can you help, lift, encourage, console … be a better neighbor in this new social distancing world we now find ourselves in? Here are some thought starters.

Engage more online with others. There’s safety in numbers  —  virtual, digital connections. Akimbo recognizes the power of what happens when people connect and work together online. They just launched a public co-working space, open for the next month. There’s no charge … it’s free.

Find ways to lend a hand or support others. In the wise words of Zig Ziglar, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care … about them.”

Be a better neighbor.

Find new sources of revenue

What are you passionate about doing that others might like you doing for them? Art, photography, music, writing, cleaning, organizing, dog-walking, mentoring, teaching, coaching …? Now’s a good time to turn your hobbies into revenue generating machines. Especially if you’re unemployed.

No act of kindness, no-matter how small, is ever wasted.” ~ Aesop

Don’t be the guy or gal who made no use of this down time. Embrace adversity with boldness and courage. Climb higher.

Feel like connecting with me? I’d love it. You can find me on FB, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Medium.

We’re in this together and we need each other more than ever.

Michael Kennedy, a Squaw Valley resident, is a professional photographer. He can be reached at Michael.Kennedy999@gmail.com

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