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Finding Beauty In Adversity

Published: 2020-04-21 10:22

Rise and Shine Campers

As we continue to meander through the day-to-day norm of the pandemic, I’m sure that many of us feel like we are stuck in the loop of life; our own version of groundhog day. Even those of us who are strong-willed have days that frustrate us and make us wonder when life will get back to normal; if it ever will. So where can we find a sense of comfort in the face of adversity? Where can we find peace and beauty in a tumultuous time that hasn’t yet played itself out?

The Real Phil

Several years ago, as I worked with my manager, Sam Novotny, we had the opportunity to work around the Punxsutawney area. Intrigued with the whole groundhog atmosphere of the town, we sought out to find Phil. When we found Phil, he was self-isolating, behind a wall of glass, in the comfort of his plush man-made burrow.

Being from Western Pennsylvania, a mere two hours from Punxsutawney, Groundhog Day was always a big part of our lives, especially during the cold and seemingly interminable winters. So, it was special to share a part of Western PA’s heritage.

Carving Out Your Niche

The Wizard at Work

I’m sure that many of you are amazed and intrigued with the ice sculpture at the beginning of this blog. Early in my career, when I worked as a food service director at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (www.iup.edu), I had the privilege of working with the man who actually carved the sculptures for the Groundhog Day movie. The then Executive Chef at IUP, Randy Rupert, is amazingly talented and has the ability to create beauty out of a 300 lb. block of ice; creating something out of nothing.

Today, “The Wizard” creates beautiful pieces out of wood, instead of ice. So what can we take away from this iconic movie as we self-isolate, work from home (if we are lucky enough to do so), and try to remain positive as we move day-by-day throughout this pandemic?

I propose that we take the time to recognize that we have been given the opportunity to retreat, regroup, and notice the beauty in the small joys of life. We have an opportunity to create something amazing out of the “block” of time that we have been given to sculpt out our future. And, we have the obligation to carve out a future that ensures that we all emerge from the pandemic as better stewards of our time, treasure and talents.

But most of all, we need to realize that February 3rd (you know, the day after Groundhog Day) is just around the corner. The sun will come out and we will emerge from the comfort of our burrows and get back out into the world. In the meantime, remain positive and create something beautiful with your lives! Or, to quote another movie…Be The Miracle!

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Joe Kralik

National Key Account Director US HMS - Government

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Like many people today, I have had many forks in the road of my professional and educational journeys. I have two B.S. degrees, one in Industrial Safety Management and the other in eBusiness. I also have an MBA in Management and am currently studying to be a deacon in the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh. Along the way, I was a Food Service Director, trained as an Air Traffic Controller, was a volunteer firefighter/EMT for about ten years, and eventually found my home in healthcare business development with Essity. Last, but not least, my bride and I have been married for a little over eight years. We met playing softball (I played shortstop and she played second) and were known as the best double-play combination in the CAC.

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