Working in print publications can be a tough gig. While it is so rewarding to work with a team of creatives to design each beautiful issue of Sophisticated Living Columbus, the timelines challenge the organizational systems of the best of us: as one issue is hitting the press after a mad dash to the end, the next is fast and furiously approaching. And, in the meantime, the world keeps on turning.
Though we consider most of the SL content to be timeless, occasionally current events are at odds with articles that were prepared in advance of the realities of printing, mailing, and receiving. Such was the case with our most recent issue, in which my editor's letter might have seemed tone deaf to the tensions spawned by the death of George Floyd on May 25. At the time of Mr. Floyd's death, the printed magazine had been labeled and dropped to mail to our readers throughout central Ohio, while the digital issue had been released days before. Our content and my letter were designed to speak to the challenges faced by the COVID-19 shutdown, but in no way could we have known the extraordinary circumstances that would surround our community after the issue mailed.
We have always been clear that the mission of SL is to provide (what we hope to be) a welcome distraction from the everyday; but, some everydays demand our attention and energy. The format of SL is such that breaking news will never fit our voice, but our voice can and will be used to support and promote changes in our community that lift up and protect every member equally.
As always, we invite your feedback and suggestions. And, until the next issue - our thoughts are with each and every person who has been affected by a historic confluence of events.
Where you stare, you steer.
I don’t know about you, but the last 8 weeks have given me plenty of options for where to fix my gaze. Apparently, being shut-in doesn’t shut-out the constant noise of an always on culture (and news cycle). Fear, frustration, and isolation fight for our attention; especially when we are surrounded by very real circumstances that are uncertain at best. Watching my friends, family, and peers navigate the unprecedented situation in which we find ourselves has forced me to acknowledge my utter helplessness to control any of the outcome and has helped me to focus my attention on what I can endeavor to do: love people well.
Learning how to love people well has been an intentional journey with a small, focused group of women with whom I am ever-so grateful to be doing life. Our studies and conversations have taught me that loving people well means meeting them where they are, having grace and mercy for them and the circumstances, and serving them with humility for my inadequacies. The silver lining for me in this shutdown has been a real-life lab in which to apply the lessons I have learned, and fellow students who can help me to adjust my stare when I start to steer off track.
It has also been beautiful to watch the Columbus community come together to try to love one another well. In 25 years as a business owner, I can’t remember a time when so many people were as focused on the health (physical, mental, and financial) of one another and especially of small businesses. From facebook groups promoting takeout as a way to support local restaurants to leaders like The Columbus Foundation responding rapidly with the Emergency Response Fund, it truly does feel like we are all in this together.
In the spirit of loving people well, you will see some changes coming to Sophisticated Living Columbus. In the past, we have tried to maintain separation between local editorial and advertisers. Moving forward, we will be pushing those boundaries, in the interest of promoting and helping the businesses and organizations who are doing good work and who have been immeasurably affected by the economic impact of COVID-19. And, we are going to be bold; bold in our requests that you support the people, places, and things that make our community so colorful and interesting.
What does support and love look like right now? In short, it means spending money. Get the new couch, hop on that remodel you’ve been considering, splurge on a new piece of jewelry or clothing. Schedule your dentist appointment, and if you have ever considered braces or something cosmetic, splurge. Do it. Donate money (if you need a guide to central Ohio non-profits, check out sophisticatedgivingcolumbus.com). Just spend. Your financial advisor can give you advice about weathering the market, but every dollar you can get into the economy is going to help someone keep a job. Hoarding our resources is a fear response, and we can choose to focus our attention on the faith that nothing is more meaningful than loving one another well.
Wishing you and yours well and with gratitude for our community,
Amelia Editor in Chief firstname.lastname@example.org