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A Birthday Wish

By Brendan Michaelsen
April 7, 2020
2 min read
A Birthday Wish on the 700 Rivers Blog

Hello friends,
I hope you are all well and in good health!
Today is my birthday. It is my first birthday that I will be spending without being surrounded by my parents, sisters, and my 3-year old niece on my lap, waiting to blow out the candle on my cake. It seems so out of place thinking of a birthday amidst a global pandemic. It feels like life has been paused but time is still moving forward.
It’s tough and I know this has been a tough time for all of us.

I introduced a concept I recently learned on Instagram this past weekend called a rose, a bud, and a thorn.  A rose is something happy in your life, a bud is something small that you are hopeful to see grow, and a thorn is something that could be hurting you. For 700 Rivers, our rose is that all our artisans in Bangladesh are healthy! This is the greatest thing we could ask for right now. Our bud is that we are in the works of developing fabric masks to donate to healthcare workers and others in need. I can’t wait to see this project grow to help impact our community. The thorn is a personal one – a few of my family members in New York have been afflicted with COVID-19. Thoughts, prayers, and positive energy towards their speedy recovery would be greatly appreciated!
The concept of a rose, a bud, and a thorn is really beautiful to me because the imagery is perfect for helping us come to terms that good and bad can coexist. Opposites can co-exist.

So among all the craziness in the world, I have one birthday wish from you my friends. I wish for you to give yourself permission to let these opposites co-exist. We can have loss and happiness at once. We can feel fear and hope at once. We can experience a pandemic and a birthday at once.
During this time of uncertainty, now more than ever is when we need to keep our hope, our happiness, and our small celebrations alive and present. If you are feeling lonely, set up a virtual call with a friend you have been meaning to catch up with for a while! If you are stressed, give yourself permission to take some time for yourself. If you miss social interactions and want to let a family member know you are thinking of them during what should have been their graduation, prom, wedding, or “just because”, write them a letter and send them a gift from a local small business’ website. If you are feeling anxious and want to help the community without leaving your home, donate towards our Bud Project to help the 700 Rivers team create and donate masks to our local healthcare workers!
We are all going through a lot right now but will get through this together! Stay strong, friends.


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