A Note from Jane: STRONG 07.28.2020

Posted by Jane PARADIS on

Diary Installment 15:  An optimistic person, a small business, and a mom.  This is my diary of sharing, in hopes that we create a sense of community and stick together through this unimaginable time.

OK before you read this please note…I started this entry few days ago when I was BUMMED and overwhelmed. I am finishing the entry now when I am optimistic and excited about the launch of our new STRONG coins. Let’s just say the Covid roller coaster continues.

As most of you know, I have been hiding in New Hampshire and working remotely. It has been heaven. I do not watch the news (as much) …I wake-up early, work, exercise, swim 24/7 in our gorgeous lake…it feels like I am ‘away’ from the current state of our world. I am not sure if this is good and right, to try and escape and ignore it, but I NEEDED TO.

Last Sunday we planned to drive back home to spend a couple days in the office and pick-up my daughter Tiki and some of her friends. This morning before leaving, Doug was working on closing the house and I was in the kitchen cleaning…and I realized I was having a panic attack. My heart was beating so quickly, I couldn’t focus on a task, I started getting out of focus and completely overwhelmed. Like I couldn’t move.

It started with me thinking about my daughter going away for her freshman year of college. She has gotten into an excellent school, she is excited…she needs to go away and love her life! The school sent an email saying that only freshman are going back, one person per room, and all classes (except maybe one?) would be online. So, I will be sending her to Atlanta to be alone in her room. By the way, tuition is the same. As a parent we usually have a strong sense of what is right for your family, but…I literally do not know what the future will bring and the questions about her reality and how to guide her are overwhelming.

Next on my mind was leaving NH to pick-up Tiki. Because everything fun has been cancelled for Tiki, I wanted to give her something to look forward to so she invited 2 girlfriends and 3 guy friends up to the lake. Six 16-year old’s for the week. And I am so excited about it – giving them a chance to swim and play and socialize. But the fear of Covid is stalking me. I am worried about the kids bringing it with them, giving it to each other, and me, and Doug and and and. It feels like there is no right answer and the ‘right’ thing to do is clouded in doubt and fear.

When I have a panic attack, I get very quiet and really – can’t talk at all. When it happens, I think of literally just putting one foot in front of the other and trying to make mini-moves forward…not staying in it and not going back (getting worse).
Once in the car I calmed down a bit and we listened to a podcast, it took my mind off things. One thing I have written about in the past is our involvement with our local ABC House – they house students of color with a mission to provide opportunities for a great education. Almost two years ago we had put our name on the list to host a student, being their home away from home. Last week we got a call that a young black male, 14 years old, needed a host family. I had the interview but since Tiki is graduating in 2 years, we only had 2 years to give this young man, and they usually have a 4-year commitment. Despite our limitations, the interviewee felt good about us as a family and I let me hopes rise. It comes down to this – we donate money. We make meals, we drop school supplies. I wanted to give more. I know I am a hard-working business owner, charismatic, caring, a good mom, a networker – and I wanted to share this with another human being. I let my heart go, and thought, they will make an exception for us! Well, they called while we were in the car and they didn’t think a 2-year commitment was enough. So we won’t be a host, and honestly – I’m just incredibly disappointed. I so badly wanted to give more. We will still give money and do all the other things – I was just excited to get to know this kid and be a positive influence in his life.

Fast forward from last Sunday to this Sunday and I am rereading my feelings from last week. Good news is I did not have a panic attack today 😊. I am back in NH with a week of six 16-year old’s under my belt. I am tired (ps: why do these kids have to stay up so late and make so much noise?!?!) but the kids had a good time. I have booked the plane tickets to Atlanta to move Sabrina in and ‘come to terms’ with the questions about her reality this fall.

I honestly wasn’t sure if we would launch these new coins today, but I need the strength – I want the coins – so I thought you might as well. Here is a little backstory on why we are introducing 3 new STRONG coins.

When launched our company we started with 8 Original designs: FOREVER, LOVE, LUCKY, FREE, JOY, PEACE, PROTECT and STRONG. The strong coin has been an ok seller, but the anchor on the front did not appeal to all. Many people wanted to buy the STRONG coin for the word but were not connecting with the idea of something that felt nautical. Before Covid I was thinking of launching some new designs in the STRONG collection and as I drew ideas, I could not land on the motif that would be the central design of the coin.

Before I explain the new designs, it’s worth saying that the most wonderful people buy the STRONG coin. People truly in need of strength. People who are bravely battling cancer, or their daughter is sick – or they send it across country to their friend who lost a job. It is a coin that resonates in a time of need and when I get the notes about people purchasing, especially those who are sick and need mental and physical strength – my heart goes to them.

I have realized that when I feel week, like when I have a panic attack, I need to think of that next moment. The little steps to move us forward. When things have been hard for me – when I got divorced and things felt so bleak – I literally had to take it one day at a time. The sun – the sun rises and brings us hope and optimism. That is why each of these new designs incorporate the sun in some way. It is the perfect balance to our crescent logo…we may have dark times, but they are followed by light. When I think of the Black Lives Matter movement, I go to the overwhelming task of adjusting where we find ourselves and I think…move the ball forward every day – make the changes however small but still make them over time and we will see results.

Rachel (new-ish in our office) is an incredible designer and we really worked together to make these special. The idea of the word RISE married with STRONG became central for us. When we ended up with 3 designs we loved we could not edit them down – and thought we would let you choose the coin that resonated most with you. 

Sending tons of love,

xx Jane

Introducing three new coins to our STRONG Collection. To mark this milestone moment in our lives; to mark moments where our strength is tested. We loved them all and couldn’t choose, so wanted you to pick the design most meaningful to you. No matter what you face now or in the future, you are strong
A Note From Jane

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