April and May are generally filled with some of my favourite events as a Town Councillor.
Whether I am attending a celebration where we recognize the efforts of those who volunteer, listening to the feel-good stories about the nominees for the Cochrane Community Awards, or cheering on our community’s young people at the Leaders of Tomorrow, springtime is always one of optimism for me.
Unfortunately for many, optimism can feel bleak in our current times.
With COVID-19 numbers still high in our community, our mental health and wellbeing is something we all need to take inventory of. With the month of May recognizing the importance of Mental Health awareness, I hope all residents find patience with themselves, and others, as we navigate through the challenging days of the pandemic as a community.
Rather than spending time reiterating the negative points, I choose to focus on the good.
There is a new appreciation for shopping local or even discovering what services our community offers. Recognizing that many businesses in Cochrane have suffered great loss with closures and restrictions, I have seen more raves than rants when it comes to supporting local, which I am especially proud of. I have watched business owners navigate the pandemic with a lot of grace by doing business differently, even though it likely was not part of their plan. I have watched Town Administration make strides to cut red tape, streamline processes, and even look outside of the box by implementing programs such as ‘adopt a flower bed’ on Historic Main Street.
I still see volunteers step up to deliver meals to those in need, buying gift cards to support local businesses, donate to go fund me initiatives, and parents who swap advice on how to handle their children’s mental health and home-schooling regimes.
The message from this column is simple, if you choose to focus on the negative, you will encounter the negative. I challenge everyone to look for the positive and focus on the good. Let’s face it, one day we will all look back and realize how resilient our community really is.