As we transition through Winter, find joy and strength

As we transition through Winter, find joy and strength



For anyone who has run a business over the past ten years – being adaptable has been the key to success. This is also true of anyone who has been a parent, a teacher, a health care worker, a police officer… okay, probably most roles you can think of.

I can relate. In summer of 2020 I departed from a long career in academia and moved from Ramsey County, Minnesota to Washington County, Oregon. Job prospects were unclear. The pandemic was in full force. Uncertainty was everywhere and within just about everyone.

While I would like to suggest I came through all this with constant joy and strength, not really. There were times I second guessed my decisions and the impact they had on me and the people around me. However, I was also able to make some great new friends through tennis (one of the few group activities that flourished in the pandemic) and started volunteering with some great organizations here in Beaverton.

As I reflect on this now, I contemplate how some people seem to have the skill and grace to move through change and transitions with joy and strength. You can probably think of a few people that demonstrate these admirable traits. What have I learned along the way by exemplars of these traits?


Here are some thoughts:

They feel and express gratitude on a daily basis. They wake up every day and count their blessings for the good in their life – whatever that might be. Good health. Supportive friends and family. A nice view. A good meal. A loving pet or companion.

They go out of their way to help others. They volunteer in the community, stop to let pedestrians cross at unmarked crosswalks, assist neighbors with yard work, and so much more.

They say thank you with genuine heartfelt compassion for others that help them. They are friendly to all store clerks, gas station attendants, restaurant workers, and anyone that shows them support or assistance throughout the day.

They look to the future with optimism and expansive opportunities. They keep a positive mindset and always believe in their abilities to adapt and pave their way forward. They infuse this positivity into their conversations with others.

I get to meet many business owners in Beaverton and surrounding areas. I am always impressed by how many of them demonstrate these behaviors. They might be thinking about work at all hours of the day, but they also focus on serving others and constantly strive to do better.

My guess is that most of the people that demonstrate these traits have consistent practices to foster and maintain their joy and strength. I like yoga, tennis, reading, and quiet time in nature. I tend to avoid watching the news or other things that perpetuate negativity.

As we transition into winter, I hope you can find ways to share your joy and strength with others. Be extra kind when you go shopping. Give a handwritten card or note to your local mail carrier or bus driver. Help your neighbors with little or big tasks. Go out of your way to tell the special people in your life how much they mean to you.

Wishing you all joy and strength throughout the month and beyond.


By Rob Routhieaux, Director of Small Business Support & Development. For more information about how your business can be involved or sponsorship opportunities, email us at or call 503-644-0123.