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I had received my agenda and corresponded with the travel agent regarding last minute details for my flight. As I prepared for my trip, I made last minute decisions regarding what I would wear and the back up outfits just in case the selected clothing proved to be insufficient. All of the plans were swiftly changed over night.

Women in various locations throughout the United States received the same call that I received prior to preparing for the trip. We received nominations and were selected as local winners for our areas for the Remarkable Women competition. I was honored to be chosen, and was excited about traveling to New York to meet with the others for a week of celebration, networking, and learning.

Just as quick as we received the call about being nominated, we received a call a few days prior to the planned trip, noting that the trip was postponed due to a new major health crisis that was happening around the world. This crisis called for immediate changes and proper shelter to protect everyone to the highest means possible.

Our world stood still yet raced in terror at the same time. We changed our work cycles and ensure that we could provide services distantly. The state in which we were scheduled to meet was being hit drastically with high number of victims who were exposed and succumbing to the heinous virus. We longed for information with our eyes glued to any available news outlet, and ears open to any drop of information from radios as we traveled in our vehicles. We searched online to gather information about this new pandemic. We searched for it's origin, the magnitude of the impact on people all over the world, and how to protect ourselves and our families.

The worst part is that we couldn't yet the find an answer. I remember seeing the number of cases in counties all around my county and have no reported numbers in our county. Citizens of the county watched as if they stood still holding their breathe and crossing their fingers, and thinking maybe we're safe. Our time soon came, and the reported numbers climbed, just as in our neighboring counties.

We began to hear of all kinds of trips cancelling and plans switching from in person format to virtual formats. We began to see people embrace the virtual world like never before. There was a huge force to shift our mindsets as a whole. I can image the thousands of people we lost due to COVID-19 had plans just like we make plans every day.

I had several things that I planned to do. We all thought we would be back to "normal" by now. It's almost a years since the massive change began. The truth is that we will never go back to the norm we knew. We never know from one day to the next how our plans may be permanently altered. Many times this permanent change is out of our control. That does not mean that we should stop planning. Make plans. Even if your plans shift from what you originally had in mind for yourself, it is better to have a plan instead of not planning at all.

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