Moving Forward

Glass of water with half full water on the table, concept of positive and negative thinking

I belong to a church that skews older. It’s a fairly small congregation with only a handful of youth and even fewer young adults. But I, and I’m sure many others, have delighted in watching one young couple. When I joined in 2019, they were dating. The following year, they got engaged. They were married in 2021, and then early this year they had a sweet baby boy.

Every Sunday it’s been a joy to see them arrive with a stroller. Last week, the mom held the baby on her shoulder, and he looked around with wide eyes. He even smiled. We all melted.

One baby is not going to magically change the generational make-up of the church. But it’s a start.

I admit I’m an annoying glass half-full kind of person. Yes, bad things happen. We lose a friend, a parent, a job. The economy is unstable. Earthquakes and hurricanes batter the landscape. But life seems to have a way to righting itself. I watch the cycling of the seasons and see similar cycles in my life. What’s awful doesn’t always stay that way. People persevere.

At the end of 2022, several manufacturers experienced significant loss in the face of weak demand. Even so, they can point out ways things are beginning to shift in this new quarter. I am hopeful things are beginning to change.

For example, the winter Las Vegas Market was a study in optimism. For the first time since 2020, attendance neared pre-pandemic numbers. Showrooms buzzed with activity. Exhibitors were delighted with the turnout and the orders. One told me he felt a big sigh of relief. Others echoed similar sentiments.

I’m freshly back from the ISPA Industry Conference (we’ll have full coverage of the event in the May issue), and it was a joyful experience. You could tell people were happy to be back together, enjoying the Florida sunshine and each other’s company. 

Even color analysts chose warmer shades as their Colors of the Year, tapping into a sense of optimism and hope. Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of Pantone Color Institute, said the institute’s choice of Viva Magenta captures the tone of the year. “We chose this color because we felt that it was an unconventional shade for an unconventional time, something that could present us with a new vision,” she said. 

Please read Dave Perry’s column, “After an Optimistic Las Vegas Market, Now What?” He offers a great take on the opportunities of this season. 

No matter if you find yourself in a glass half-full or half-empty mindset, take heart that change is on the horizon.

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