2020 Thorn, Bud, Rose

A friend and colleague, Mr. Kamran Popkin, once shared with me an activity he does with his family. I loved it so much that I adopted it as my own. We each take turns sharing our thorn (something bothering us), our bud, (something hopeful) and our rose (something causing gratitude).

I love this practice because it is not totally focused on the negative. I believe it is vital to open our eyes and recognize the problems. However, we should also have hope and make plans for the future. Whatever problems we experience, there is always room to recognize the blessings and feel grateful for the good things in our lives. So, I will share with you my current thorn, bud and rose. I would love to hear from you in the comments.



I cannot deny that 2020 was a rough year. In March, I was in Baltimore teaching a Spanish emergency response to hazardous waste to some construction workers. Immediately, all our in-person work was abruptly canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. For a couple of months, we focused solely on a few translation projects. Although our business still collected receivables, that reserve was depleting. I feared our company would soon be bankrupt.

To add insult to injury, an EF-2 tornado struck my home in April, badly damaging my dwelling and property. We escaped with our emergency bags and lived elsewhere during reconstruction. COVID-19 affected the importing of construction materials; the tornados increased the demand for such materials. A shortage of materials and workers complicated rebuilding efforts.

Imagine trying to adapt the business to a new coronavirus reality while at the same time dealing with the devastation of a destroyed home and property.


OSHA® granted me approval to conduct virtual OSHA® 30 classes in construction and general industry remotely. The federal Payment Protection Program (PPP) was deposited just as our receivables were exhausted. It came at just the right moment. We covered payroll expenses with our PPP funds. Soon thereafter, our receivables began to generate income again just in the nick of time. Demand for work increased again.

I recognized the need to create and offer online training, so my business is poised to survive, expand, and thrive in the future, whether another pandemic strikes. My hope is that the adaptations we implement will support our business to provide customers with more options and to grow in the future.


Emily and I survived one of our worst years ever and are closer than ever before. We spent quality time together. We worked closely together and cried together. We are happier and stronger for it. We continued to provide quality professional services despite the devastation to our personal life. Our business proved to be more solid than expected and we have rebuilt our home. I am grateful for my life, my family, and many other blessings.

I would love to hear from you. If you would like please share your Rose, bud, and thorn. Hopefully we will put 2020 behind us and have a better 2021.  

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *