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PayneWest Post

Finding Silver Linings

By Allison Johnston

December has always been my favorite month of the year. I love the holiday decorations, the lights, the music and of course all the food! I enjoy finding just the right gift, putting up the Christmas tree early and taking it down late, gathering with friends and family and reflecting on the year while planning for the next. 2020 will definitely be a year to remember! We faced unprecedented challenges to the operation of our business, the education of our children, the health of our communities and even our own resilience.

For me there were many times that all I could think about was what had been CANCELLED: track & field and club volleyball seasons for my girls, vacation plans (I miss you Oregon wine country), college visits with my oldest daughter, summer concerts and the college football season (Go Cats!). In those low moments, what I had to remind myself of was what wasn’t cancelled: nightly family dinners at our dining room table, movie and game nights, wine nights with my hubby, Zoom cocktail hours with friends, take-out from some of our favorite restaurants and being outside enjoying the beauty of Montana.

Let’s go back to that dining room table. Prior to the pandemic, we didn’t usually have a lot of sit-down family dinners during the week. We’d sit at the kitchen counter, eat quickly and get back to homework, household chores, TV, social media, etc. During busy sport seasons, we’d often eat in shifts or rely on a quick and easy PB&J on the go. I am grateful for the extra time spent around that table these last 8 months. Time spent laughing, time spent debating political issues (we have some differing opinions in our home) and time spent planning for the next year which includes our oldest daughter, Bella, graduating high school and heading off to college. That last one may have also brought some tears to all of us around that table!

During this season of gratefulness, I hope you all find your silver lining to this crazy time in our lives. I do believe that the saying “this too shall pass” is true. We have endured and we will come out stronger. I wish you all a wonderful holiday season!

Certificates and Designations

  • Mike Chandler, Commercial Lines Insurance Certification (CLIC)
  • Cheryl Clark, Personal Lines Coverage Specialist (PLCS)
  • Diana Deyo, Construction Risk Insurance Specialist (CRIS)
  • Stacy Dougherty, Associate in General Insurance (AINS)
  • Karen Driscoll, Small Business Coverage Specialist (SBCS)
  • Katy Geuin, Small Business Coverage Specialist (SBCS)
  • John Hermes, Transportation Risk and Insurance Professional (TRIP)
  • Brad Huse, Certified Insurance Counselors (CIC)
  • Kim Moore, Commercial Lines Coverage Specialist (CLCS)
  • Joe Petritz, Commercial Lines Coverage Specialist (CLCS)
  • Julie Shaw, Commercial Lines Coverage Specialist (CLCS)



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