August 4, 2021

“Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes playing a poor hand well.”
– Jack London

It might seem odd to select a poker quote to summarize the past year's upheavals but having spent a significant amount of my time during the "stay-at-home" order with cards in hand, it felt fitting.

I’m an extrovert. I thrive on exploration and connection. So, when we were dealt this unexpected hand, I had no idea how I’d be able to reign in my enthusiastic spirit. It would be a lie to say I handled the first part of COVID with grace; I was a blubbering mess of a human. But once I picked myself up by the bootstraps—in the form of yoga pants—I decided to tackle the ever-increasing list of home projects that had been neglected for nearly a decade. It was time to recharge and channel my enthusiasm into creating a space that my family would enjoy, and one where I felt contented to spend my days tethered to a screen.

Fast-forward through a few challenging months of gutting our home, and we’ve finally arrived. Our home truly feels like ours now with an aesthetic that suits our style and fills us with joy. The best part of the process, however, was being able to build memories with my kids that I may not have been able to otherwise (kudos to our educators—homeschooling was no easy feat!). It took me witnessing so many inspirational and fearless people—playing much harder hands than I was dealt—to shift course and follow suit. Now I’m so glad I didn’t throw my cards in. 

In this issue, we hope to inspire you, as well. Perhaps you’ll tackle that home improvement project you’ve been putting off. Maybe you want to refresh a room to add a new layer of comfort or better networking gear to enable more efficient workdays. Whatever it may be, I think we can all agree that now—more than ever before—our homes should deal us pocket aces.

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My best, always.

Crystal Watts
Editor, Smart Home Magazine