As we move closer to resuming a life we once thought of as 'normal,' I encourage you to take a moment to think about how you would like to re-enter that world. Many of us have spent the last year hunkering down in our homes, ordering everything we possibly can online and through delivery, limiting our physical contact with those outside of our 'pods.'
While these months have been trying and challenging in so many ways, I have also noticed an increase in grace for one another. Kids, pets, plants, and partners have become commonplace in online meetings as many of us live at work - I mean, work from home. We seem to be sharing in this collective jolting of our normalcy in a way that has brought appreciation for the circumstances of others. Never before have I experienced such a broad sentiment of flexibility, empathy, and understanding.
Now, let's not get it twisted - these months have been long and hard. Everyone has been impacted. Whether it is being cut off from physical contact with family and friends, missing funerals and weddings, trying somehow to maintain some semblance of sanity in the chaos that is virtual schooling and working from home... The challenges I've seen surmounted are inspiring - and exhausting.
In addition to living through a global pandemic, we are also in the midst of a social reckoning. Intensely emotional events such as recent hate-filled shootings, the storming of the Capitol, the murder of George Floyd and far too many others, concern for our family, friends, colleagues, fellow citizens... The emotional weight of this time is back-breaking.
So, let us pause and consider.
As you (hopefully) get vaccinated and begin to safely engage with others again, how do you want to show up?
With grace and empathy? With fire for change?
What has the last year taught you? What do you want to bring with you?
Let us not return to 'normal' - whatever that was. Let's reflect, grow, and bring with us the lessons we have learned living through this challenge. We will never forget it. Our lives will never be the same. Even as we resume the hustle and bustle that comes with openings and lifting of restrictions.
May we each bring grace, empathy, fire, and drive with us into the future.
Reflections, commitments, and shared accountability are welcome through the comments below.