Friday, March 13, 2020 I packed up some supplies from my office in preparation for what I was sure would be “an interesting two weeks” working from home. I was just a little off on my estimation. To be fair, I had no idea what we were getting into. None of us did. Fast forward to March 1, 2021 and we are approaching the anniversary of social distancing, working from home (or living at work), and existing in a reality dominated by the pandemic. We have survived a “once in a generation” kind of year. In addition to battle scars, we have acquired resiliency and coping skills along the way. Anniversaries are a bittersweet time of reflection and remembrance. Reviewing what we have lost, what we have endured, what we have learned, and how we have grown – collectively and individually.
It has been a dark year. Overwhelmed and tired, we grieve so much loss: over 500,000 souls in the US and 2.5 million fellow humans worldwide; financial hardship; isolation; loss of time spent visiting family and friends, milestone celebrations, vacation, and travel; our children missing school, activities, socialization, and a “normal” childhood; and a loss of predictability, ease, and comfort in life. By now we are all intimately familiar with the ache of loss in our hearts. At this significant marker of the passage of time, let us all pause and give this moment its due reverence and respect. Let us sigh in the recognition that we have made it this far.
Paradoxically, in the midst of our darkest hours is when we are showered with the most light – if only we attune ourselves to see it. At this anniversary, let us not only reflect on the pain we have endured but challenge our negativity biases and seek out the collateral beauty this year has also provided. I encourage you to go on a little adventure in search of light. Seek the sparks, the rays, the glimmers, the fleeting twinkles. Review your Facebook timelines, your Instagram posts, your DMs, your texts and emails. Scour your memories and ask your partner and your friends about theirs. Review your calendar and your phone picture roll. And then – document. Write it all down. Make a list of all those moments you smiled. The moments you laughed. The moments when life felt ok and good. When relief trickled in and peace took hold. When connections were made, and joy was abundant. Go on a quest to remind yourself that even in the midst of this dark year, you too were showered with light.
Something miraculous happens when we go searching for light – we, ourselves, become lighter.
Can’t wait to see what you find…
We see you, NAU family. We know you are exhausted, overwhelmed, and running on empty. We see your compassion, your indomitable will, and the kindness you exhibit daily. Our theme for the semester is Building Resilience. We invite you to check out our website for all of our upcoming programming. And, please, reach out if there is any way we can offer support to you or your department. We will get through this together.
On behalf of the EAW team ~