(Written 6 weeks into the Pandemic Stay At Home Guidelines, March 2020) Undoubtedly, these six weeks have changed our perspective about life, in what we believe to be true, sacred and meaningful, in what matters to us as members of society and about what the future may hold for every one of us and those we love. We have faced uncertainty and despite this fast-changing environment we have persevered, we have proven to be resilient and we have demonstrated that at the core of who we are, there’s no length of social isolation and distancing or no amount of abundance of precaution that could ever derail us from our purpose.
I know, it may sound a bit cliché and perhaps you are wondering, “Is the boss ok? Maybe she needs some social interaction. She’s all zoomed out!” The truth is, that at times I’m not OK, and that yes, as humans we need social interaction, connection, and bonding and that indeed, there are way too many Zoom meetings for which I have to do my hair!
For me our tragic event is COVID-19 and Finding NEMO now has a new meaning. Finding NEMO for me means finding Nurturing, Empowering, and Memorable Opportunities even in the mists of this alternative reality. While swimming in these uncharted waters since March 20th, 2020, I’ve made sure to set aside time to reflect, to take pause, to be present and intentional, to be forgiving with myself when I can’t get everything done, it’s realizing that being busy not always means being productive, that wanting more does not always mean achieving happiness. Instead, this humbling experience of having to put my life on hold helps me better understand what it means to be nurturing to others, how to inspire others, and how to support others. During this time, I have rejoiced in seeing and hearing how so many of you have taken a leadership role not only empowering those around you to make the tough decisions or the right decisions, but I’ve seen you build skills and confidence to step up to the challenge. I have also cherished all the new memories each of you are building as you document your journey throughout the weeks. How you serve your clients, how you display such great creativity to venture into something you had never imagined you had to do. In the process, you’ve built wonderful rich memories with your social media posts, your educational videos, your way of coaching, and encouraging your families to take this time to build memories with their children and loved ones.
Once this is all over, I am aware that things will never be the way they used to be, but I encourage you to look for the opportunities along the way, the lessons learned, the experiences that will shape your future thinking and your world view. Whenever we are ready to come back, we will be much more adaptable, and flexible. We will be able to make more opportunities possible for how we serve others and hopefully, we will not be threatened by change but inspired by what we have done collectively as a team.
I truly thank you for what you do and for what you bring to the table each day. Now go on and Find your NEMO!
Maritza I. Raimundi-Petroski, MPA