I began reflecting this last week on the “one-year anniversary” of the coronavirus pandemic. This was a cathartic, emotional, and odd experience. On one hand, it was extraordinary to look back at the beginning. To remember the feelings of unknown and of the void. I consider myself incredibly lucky and privileged to have been able to manage those early situations as best as I could. We all have our stories of how we survived. If we’re lucky enough to be healthy, how we navigated the hurdles and painful difficulties around creating a new reality in an instant. If we’re lucky enough to have kept earning a living or managing with savings, how we had to face a new professional landscape amidst a radically different world. A parent was sharing with me this week a March 2020 thought, “it was like, okay we can do this for two-weeks. But for the rest of the school year? That is literally impossible.”
‘Literally impossible’ was forced upon families with unrelenting and unforgiving gravity. Parents had to come up with ways of getting it done. Again, those lucky enough to be healthy and have professional lives were often faced with having everything condensed into a black hole. In New York City, space is already limited. Without it, even counting our highest blessings may have felt continuously suffocating. Those who suffered the irreparable losses of family and friends were left isolated and alone.
As we start to get vaccinated and imagine a return to the world, it can feel like we’re looking back. Yet, we’re still somewhat stuck in a grey area, in between. Because this is not over yet. During moments of ‘in between,’ how do we handle ourselves, let alone the people and families we’re responsible for? A friend of mine was sharing a presentation with business executives last week over zoom. They decided to share the truth: The moments of joy, the moments of madness, the moments on the floor crying. The moments of gratitude, anger, and disbelief.
As we begin what hopefully is an important step towards a return to some sense of normal activities, let’s be sure to be as kind to ourselves as possible. If you’re reading this, you’ve made it this far. Helping ourselves to accept of our imperfect, damaged, and painful journeys will help us provide that same space of acceptance and love for the children under our guidance. It’s okay that everything seems wrong. Or if it seems right in one moment and upside the next. We’re getting closer. Keep going.