There are words I really hate right now

There are words I really hate right now.

First is the C-word. Along with that nasty little picture of the virus. I also hate the p-word, the s-  d- word, and the term F-T-C. I hate the term “living in the time of uncertainty.” I hate them so much I don’t even want to spell them out. 

What I really hate, though, is when people talk about “returning to normal.” My email and social media feeds are inundated with things I need to know about, funding sources, business opportunities, how things will be different and dire warnings that I better get ready.  There are also several articles on how to make money during the crisis. 

The last thing I want to think about right now is what I should be doing businesswise. 

What do I think about?

My family. We have not seen them for a month now. We have two little grans and this separation is HARD.

My clients and community coalitions and collaboratives I work with and what can I possibly do to support them. They are working 24/7 to get people in their communities fed. Many are rural communities where there is no wi-fi, no laptops for students, and where transportation and healthcare access are a constant struggle when things are going well. I think about past clients and wonder if they are doing OK. 

When I wake up in the middle of the night, which is just about every night, my thoughts turn to those who are sick and dying alone without their families. I think about the nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, janitorial staff and pray for them.

I think about how I am being called to change. What I need to let go of and what I want to take forward. That means choosing the people I want in my life, those that love me in spite of myself, just as I am. It also means really wrestling with the type of work I want to do and making some hard choices. 

Finally, I think about how this country and how the world needs to change. I really hope when the light switches to go, we don’t all rush back to the life we knew. I hope people really don’t fall for what is being sold right now, gaslighting it’s called in case you didn’t know. 

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to return to normal.

If it’s not abundantly clear by now, there are some deep-seeded inequities in our country. Black and brown people are getting sick and dying at higher rates than more affluent white Americans. My colleague Amanda Klein wrote a recent blog about this. 

And it should be crystal clear that isolationism as a national policy does not work. Viruses just don’t give a —- about borders. One can only imagine how a global response to a global pandemic might have changed the course of the last five months and how many lives could have been saved. 

So no, I don’t want us to return to normal. I want us to use this an opportunity to change, to create systems and social structures that create deep and lasting equity and a world where we work together for the common good. One can dream, right? If anything, this crisis should teach us that we are all connected.