Doing our best…

Happy New Year!  It’s my sincerest hope that each of you had a restful holiday season. 

For certain, it was very different than anything I’ve experienced before.  Christmas has always been a time of joy and celebration in my family.  Navigating this first one without my Dad was predictably difficult, particularly given that I wasn’t able to spend it with my Mom, mother-in-law or siblings either.  One of my brothers, Michael, lives in a group home.  Although he’s been able to spend time with us through Facetime, he struggles to understand why we can’t be together like usual.  Across both sides of our family and friendship circles, we spent much of Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve online … but it just wasn’t the same.  Even by the warmth of fires burning inside and out … it was chilly.

Despite the lockdown and related restrictions imposed by Public Health though …  Ken, Bennett, Olive and I enjoyed the more relaxed tempo and time to ourselves; we walked every day, were inspired by our alumnus Trevor Jimenez’ genius as the story supervisor on Pixar’s new feature film Soul, did countless Kahoots! created by our kids and their cousins, watched some amazing content on streaming services (The Queen’s Gambit was my favourite!), and we played a lot of highly-competitive, high-stakes Family Feud. 

In summary, our family’s experience over the last two weeks echoes what I think we’ve all come to expect since the pandemic struck with force in March, 2020:  things are not good and the challenges remain immense … but we’re creative and have chosen to focus on the long-term, the people we care about, and our holistic wellbeing. 

I wish I could accelerate the immunization process but, without a magic wand, I think this is where we will continue to sit for months to come.  While the situation is enormously frustrating, I remain grateful for my membership in a learning community that shares a strong sense of purpose and values.  Together, we’ll persevere. 

The attached photo is courtesy of my young neighbours who built this Snowpal last week.  I’ve walked by it a dozen times and think it’s analogous to our current context.  First and foremost, the team built it without an abundance of raw material; they used every flake on the lawn and installed patches to shore up points of vulnerability.  Second – owing to design flaws and warmer temps — the Snowpal is wonky.  Nonetheless, the architects are tremendously proud of their work. 

In summary:  in the face of very challenging circumstances, we’re doing our best.  It isn’t always pretty but we’ll continue to build and fortify what matters.