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Gratitude in a time of adversity

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By Marisa Geitner

As we look back on 2020, and ahead to 2021, we realize we are now serving our community in unprecedented ways. It is work that has always been vital. What an honor and a privilege it is to be serving alongside each and every one of you.

As counterintuitive as it might seem, now is the time to be thankful and grateful for all we’re learning during this pandemic. Undeniably, these are unimaginable and challenging times. Yet we see proof that we can strengthen ourselves and our communities throughout this crisis. If we look for it, we can see gifts in this adversity.

The signs are all around us: A renewed respect for health, life and freedom. A triumphant support of frontline professionals, our everyday heroes.

Consider this: We have been called to serve in this unique and distinct period of time. And that’s not by coincidence. We are called so specifically to serve right now at a time when our gift of care is so needed — and beautifully received by our community. We have taken hold of this opportunity to serve our community at the most important time in recent generations. Our work has never been so vital, our mission never more alive!

Still, we are tired. Everyone is giving this all they’ve got, facing long and often unpredictable hours. The pandemic continues to tax our emotional, cognitive and physical wellbeing. Yet I know this: We were built for this purpose. We know adversity. We’ve personally and professionally navigated many bumps in the road. We know challenge and we know how to live it out in care and support of others, even in the midst of difficult times. We’ve got this! We’ve gotten stronger and even more efficient in the ways we work so that we can do more even when we feel like we have less.

We need you on this journey. Please pay attention to your own self-care. We must care for ourselves in order to be our best for others.

Remember that each of us is only human. Wherever you find yourself, know that these challenges aren’t experienced by any one person; we’re all experiencing them. Each of us will have moments of bewilderment when we feel defeated. In those moments, when you can, choose to use that experience to ground yourself, to be humbled and to de-center yourself. Call on your higher authority, regroup and think about your unique purpose in service right now, at this time when you are most needed.

When you are able, take three deep breaths, lift your chin, broaden your shoulders and dive back into the work that you uniquely are called to do!