To say that this year has been something none of us could have imagined is quite the understatement! So how does one deal with a pandemic, major civil unrest, a toxic political environment, and the growing threat of climate change?
As it became obvious that we were going to be asked to go in to isolation, I realized that I was going to finally have a chance to work from home for an extended period of time, something I have wanted to do for ages. As an introvert, it is the ideal situation for me and I knew that I’d be okay to truly being alone, as I live on my own with my cats. I am presently a federal contractor and my current contract is due to end on August 26th. When the shutdown started in March, I was trying to figure out how I could make it permanent for the remainder of the contract. As things progressed and it became obvious that remote work was the way to go, we got the go ahead to do so for the rest of the contract. I was thrilled. One less thing to have to stress about.
Then, as I was getting quite comfortable with the new normal, the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor occurred. So now there was a reckoning to deal with and more just causes to support, not to mention an election only months away.I felt bombarded — The options for action seemed endless. How was a person supposed to choose? Besides the usual criteria one employs in determining where to use one’s time and resources, I had to deal with the precautions that this pandemic requires. I became overwhelmed to the point of inaction. I just couldn’t fathom where to begin to figure out how I could start to make some sort of difference, and still remain safe.
So, I didn’t do anything for a time. Instead, I focused on my day-to-day isolation living — logging on to work, going to Zoom events (Adat Shalom and others), and focusing on taking care of me. I finally felt ready for baby steps in late July. I signed up with Silver Spring Progressive Actions (SSPA) and have since written “Get Out the Vote” letters and will be sending texts. These are small things that I can do on my own time, in solitude, and not feel overwhelmed. Most importantly, it aligns with my belief that if we can change things around come November, then we will have a good start for healing the country, both figuratively and literally.
I have learned to take each day as it unfolds and I’m usually okay with that. And when I’m not doing as well, I remind myself that that’s okay too, and go find some British TV to lose myself in. I have learned that I can start anew the next day. But above all, I am doing my best to remember to be kind to myself and then I’ll be in the right place to help others. This is what I have come to realize works for me.