in this for the long haul

mountain run david-marcu-8TJbrQGKFyU-unsplash

Image credit: David Marcu on Unsplash

Open up. Close down. Wear a mask. COVID is a joke.

No matter what we believe about all of it, there is no doubt that COVID-19 has changed our lives forever. It continues to affect our daily existence and our future planning. Even if we are unwilling to make personal life adjustments, the virus will inevitably impact our family and our friends in their health (physical, emotional, mental), job security, travel, celebrations, or in some other aspect. It is unavoidable.

My family and friends have suffered in numerous ways, and I have felt worried, sad, frustrated, isolated, limited, and so many more emotions during the last months.

This won’t be over any time soon.

So what do we do now? How do we prepare for the new reality? How do we find strength – emotional, physical, relational, spiritual – for the long-term effects of this pandemic?

SELF-CARE

This is the first area many experts mention. I recognize the need to come back to these basics again and again. Drink enough water. Eat less junk. Go outside. Exercise. Get enough good hours of sleep. Do a little something special you enjoy every so often. Pray.

Our bodies do not function for long periods under stress without paying the price. We cannot run this marathon with necessary physical health, clear thoughts, and creative processes without proper nutrition and care.

RELATIONSHIPS

We are also not created to live alone. We need each other – both for love, comfort, enjoying activities together, etc., and also to teach us, expose us to different ways, challenge us, and display to us the full essence of God. We cannot surround ourselves only with those who are like us, or we miss essential parts of the full image of humanity.

These are perfect days to humbly, respectfully, and authentically open our minds and expand our conversations to include many different perspectives, sources of information, and opinions. We need a diversity of excellent ideas to build together towards improvements and pivots for our future world.

MAKE A POSITIVE CONTRIBUTION

Many require help today. All over the globe, children are hungry and lack clean water. Trafficking victims and falsely accused await freedom. Natural disasters and unethical corporations wreak havoc on our environment. Violence steals innocent lives. People die without forgiveness and eternal hope.

So much to do. So many places where compassionate, energetic, sacrificial, committed people can make a difference by using their skills, financial resources, networking – whatever gifts they have to offer.

When we don’t know what to do, we can ask questions. We can research. We can learn. We can join together if we are fearful of acting alone. Even when we do not have much, every little bit we offer is a blessing.

We are in this for the long haul. Don’t get weary. Don’t give up. We need to be as healthy as we can be so that we can also love and support others along the way. 

How are you staying well and grounded during these trying times? How are you helping others?

looking in the wrong place

I want to do something worthwhile, valuable, important. I want to leave a legacy. In an earlier post, I wrote about my discouragement and concern that I hadn’t left the culture change legacy that I wanted in the organization. Over time, the organization took on a different look, a different personality, and I felt like a failure…
Where was the legacy?

The other day, I was processing this struggle with my husband. The more we talked, the more I came to realize that I was looking for the legacy in the wrong place. I wanted an environment, procedures, and structures to display our influence after we were gone.

I think now that the organization simply provided the “front” for the work we wanted to do; it would not be my source of legacy. I believe I find my legacy in the people I worked for and worked with, in the changed lives – nurtured, grown, changed, empowered, hope-filled… in the environment we built to work from.

Perhaps the “temporary” place we created was never intended to last forever – maybe we built it as much for us as for others. It served an important purpose for a time. It provided a context for us to work out our calling… while we were there.

I am not really very concerned about turning organizations around. I do want to bring a positive influence, and I do hope to lay a path that makes it easier for others to follow. I think that I am more passionate about turning lives around. And that, thankfully, I did get to do from my leadership position.

Some of those changed lives will lead to generations of change. Many will use their influence to create and multiply environments where others can grow. Their changed lives mean changed families and changed businesses, and contribute to changed cities… and eventually a changed world! I feel more encouraged with my search… maybe my legacy is not so quickly and easily visible, but it is definitely a legacy that was worth the effort.

Where do you want to leave a legacy? Are you looking in the right place?