Some anniversaries are cause for celebration – we find joy in the commemoration of a first date, a wedding, or a birthday. Other anniversaries, like the death of a loved one or a significant historical event, bring more solemn reflection. This month marks the one-year anniversary of the first Covid 19 case in Minnesota. From that day on, we all experienced a profound shift in our daily lives. It is not an exaggeration to say that over the last year, it has felt as though the world turned upside down.
There are, of course, many things about this Covid era that we are eager to put in the rear-view mirror. We all look forward to the day when we can reconnect with loved ones, resume our favorite activities, and break free from the fear and anxiety that this pandemic has caused. And yet we also know that all experiences, whether challenging or joyful, help us to grow in new ways.
We recently asked each member of our director team to share something positive that they hope to hold on to from this past year – something beneficial that can endure, despite all the challenges of the past year. It is no exaggeration to say that our group of EFC directors are strong, amazing and inspiring women. Here are some of the things they shared:
Embracing the outdoors: Whether going for a simple walk in the neighborhood, exploring a new state park, or learning to ski, this year has inspired us to embrace the outdoors. It has been energizing and healing for both body and mind.
Connecting with loved ones: While physical distance has meant less in-person time with friends and family, the shift to virtual living has allowed us to connect with loved ones in a new way. Regular video chats with friends and family have brought us closer with those who live far away. And even as life inches back to normal, technology can help us maintain these ties.
Gratitude for an amazing team: In times of stress, strong bonds are forged. In the early days of the pandemic, EFC teachers and directors from multiple centers came together in incredible ways. They supported one another through uncertainty. They developed the deep and lasting connections that come from enduring challenges together as a team. And for those who spent time away from EFC, absence surely made the heart grow fonder. As one director said, “I have never wanted to come back to work so badly!”
Finding small joys: Appreciating the little things helps us stay grounded. For some that has meant special Friday snacks and celebrations, for others it has meant embracing the silly whenever possible. And for many of us it has meant finding joy in the things we still can do, like supporting a local restaurant. In addition, many of us have had more time at home with our own families. Without a place or event to rush off to, we’ve created space for moments of ordinary joy in our homes--listening to siblings giggle uncontrollably, cooking meals together, or snuggling with our pets.
We are grateful for the amazing team of EFC directors, who inspire us with their strength and uplift us with their laughter and hopefulness. We hope that over the past year, despite all the challenges, your family has found a few things that you can hang on to – traditions, connections, or new passions that, because they were forged in hard times, will be even stronger as they endure.