I feel overwhelmed. How about you? No need to articulate the what and the why – we are all clearly aware. Like me, you may not be able to absorb yet another correspondence about COVID19. Thus, I have been resistant to adding yet another email to your inbox.
We are all in good health and in relatively good spirits here at SOREDI. Given we currently have the entire third floor to ourselves, social distancing has not been too hard for us. We’ve abided by all the current mandates and we have stepped up our technology that allows us to meet virtually via Zoom.
We are catching up on our long list of to-do’s that may even be past due, cleaning up internal documents, purging old records, taking time to brainstorm those ideas we’ve had floating around on the proverbial cocktail napkin or sticky note, and taking in a webinar or two.
Being relationship mongers at heart though, we miss your direct interaction! We are experiencing a few withdrawals. We look forward to seeing you face to face very soon, and putting many relevant but postponed events back on the calendar.
Reasonably though, it is human nature to allow anxiety or fear, uncertainty, stress, and the likes of a hundred other raw emotions rule the day. I have wrestled with a few anxious moments myself. I have let them go. And I have called them back.
And while I am not taking things lightly and am taking every reasonable precaution to ensure the SOREDI staff has the support and help they need to navigate this unprecedented time – I am trusting God and His purposes in this.
I am quite transparent. Most of you know that my faith is inextricably intertwined with all that I am. Please know that you are on my heart. I am praying earnestly for you and our communities.
Most of our staff have remote access and are still available to take your calls and emails during this time.
We have created a page on our website to help connect you to some available resources: www.soredi.org/coronavirus. This page is updated daily as new resources are made available. In the meantime, here are some ways you can help mitigate the economic impact in our community.
We are trusting in your resilience, the dogged persistence of your businesses, and the tenacious, unifying, and collaborative nature of our communities to help us all bounce back in due time.
As I was out for a walk this week, I also determined there is more I can offer the SOREDI staff over the next few weeks to free ours minds a bit, help us manage stress, and simply acknowledge our humanity.
So our offices will be closed on Friday this week – just to enjoy the first day of Spring. Next week we will close early at 2 pm each day so that staff has time to check on neighbors, take a walk, read a book and simply be still.
I decided a light approach, with a little homework, might help refresh our perspective. I’m sharing the homework assignment I gave staff with you now in hopes that you might also employ similar tactics wherever you are – in the workplace or at home.
- Pick up and read a business book. Apply it to your job or personal life. Be prepared to share your top inspirational points with others.
- Travel to a smaller community at least once between now and March 30. Practice social isolation in your car!
- Find a drive through coffee kiosk or pick up lunch at a drive-through and make an economic contribution! Or walk into the corner grocery. You gotta eat and drink – so support a rural community. Say hello and smile!
- Observe the good, the bad, and the ugly of that community. What do you see?
- Write a Haiku or create a cheer song based on what you learned or experienced in that community.
- Be prepared to recite your Haiku or sing your cheer song at your next staff meeting.
- Take a walk. Find a trail or hike the neighborhood. Maybe offer to walk the dog for a shut in.
- Do good. You decide what that is.
Smiles, kindness, and goodness are also contagious. Blessings and good health to all of you.
Colleen Padilla, Executive Director