When ringing in the New Year on December 31st, 2019, many people joked about having 20/20 vision. However, no one could truly predict what 2020 would bring. Did you have your graduation canceled? Was an internship put on hold due to the pandemic? Have you spent far too many hours alone with your pet (who is likely still wondering what the heck is going on)? The ongoing pandemic has undoubtedly challenged all of us in different ways, and for some, we have had (or will have) our first taste of starting a job or internship remotely during a pandemic. So...what now and how, you ask? Read on for a few (hopefully) helpful tidbits of advice for navigating this uncharted territory from someone who’s walked the walk!
I’ve heard the writing advice that to emphasize a moment in a scene, spend more time on it. I’ve found myself digging into the pieces of my day that are different from pre-COVID times, the parts I’ve come to love that are slower and more deliberate. I’m spending more time thinking about these moments, in anticipation that they will likely go away or evolve into something else.
Despite what we’re calling unprecedented, challenging times, for many of us daily work seems to carry on as normal. Even before the pandemic, many of us were intimately familiar with never-ending to-do lists. Now, as the nonprofit sector is increasingly strained, many have taken on more work with fewer resources. In a culture that favors productivity, even as we’re marching through hell and high water, there is always another email to send and task to complete.
It’s important to establish practices that can help hack the to-do list, identify what is truly important, and cultivate a feeling of fulfillment — both at work and in life. I am admittedly no pro, but I’ve gathered a few of these actionable items that have helped me along the way.
I moved to Eastern Europe two months before Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, and I relocated to the Twin Cities in September 2020. Plenty of jokes have been made about how I managed to “escape” nearly all of Trump’s presidency, and I’ve grown accustomed to chuckling uncomfortably while knowing that this isn’t really true. The Trump presidency impacted countless aspects of my four years living abroad and taught me several valuable lessons about how people overseas view America.
This past summer in the Twin Cities has been revolutionary.
As many organizations made the important pivot to working from home to minimize the impact of a global pandemic, our community suffered the tragic murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police Department officers, and residents were activated to hit the streets demanding justice.
Mutual aid distribution sites sprung up overnight to aid South and North Minneapolis communities who lost important neighborhood storefronts, which eliminated access to groceries, household goods, and critical medications.
And we carried on because our work didn’t stop. For many, it intensified.
The problem with ignoring pain is that it doesn’t go away. We just start to work around it, maneuvering in maladaptive ways.