I’ve missed you.

I have been struggling mightily with what to say to you during these strange times. In the first weeks, the (sur)reality of pandemic descended upon us.

Our inboxes filled up with “how we’re dealing with COVID messages” from every. single. entity. that had ever taken down and squirreled away our data. Some helpful. Some less. (Thanks Hampton Inn in random city where I stayed three years ago. I feel so much more relieved to know you’re on top of this!) Some we would have liked to have heard from a lot sooner, like you-know-who’s on local, state, and federal levels.

Information is starting to feel like drinking from a firehose.

In the midst of it all, my voice went quiet. I found I didn’t even want to listen to my own inner monologue, couldn’t bear to journal in this first month because I could hardly grapple with my thoughts.

Every day, I would wake up with a certain list of tasks, from the practical and concrete to the more “leaderly” and esoteric. So many things to read, people to write & call, house things I wanted to accomplish, and now Gwyneth Paltrow says I should be learning another language during this time?!?!

I’m reminding myself of my mom who, when faced with a lot of things to do, loves to start singing, “Where do I begin?” [Sidebar: I’m gonna be honest with you here. I did not, until this very moment, when I looked it up to drop the link in for you, know what came after the words, “where do I begin?” Had no clue that the next words were “to tell the story…” I’m going to meditate on that for a while.]

Here are a few conclusions I’ve come to so far with the whole Where Do I Begin thing…

  1. Many of the smart, heart-centered people I follow have said more than once lately that the best thing to do each day is simply what feels like the next right thing. I love that. It feels spot-on to me. What’s the next right thing to do today? Take a walk? Certainly. Take a nap? Yes. Stevie Wonder dance break? Awesome. Write a blog post after months of radio silence? Ok! Just one foot in front of the other for now, without harming myself or anyone else, until life becomes more clear.
  2. You’re going to be hearing from me more often for a while. I’m going to try and make more of a regular practice to engage with my audience through this means, rather than relying so much on social media. I’m sorry I’ll be one more of those people filling up your inbox. You know you can always delete it. I just need to feel like I’m doing something useful because I can’t sew masks or anything that feels more, um, essential. Yes, yes, our stories are essential, which is why I’m doing this. We’ll get to that next post…

In the meantime, yours, in community…
Shannon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIFWQUaR8wg