I'm sticking with my ambiguous language here. While I have been a passenger on this journey, it has not been principally mine. Of course, that also begs the question: why am I writing about me then? Its my blog. Ok, its also because that's the part of the story I can tell.
I was talking to my next door neighbor, T, recently. They have their house on the market and brought in a stager (an expert on arranging the house to make it attractive to buyers). The stager had them put a lot of their stuff into storage, de-cluttering the house. T told me: "I may just not unpack any of it from storage, we haven't really missed that stuff at all."
The last few weeks has been life changing. Many of my deepest beliefs have been affirmed and some challenged. There's this idea about crisis compelling change. Often, great leaders emerge, or find their real strengths or a sense of clarity, from a crisis. The same is true for organizations. And, the same has been true for me.
When you are forced to drop everything and focus solely, singularly on something unexpected, it really helps you figure out what matters. I put most things in my life on hold over the last two weeks. As it turns out, some of those things on hold really weren't that important. Some of those things, like friendships, were the reason I could just step away for a while.
More than anything, I hope this clarity, the little bit of magic which comes from a fast of daily life sustained only by a cocktail of difficulty and support, remains. I wouldn't want to lose this. The feeling developed over a few days of lingering in the stale air of a hospital ward. It culminated as we sat together one morning on a balcony overlooking the hospital grounds - a setting and moment entirely pleasant enough as to be disarming considering the circumstances. We were opening cards, literally hundreds of them, some from people we didn't even know personally. That mattered. Those cards mattered. Friendships, relationships, love, compassion, kindness, strength, encouragement, positivity, empathy....those things matter. Care matters, as do caregivers - those people who are drawn to giving a part of themselves to someone else, as a choice of profession - they matter.
Family, perhaps above all else, matters.