A message from Nadine Sookermany, Executive Director of Fife House.
I am taking a moment to share an article that really resonated with me, especially as we all struggle with coming ‘out’ of the past two years – with mask mandates being lifted and other restrictions being lifted, many are grappling with whether or not this is really ‘over.’ We all have been through so much, personally and professionally so I hope something in this piece resonates with you, too – especially the advice to be more compassionate and supportive with one another, and a bit easier on ourselves, as well.
‘Meanwhile, practically every single one of us has been dealing with personal, professional, physical health, mental health, and family crises. Among the people I love, several are grappling with depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. A few are struggling with alcoholism. I have friends who are mourning loved ones, who are grieving from miscarriages. Divorce. Custody battles. Mounting financial debt. Loneliness. Some are parents of small children who cannot be vaccinated yet. Others have to take care of elderly parents who are hospitalized for traumatic brain injury, or who have dementia and can no longer recognize them. So many have constant brain fog and exhaustion from long covid.
And yet, it seems that all of us are still operating as if things were normal. We continue to be hard on ourselves for failing to be productive. We continue to feel guilt and shame for not performing at our best. Probably 30% of our communications these days is just apologizing to one another for failing to meet standards that were set up during a different time.
Unfortunately, we’ve been really hard on one another too. We still expect one another to think and speak and react and plan and strategize clearly, as if none of us are constantly stressed to the breaking point. We still expect one another to keep it together, to keep our personal crises we’re dealing with from affecting our work, and to keep following social scripts. “How are you?” “I’m fine.” That’s a lie! Very few of us are fine!
Everyone is suffering, and we’re all in denial about it. Things are not just not normal, they are horrible for a lot of people. We need to renegotiate the rules and standards on how we treat ourselves and one another, or I don’t know how we can get through this with our relationships and integrity intact.’
For those of us in the non-profit sector, the work has been particularly challenging and I know you all have been doing the best that you can.
For us at Fife House, we have been navigating all of the above – and so much more. Your openness and flexibility during this period of incredible change means the world to me and the rest of the Fife House team.
Thank you for all that you do!!
In solidarity, always – Nadine