Move your mind, Move your body, Move your soul.
I am mad right now.
My company's leaders are not trying to piss me off. They are trying to be inspirational and motivational for their employees. But it's not working.
The idea is for us to see our Executive Leadership team in their "quarantine" situations. I see them in places like this:
Spotless, beachside locations. Serene, beautiful. A place of ease and relaxation. This particular home has a room for grandkids that haven't been born yet. (Did I mention that my kids share a room?) Video after video reeks of wealth and a disconnect from how 'real' people are living.
Our dining room table has always doubled as my "desk" since I have worked from home for the last 5 years. Now, my desk also quadruples as the art station, school work station, gathering station, etc.
One of my co-workers admitted that she is doing her work from her bed. It's the only room in her house with a door. And she is trying to get work done while her kids are separated from her. Yikes.
Now, I don't live in squalor. I am incredibly fortunate and I know it. I am a white collar worker, too. My husband is blue collar. He is a builder/woodworker/artist. And as a "solo-preneur" this means that he doesn't have access to unemployment benefits during this time. He has never been afforded health benefits, he doesn't ever have sick days, if he's injured he's s.o.l.
We have survived difficult times before. In 2008, our kids were 1, 2, and 5 years old. When Aaron couldn't work that time around, he stayed home with the kids and I continued my work in healthcare administration. We just barely squeaked by.
This time around, we are in a better place financially, for sure. We have a lot of amenities we didn't have in 2008. Like internet, a full tank of oil, a savings account. Our kids are in their teens now and don't need the kind of hands-on attention they needed more than a decade ago.
But there are people in my company (who are seeing these videos) who make $11/hour. People who were told before the COVID-19 situation truly "hit" that they wouldn't see their cost of living increase until July because we didn't achieve our financial goals last year (even though the ELT got their 6 figure bonuses). People who have kids at home, vying for their attention. People who can't escape to the country. People who don't have that luxury. People who might be worried about a partner who is out of work, for aging parents, for all the "normal stuff". People who are watching our leaders in their second homes, taking a break from the conference travel circuit.
Ouch, Anne. DAMN. I have just re-read what I've written. I had to get it out. And now I have a question for myself: What does this judgment say about me and what is it that I want?
Is being rich a slap in the face to others? Can they help it that they live in self-proclaimed "pink palaces"? I suppose I simply want room for the admittance of the white privilege that is oozing from these videos. Some semblance of sensitivity for the people who are having a different experience. The fact is, I will likely NOT be asked to share a video of my own quarantined reality. I will not receive the external accolades nor the affirmations that I am doing an ok job coping in the way that I am coping. And so I need to offer it to myself.
I am doing the best that I can in my tiny house with too few bedrooms. I am taking it easy on my kids who are not doing all of the online learning that is assigned to them. I am taking it easy on myself in my work. I am doing what I can. I am checking in with myself and working with the flow of my energy. Some moments I am on fire. Others, I need a midday rest. And I do it. I respond to what I need.
I am also using my privilege to support others. I am buying gift cards for services and locations that I frequent. I am writing and posting. I am reminding people that they can do hard things. That it's ok to feel all the feelings that we feel during this. I am reminding myself that it. is. a. practice. You got this.
You gotta feel it to heal it.