staff with adults with disabilities

If you asked me eight weeks ago what what my most significant work concerns were,  I would’ve replied with a smorgasbord of topics ranging from new contract clauses to the disappointment of our new curtains being discontinued.  But honestly, as I sit here thinking, it’s hard to even imagine what I was worried about eight weeks ago.  It just seems so irrelevant now.

A lot has happened in 8 weeks, since our world, as we recognized it,  ‘closed’.  I don’t need to explain that sentence to literally anyone on earth.  It needs no explanation.  With the exception of the world’s front line fighters and essential services, our world froze overnight.

So fast forward to where we find ourselves today.  Still in our technically ‘closed’ world but we are now far, far from frozen.  At some point, early on in the freeze, we started to stir.  Move.  Accept.  Adjust.  In doing so, we found something recently described to me as ‘beautifully magical’.  We found a way to re-create ourselves and share our joy and passion in new ways – mostly using technology.  In doing so, we made connections to far distant places, right into the lives of those we care about every day – our Adults in Motion participants.  But as we danced, and zoomed, face-timed and shared videos something else was happening.  The joy and love we were sharing, came beaming right back to us in our participant’s faces.  Our participants were lifting us with acceptance and connections that carried us all through to the next day.  We were doing things we never believed possible.

Eight weeks ago if you’d asked me if we could remotely deliver our day program supports and services and make an impact,  I would’ve told you it was not possible.  But, I would’ve been wrong.  Now yes, one could argue this new tech connecting is not exactly the same quality or quantity as our regular programming, and they’d be right.  Zooming and videos, Facetime and phone calls do not a ‘day program’ make. However, together, we found a way to translate our culture of compassion and support to our Adults in Motion families and as a gift they radiated it all back.  In doing so, we’ve discovered new strengths and resiliency during this often confusing and scary time.

In this darkness we’ve found some silver linings.  We’ve found new skills and bravery, throwing trust out to others where it was received with open arms.  We’ve learned that we can recreate ourselves without losing ourselves.  Our participants and their loving families supported us through this and allowed us to grow and find our footing.  For that, we will always remember and always be thankful.  

For me, I’ve learned never say never.  I’ve learned that technology is not my enemy and we can be friends.  I’ve leaned that being on youtube isn’t the most embarrassing thing that could happen to me.  I’ve learned that my kids can sit at the table for dinner and not argue.  I’ve re-learned how to use the stove, how to play Monopoly with my husband, sew with my kids, and bounce on the trampoline.  

This is a time of connecting, supporting and patience; patience with ourselves, that extra time does not necessarily mean capacity;  patience with others; and patience with the world as we all work towards our new normal. 

It is true, that in the darkest of dark you can better see even the slightest glimmer of light.  So remember, when things seem unimaginable, if we look hard enough our silver linings are waiting for us to find them.  Don’t forget to pick them up and take them with you.

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”  Alan Watts.

Yours, Shelley Murphy.  Adults in Motion Executive Director.

*This blog in no way intends to diminish the negative and life changing affects of COVID 19 on the mental health and wellbeing of individuals within our communities, those suffering from illness or the heroic actions of front line workers including those working tirelessly in care homes  for many of our Adults in Motion participants.  You are all in our prayers and thoughts.  This blog is only intended as a perspective from the Adults in Motion organization in finding light in some very dark and scary places.  #frontlineheroes #peacebewithyou #bestrong #lemonstolemonade #hereforyou

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