Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Dear Olive,

At work this year I've been planning a series of talks and experiences for staff members to keep them thriving in the wake of supporting kids in trauma.  The rigor of dealing with aggressive and depressed kids can get the best of us all.  Empathizing and trying to problem-solve for situations that sometimes seem impossible can feel so depleting.  And at the conclusion of last year, I felt pretty much spent.

I had remembered reading an article about the women who entered the workplace to substitute for men fighting during World War II.  With mothers and home economists out of the home, society had to restructure itself to accommodate for daily tasks that would not get accomplished in the usual way.  So, when women would check into work, they would bring their babies with them.  Not only would they have daycare on site, but they would also bring their laundry and grocery lists.  At the conclusion of their work day, women would collect their babies, clean clothing, dinner, and laundry.  Their errands had been accomplished for them by community volunteers because they were supporting the community with their work.  In this narrative I was struck; not only by the team- mindedness, but also by the awareness that no one person can do it all.

Wrapped in the dichotomy of isolationism and social media, we live in a fast-paced age promoting independence and hustle.  Working and getting everything done to the height of perfection has become a badge and an expectation.  What if, instead of secretly competing against each other's Facebook feed of dinner and decor, we banded together to divide and conquer?

So, this year every Monday, we are giving our staff an opportunity to do or receive something that reduces the rigor and promotes community.  We're teaching skills like life lists, the power of play, how to deal with difficult people, and how painting increases cognitive efficiency.  We're giving away meditation routines, bento boxes, infused water bottles, family dinners, capsule wardrobes, and chair massages.

In such a small way, I hope that this resurrects the mentality that we are better together.  And that we can win the war.

1 comment:

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