How Running a Half-Marathon is a lot like Reopening our Community

I (Stacy) did a half-marathon in 2015.  It was one of the hardest things I have ever done.  It was hot and humid and in the middle of Florida but I did pretty well those first 6 miles or so of the race. I was able to go slow and steady and just keep moving.  There was something about mile marker 7 though, that just threw me for a loop.

I felt like the race was never going to end and I actually called my husband Greg during the race and said, “I don’t know if I can do this. I don’t think it’s ever going to end and I am never going to finish. I might just quit.” Such a positive thinker at the moment…I know, but I did not quit and I did keep going.  Once I hit mile 10, all of the sudden, I knew that I could do the last 3 miles and was able to finish the race.  

I realize in retrospect what it was that kept me going those extra miles. It was that I was living my values in real time.

How We’re Approaching Reopening

In a lot of ways, this story perfectly represents how Help in the Home is approaching conversations about re-opening. The first half of this was slow and steady and most of us were eager to inch towards the finish line, but then, after months of exerting emotional energy and navigating uncertainty,  the fatigue has set in…and understandably so! The easiest thing WOULD BE  to just say,  “okay, time to get back to normal”, but that is just not the way that we have ever worked. 

We are approaching this differently.  We feel like it is so important to move forward with an abundance of caution which is why we are okay with moving slow and building on the success we’re having. It is the way that we build our plans with our clients and grow our company as well.  We truly believe that slow and steady will win the race.

In application, this valve versus on/off mentality means we are not approaching phase 2 yet. Instead, we are breaking phase 1 into multiple pieces. First, we set up ways for families to come out and have safe, socially-distanced visits. Now, we’re opening the community up to itself, which allows our community members to go into each others homes and have community meals again (hooray!).

Without a doubt, the most challenging part is where we are now.  This was “easy” when the Health Crisis and Stay at Home went hand-in-hand.  Now that places around us are opening quicker than we are comfortable with, we are no  longer in the same place. 

On the other hand, an amazing positive piece has been the feedback from our clients families.  They very much want to be able to see their loved ones more but really appreciate the care and love we have taken with our reopening plan.  The gratitude we have heard from people when we are reaching out has been so good for our hearts.

It’s important for us at Help in the Home to live our values not only in our work lives but our home lives too – and the two are interrelated these days. Some of our biggest values are connection and working as a team. Pausing when things got tough and reaching out for help was what got me through then and what will get me through now. Reaching out to other staff, providers and business owners and taking this at our own pace is what will get us through. 

Remember, there WILL be an end to this – we might not know when it is, but we know it will happen.

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