AVP and CTO Update, April 25, 2020
It is uncommon for me to send an email on the weekend, however I wanted to send this out to share some timely items. Truth is, I ran out of gas by the time the end of the week rolled around and I am doing a reset this weekend – even taking Monday off! One way I like to reset is writing, so this is email is a selfish way to lift myself up while sharing a few activities I am and will be doing to keep refresh my mindset.
It was Earth Day on April 22 and I came across this lovely and historic picture of our earth, with a short essay accompanying a recording of a Maya Angelou poem, that sums it all up, and seems more timely than ever given our pandemic – a great equalizer. This picture along with the world situation highlights more than ever that we are wondrous and frail and just a very small speck in the great universe. It puts into a very large context what is truly important.
And speaking of the universe, there is a live event this afternoon (Saturday at 4:30 PM) that combines science and nature with literature and is available to you if you are not out enjoying this glorious day. I’ve shared this in the McMasterIT Teams channel also. If you miss it, there will be some recorded components you can watch afterwards.
Have you been participating in other live online events? I haven’t done much of this yet, so the aforementioned Universe in Verse event may be my first. I am also going to participate in a Jill Barber live concert tomorrow afternoon (Sunday). So here’s to new uplifting experiences! I have also been watching the John Krasinski ‘Some Good News’ series on YouTube. If you haven’t seen it, the second episode is really uplifting! If you like to laugh and cry, watch them all!
What really lifts me up is interacting with people. Even in isolation, I do that multiple times a day, thanks to online meetings and pre-planned online social meet ups, too. It isn’t quite the same as being together in person, however a colleague reminded me that I have a choice to “turn up” my listening, to make every interaction the best experience I can, even on Teams, or Zoom, or by text and email. Choice is a lovely thing and help us pick the best direction for our emotional well being. Being mindful of what we are experiencing in each moment is about choice and can help us to smooth out or take control of a situation where we don’t feel we have choice. That can be very uplifting.
Rather than just time online, I have built in some very small, routine activities to help me feel alive and in control, too. As an example, I make my bed every morning! I am going for a short (20 – 25 minute) walk, every day. My brother recommended a 30 day ‘just enough’ Yoga practice that I am enjoying – it is ‘just enough’. Sure I could do more activity – and our McMaster researchers agree we need to do less sitting and more moving for our health – but I am uplifted by my little actions, and it is good enough for me. Oh, and of course there is the cooking, eating, baking … but I can’t share anything that you don’t already know!
As we all know, it is the little things that can make the biggest difference. We are being forced to explore those little things and what they can do for us these days. I hope you also find ways to reset this weekend – in little and meaningful ways, and if you didn’t see this until Monday, then that is a perfect indication that you did just that!
Take good care and be well