Most of this year has been a labor for me, just moving from day to day. The year started out well, and I was excited at first. I didn't think much of COVID-19, assuming this would go the way of SARS, H1N1, etc., with relatively little impact to me. I laughed about it with family on a trip to Las Vegas in February.
Was I ever wrong.
Today is Labor Day in the US, a holiday for those of us here. This was a holiday to celebrate those that work in trades and unions. While those of us in technology aren't often considered labor, as many of us as salaried individuals, we do toil away in what has become a daily grind, albeit a creative one. In the US, this is also the unofficial end of summer, marking the time when many are starting, or about to start, another year of schooling.
I started the coping tips on my blog partially to help the community, but also as a way for me to find ways to deal with the massive changes in life. Despite being an introvert, I do enjoy small doses of meeting other people, being in society, and traveling. All of those have ended for the time being, and finding different ways of coping have helped me during the last six months.
Today, whether you're working along, or reading this on a Tuesday when you get back, I hope you take a moment and reflect on how life has changed across this year. Whether you like or dislike things, you've struggled or sailed through, I'm sure there is a lot of emotion.
I'd ask that you consider having empathy and compassion for others. None of us experiences this the same way, and what might feel like a burden or a trivial event could be tremendously different for others. Even those in my household have all had vastly different reactions to the same event, news, conversation, etc.
I appreciate seeing different points of view and try to respect why others might see the world in a different way from me, but mostly I appreciate the positive messages. I like seeing Chris put out positive ways to start the day. I appreciate Hamish' message of kindness, something I hear during every cherished opportunity to shake his hand. I appreciate Anthony's joy of cooking for his family. Meagan's singing brightened my day. Mala's quick messages and pictures on FB make me smile. There are many more moments of thought, positivity, and joy that I've found, even while struggling.
We are all having good and bad days, up and down times, but most of us are here for each other. Reach out, say hi, check in, and remember that you have friends, even if you can't celebrate with many right now.