It seems hard to believe that my time in the presidential role has come to an end, and this is my final email to you all. I would be untruthful if I said this hasn’t been a tough year to have held this volunteer role, for so many reasons. But it has also been a very rewarding year.
In February, I wrote to you about being optimistic, but then I fell silent. I’ll admit I’ve struggled the past couple of months to keep up my positive outlook. In Ontario, we are under a full stay-at-home order until June 2 due to the continued rise in COVID cases. Vaccine roll-out has been slow here (I finally got my first shot on May 1!), and it’s unclear when our students will get their turn. Nonetheless, Fall planning has begun for a return to campus despite all the uncertainties like building occupancy limits and variants. I can’t quite believe it, but I think I was busier at work this March and April than during the same timeframe last year.
While many of us seemed ready to say good-bye to 2020, this new year has had a somewhat variable start. We have continued to see protests and riots around the world and pandemic lockdown measures (Ontario, where I live, declared another state of emergency until mid-Feb). It’s hard not to feel anxious, drained, and angry. And yet, there are also signs of positive change: a momentous inauguration in the United States with Kamala Harris being sworn in as Vice President, the start of promising vaccination campaigns, and increasing daylight hours in North America (this last one always boosts my energy).
The start of school also signals that it’s time to re-launch activities that got put on hold over the summer. Might one activity you choose include the POD Network?
In July, I wrote to you about transitions and how much they can make us feel overloaded. In recent conversations with POD Network colleagues, though, I’ve felt like it’s more than transitions that are exhausting us. I see, hear, and feel the stress and anxiety that is sapping our energy.
I considered providing you with some factual updates about our organization given that our Spring Core meeting just happened in June, but I’m going to save that for later. Instead, I’ve opted for something a bit more conceptual, which feels like a better fit at this point in time.
In stepping into the role of President as of March 21, I’ve opted to take a slightly different tack in communicating with you. Our newsletter has been phased out and we are putting more emphasis on social media messaging, but we also know that not all of you engage in those media, so I’m going old school with my messages. On a somewhat regular basis, I will communicate with you directly via a members’ email.