How Are You Doing?
- By Laurie Watanabe
- Nov 01, 2020
MENDED HEART: DEPOSITPHOTOS/ARRTFOTO
Somehow, it is fall. This year that’s seemed interminable is also inexplicably
winding down. In some ways, it feels like the year hasn’t really
started yet. My internal calendar stopped on March 6, the night I got
home from Vancouver’s International Seating Symposium. That might have
been the last time life felt halfway normal.
I stopped using my generic “Hope you’re doing well” e-mail greeting a
while back. Now I type something like “Hope you’re doing okay.”
That’s where the bar has been set for 2020.
We’re dodging COVID-19, hurricanes, floods,
wildfires, murder hornets… and that’s not even
taking politics into account. Keeping body and
soul together is tough when kids need to be
home-schooled and getting groceries or paper
towels requires gearing up. Our normal routines
are long gone, and we’ve lost too many loved
ones along the way.
I am, though, especially concerned about
you. I’ve learned a lot in almost 19 years in the
seating and mobility industries, but the number one thing I’ve learned is this:
You put other people’s needs before your own.
Helping others gives you purpose, energy and joy. And that’s terrific: How
wonderful is it that your job is also your mission? Mobility really is life: It’s the
way we learn and relate to each other, the way we explore and express
ourselves. To change people’s lives for the better, to change their families’
lives too, and to have that be your passion… that’s as good as a career gets.
But while you’re helping others and thinking of everyone else first, I hope
you are also making time for you.
Are you getting enough sleep? Eating as well as you can? Setting aside
time regularly to do whatever rejuvenates you and brings you joy, whether
that’s yoga or baking or running or wrestling with the dog, or just taking a
great nap on a Sunday afternoon?
And when something inevitably goes wrong — when an e-mail gets lost,
or there’s a mistake in your paperwork, or you’re running late… I hope you’re
giving yourself a break. Because you’d be the first to tell friends, colleagues,
family members, “Hey, no big deal… don’t worry about it.” Are you extending
that same kindness and grace to yourself when you’re feeling a little frazzled
When you do feel a little down, do you tell yourself it’s okay rather than
exhorting yourself to quickly get over it? Do you seek a friend or loved one
when you need to talk? Do you spend a little extra time that night taking
care of yourself?
It became clear some time ago that our current situation is not a sprint,
but a marathon. While we can all push through the occasional frenzied
week with little sleep, it’s different when we don’t know when the trouble will
end. So: Take care. Be good to yourself. Be as good to yourself as you are to
those around you. Please.
This article originally appeared in the October/November 2020 issue of Mobility Management.
Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.