As I shared in my video on Friday, there is a lot going on in my head and my heart as we enter June. It’s a new month, the beginning of summer and, hopefully, a new chapter for all of us as we begin to emerge from our homes and try to engage in some new activities. These events felt very commonplace just a few months ago. Today, they feel new, exciting and also a bit uncomfortable… the first meal back in a restaurant, a trip to get a haircut (other than from a family member) and walking into our office for the first time in nearly three months. I understand not everyone is ready for this for a multitude of reasons.
For my first trip back to the office this past week, I chose my birthday. I have to admit, it felt like a gift. Who would have thought that opening the door to my office, the entry place to my “job” would have felt like a present… but it did! I had butterflies as I walked through the lobby and entered the elevator (with my mask securely in place). Walking down the hall, I noticed all the details of our corporate office as if it was the first time I had entered the space. As I settled into my chair, plugged in my laptop, a familiar, more comfortable feeling began to sink in. So grateful to be home! It’s a wonderful feeling that many of us could not have confidently envisioned over the past few months, but I’m quite confident now, this day is coming for all of us.
Even though I was so thankful for that brief feeling of normalcy, I understand all too clearly, this is not like flipping a switch and all is back to how it was before. This is going to take some time, with anxious ups and downs, as we navigate the experiences in front of us. But, I’ve seen our resilience and commitment on the most difficult of days and I have no doubt that this team will embrace the next chapter - our “new normal” together.
What has kept me so optimistic over the past few months has been all of you and the perspective I have gained on the many blessings in my life. I know I am not alone in this. So many of you have shared your gratitude for your health, your families, your OneDigital family and the sense of security that we will pull through this together. Although this has been a sad and scary time, it’s the bravery, compassion and CARE I’ve witnessed that has given me such hope and faith in our future. It’s unfortunate that it often takes tragedy to bring communities together, but there is much we can learn and carry forward. My sincere hope and prayer is that we can emerge from these days with new optimism for our future and hold on to the compassion and caring that helped so many of us get through these past months.
I also realize that there is still a lot pain, economic loss and fear around us. And, as I write this message, new fears and concerns emerge from the senseless death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. While we have a long way to go to address the pain, inequalities and fear in our society, it needs to start by CARING. I’m proud of our OneDigital family, collectively and individually, as you continue to show the courage and thoughtfulness to help those in need and support your local communities. Closer to home, there are needs within our OneDigital family as well. While we are feeling strong and confident as an organization, there are always team members that find themselves in need - suffering from loss or financial hardships in their personal lives. I’m proud to share that we are in the process of setting up an Employee Assistance Fund that will be funded by our OneDigital family and accessible to those in need of help now and in the future. I’m thinking about calling it the We’ve Got Your Back Fund! The details are still being finalized but we should have an official announcement soon. Thank you to all who have asked how you can contribute or assist others in our own OneDigital family.
Team, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’m so proud and grateful for who we are and what we are building. It’s always been a part of our culture, but now more than ever it’s important that we remember to BE CARING as we approach this next chapter and continue our journey together. Thank you OneDigital!