By Susan Lesh
I’m not crushing it…
You may not be either. Sometimes this physical-distancing thing just seems so hard. I have found myself avoiding learning anything new…haven’t I already learned enough? I do recall reading that this will be a long haul, but I’m now beginning to understand what that means. I will have to find work-arounds for all the situations that I used to know how to plan for. There will always be the kind of “first time through it” errors that I never really liked experiencing. At work, I don’t have access to the years-long accrual of the “perfect” therapy tool. I have to continually search for online tools that are acceptable. I do have to admit, however, that many of the companies that provide those tools have given access to them for free until the end of the school year. That has been very helpful. Speech therapists have also been upfront about describing the challenges we’re all facing, so I don’t feel alone in my struggles. And I certainly have felt socially connected with my family; in fact, I haven’t spoken to my sisters weekly since we lived together in the 1970s! But we Zoom every Saturday now!
Open Houses are working
I’ve felt socially connected with you, my Ethical family, as well. The Open Houses were started at Joe’s suggestion; he noted that the New York Society had started a daily online “living room,” where people could just drop in. We decided to try it, to see if anyone would like an informal place to chat. It’s working! We have three different hosts: myself, Lisa Schwartz, and Terri Karp. We host a Zoom call from 4 to 5 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. They are all informal, meaning there is no set agenda. They all have a different flavor, it seems. Here are the descriptions:
Monday chat topics are decided by whoever is attending and range from favorite books and movies to whatever is happening now. (I am host.)
Tuesday chats are about ways in which we are spending our time as we shelter in place, individual coping mechanisms, and anything positive we can take away from this challenging time. (Lisa is host.)
Friday chats are also about anything and everything, but Terri especially likes to talk about books, politics, social science, Spanish, technology, and vegetarian recipes. (Terri is host.)
Those Open Houses are in addition to the various Adult Education offerings happening weekly. And of course, we are still holding our Sunday platform at 11 am. You can find out how to get connected to these activities in the Weekly Announcement that David sends by email.
So, I’m not crushing it, but it’s ok. We’re doing the best we can in extraordinary circumstances. What I’ve learned is, stay connected….it helps. Hope to see you soon.
Susan Lesh is president of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County.