“I’m struggling with what to blog about in November,” I confessed to my Canadian cousin.
She immediately burst out laughing. No more needed to be said, really. She knew the result of the election would colour everything I had to say. She suggested writing about something random.
“Like peonies?” I thought, “Or turtles?”
From there I asked friends for topics.
“Hope, write about hope. We need it!”
“Despair, write about despair. We are neck deep in it!”
I wasn’t sure what the difference was between hope and despair anymore, so I ditched those ideas.
Then, my favorite nephew (also my only nephew, but let’s not get picky) sent me his Halloween pumpkin. It made me laugh out loud and felt so emblematic of our collective existence over the past seven months. It also made me reflect on what I’ve experienced through the Zoom lens.
I was fortunate enough to get hired by two coaching companies at the beginning of the pandemic. Since that time, I’ve spent most of my days on video, helping clients from around the world in a wide variety of industries, positions and walks of life. There have been clear themes and they revolve around the word “hold” in all its variations. How long do I have to hold on? How do I hold steady for my work colleagues? How do I hold my family together while working under circumstances I’ve never encountered before? When can I hold and hug my grandchildren, parents and others that are so important to me? The low dull throb of anxiety underscores their life while they’ve put everything on hold, trying to weather this storm.
And so, I hold space for them. I hold space for them to cry when they contract the virus, rage at the layers of loss, and struggle to make sense of a crazy world. I hold space for them to say those things out loud that need to be said; a safe space for them to be heard. It’s an honor to work with them and they keep me anchored to what’s truly important.
I continue to hold in other ways.
I hold my breath – underneath my mask and amidst wildfire smoke.
I hold on – for election results and sanity to return.
I hold my cat – because he insists every night that we comfort each other while we wait for a time when I can hold my sons the way I used to.
And yes, I hold a completed but not yet submitted application for Canadian citizenship. Just in case . . .
What are you holding on to?