As we celebrate women today, and this week across our country, while recognizing International Women’s Day, I wanted to take a moment to share my thoughts with you, our employees, as the first female CEO at Heritage. I am honored to be in the position I am in, but even more blessed to be part of the team that leads Heritage each day as we promote Hope, Dignity, and Purposeful Living to all those entrusted to our care. As women, we often balance the emotional and physical needs of our families, whether it be our spouses, children, and/or parents, as well as the Heritage family of residents that we serve each day.
It is important to me that the needs of each member of my “families” are met every day. During this global pandemic, each day of my life has involved a 16-hour work day, raising four children who are attempting a hybrid learning schedule, paying the bills (or sometimes forgetting to), grocery shopping, doing laundry, (in my house, laundry multiples daily by some magical force I can’t get control of), and more than my brain can even think of. These demanding weeks leave me wondering what more I could have done for others, and why I did not. There is always, always room for more, and I tend to think more about the “should” rather than the “did.” But at the end of the day, those I love are safe and well cared for, and I know that I have done my job to the best of my ability.
We often hear how important “self-care” is these days—taking a moment to reflect on our successes and celebrate them, or giving ourselves a moment of grace. In my life, I know I have personally not considered it a frequent option, as we have waged war on all fronts this year against COVID-19 in an effort to keep those we care about safe in every way. I recognize that my expectations play a significant role in setting the pace for our organization and am working to identify ways we can honor that—working together to find the essential balance we are all striving for during these challenging times.
Today, as we celebrate International Women’s Day, and Women’s History Month this March, I would like to challenge our employees. For the next 30 days, join me in celebrating the women of Heritage, those who support them, and work alongside them. It is truly our duty and privilege to support each other, to empower each other’s strengths, to lead. Together, we can pave a path we have never seen before so our children and grandchildren have an improved future.
Let’s share our stories, both the successes and challenges, in an effort to recognize the strong role they play in our communities. Please join me in committing to the following for the next 30 days.
✓ Thank one person every day for serving our residents—find the positive and speak it out loud.
✓ Find one thing you do well each day and recognize it. For some of you, this may be easy to do. For others, write a quick note in your cell phone or on a pad of paper. At the end of the month, you will be amazed at what you see!
✓ Be honest about the challenges you face each day. Recognize you are trying and ask for help when you need it. You are not alone!
✓ Commit to 3 to 30 minutes each day for you. Are you able to find 30 minutes? Great—do something every day that is just for you. Are you like me and simply can’t find any time? Start with three minutes. Walk outside (yes, even in the snow), say a quick prayer in the hallway, drink an extra glass of water, or read a devotional.
✓ Find someone who inspires you.
Take advantage of the programs we have available, like our in-house counseling room or EAP services. For more information and to get help, click here.
In the end, we hold the power to change the world. But to do so, we need to encourage each other and ourselves. The language you speak has a profound effect on your perception and beliefs. Therefore, speak positively about yourself and the future. Recognize your challenges, be transparent about them, and by doing so, we can all help each other succeed.
This month, share your stories on social media with the #HeritageStrong, or email your stories and recognitions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will highlight some of you who participate in this #EssentialWomen challenge, and we hope you help us recognize our strengths!