Letter 27 - When Everything Is Falling Apart

2020 - When Everything is Falling Apart

2020 isn’t anything like we planned, actually it’s probably the exact opposite.

Terms that come to our mind when defining this year include catastrophic, tragic, disastrous, ruination, calamity, crisis….

“Just when we didn’t think it could get worse… then “insert any event from 2020” happened”

No matter how it’s named, many of us are experiencing a multitude of life altering events that continue to compound and cause great suffering, destruction, and distress.

The events we are facing and what we are experiencing are not done so alone. It is likely that the struggles of 2020 have affected most of us in some profound way initially and inevitably into the future. No matter if it involves yourself, your children, a loved one, someone or some place you know, across the nation, or across the globe, - it’s impossible not be overcome by some type of strong emotion.

Friends and colleagues have admitted to feelings of loss, deep insecurity, and despair. Expressions of heartache can at times even morph into feelings of anger and hatred. Such strong negative emotions are bound to create a sense of loneliness. It feels as if we have been asked to wade through this unforeseen territory solo. In fact because of that, our first reaction tends to be to pull back from society to protect ourselves and those we love.

Information is at our fingertips at lightning speed, we are constantly inundated with news and media from all sides at all hours of the day. It’s important to stay informed, but it’s another thing to dwell and focus too long. Especially right now with less face to face contact, the uptick in the use of technology, fast paced lives, and crazy schedules, it makes it very hard to retain any sense of community and connection. As we self-isolate, we tend to detach from others, we begin to foster a feeling of us versus them or me versus you, and the slow and steady breakdown of community begins.

We hope to remind you that community is what keeps us connected, grounding us to where we live and to those around us. The strength of those connections is the litmus test for the health of a community. A strong community benefits individuals, families, businesses, and becomes a support network particularly in difficult times.

Our local community is filled with a variety of backgrounds, lifestyles, priorities, and philosophies that make us who we are and adds to our uniqueness. No matter where we stand or what our views are, we are here together sharing the common goal of not only surviving this era, but also trying to find a way to thrive. This is the glue that binds us and enables us to move forward together.

So how do we weather this storm we are in, when things only seem to get worse and no end in sight?  Become involved in the community; make a concerted effort to become part of something bigger than yourself. 

Right now involvement may not look like it traditionally or historically has, but there are still many ways you can donate time, talent, items, or money. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, it can be as simple as making it a priority to shop local and support hometown businesses. If you see something good happening in the community on social media – like and share it. Find ways to reach out and thank emergency workers, first responders, and teachers. Seriously, this year has thrown some doozies at all of us, let’s seek out ways to insert positive vibes where you live, work, and play because good energy is felt and its contagious.

2020 has shown us that we need our community more than ever. It’s likely that what we have endured this year has changed most of us in some way, its inevitable. However, we can choose the affect it has on us. We can let it destroy us and make us bitter or we can come together and make us better. We do not know what we will face next, but good, bad, or different we know that we do not have to do it alone.

Let’s work together and support each other in surviving and thriving so our community can emerge stronger on the other side.

Jennifer Wills
Director Parks and Recreation