Remember when we were excited by the dawning of a new decade?
Remember when flipping over to 2020 felt like a clean slate, a fresh start, and filled with possibilities?
And then, what seemed out of nowhere, COVID-19, economic uncertainty, and far too many senseless and tragic deaths took over the headlines?
The past five months have tested us in ways we never expected. You’ve had to change how you interact with others and the world outside your door. You’ve had to work out online, gather over Zoom, and give up the camaraderie you get from being in the presence of people you’ve come to love and count on. And, you’ve had to make a new plan for living well with Parkinson’s today. A plan that may not seem nearly as fun, exciting, or effective as your previous one.
As a Foundation, we’ve had to shift, cancel, postpone, and reimagine all of the programs and events we spent the last year creating.
And together, we’ve been asked to question where we stand, what we stand for, and what we’re going to do about it.
It hasn’t been easy.
But during this time, we’ve also felt proud and inspired. Proud of how we’ve come together as a team to make things happen. Inspired by you for showing up for yourself and others in our amazing Parkinson’s community. And proud of all of us for proving we’re better together even while socially distanced.
We also know that sprinting takes a lot out of you. And we have far too much work to do to be tired and burnt out. So, we’ve made the bold decision to press pause. To unplug and unwork so that we can recharge, regroup, and rest up for the work ahead.
Fortunately, we planned this pause before any of the current issues were even at play. It just so happens that the timing couldn’t be better.
At the end of last year, we decided to add a midsummer week away from the office to reward our staff’s hard work and offer them permission to step away and breathe. At the time, many staff members dreamt of adventuring off to faraway places. While most of those trips have been put on hold, we don’t think the pause should be. We recognize it’s a privilege to step away and take a breath, and we don’t take it lightly. We also know that one of our guiding values is to live well, and if we don’t model it, how can we expect others to live it.
What does this mean for you?
It means the Foundation will be closed from Saturday, June 27, to Sunday, July 5. Staff will be unplugging, running, cycling, traveling, reading, exploring, thinking, reflecting, sunning, creating, connecting with family and friends, and some may even try for Olympic gold in idling. And, of course, we’ll also be completing our Every Victory Counts Challenge.
We’ll be taking a break from email, posting articles, hosting webinars, and doing all the things we usually do to build the energy and resilience we need to make the second half of the year even better than the first.
Sometimes, you have to grind it out. You have to keep turning the wheel no matter how high the summit. There’s value there for sure. But, as we’re often reminded by our fearless Founder Davis Phinney, sometimes coasting down the mountain with your arms in the air and the grind in the rearview is precisely what you need to do to fill your bucket and build strength for the road ahead.
If you need a break, take it. If you need to unplug, drop a habit, reset, or plan for what’s next, consider joining us for the great unplugging. We’ll see you on July 6.
Want to know what Foundation staff members have been digging into lately?
We recently had an all-hands-on-deck meeting where we shared a piece of content we love or that has inspired us over the past few months. Whether you’ll be unplugging or not, maybe you’d like to check a few of these out, too. Have a recommendation not on this list? Please share it in the comments.
“E-Bikes Have Reinvigorated My Life” – Peloton Magazine – An interview with Davis Phinney
Continue by Maya Angelou
Thirty-Six Thousand Feet Under the Sea
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
The Art of Taking It Easy: How to cope with bears, traffic, and the rest of life’s stressors by Brian King
The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis
Reconcile by John Paul Lederach
The Power Broker by Robert A. Caro
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See
The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
African American History: From Emancipation to the Present – Yale University
Arthur Ashe Health Programs to Barbershops and Salons
I am a Philanthropist: Diverse Voices in Giving
How I Built This with Guy Roz