History Will Judge Us, Relationships will Sustain Us

History will judge us.  I heard a colleague utter that phrase, and it gave me cause to pause.  My son is taking his AP U.S. History exam today, covering everything from George Washington to World Wars and Watergate. What will be on that exam in 2040?  I’ll leave the public health analysis to the experts and won’t touch the politics.  I don’t envy the textbook editors who must synthesize it all.

The history I’m focused on is the more immediate. How will the history of my relationships be impacted by this pandemic?  What will my kids remember of me from our quarantine days together? My spouse? My friends? My clients?  My family has shared the in-person version, where “stay at home” has turned into a new rhythm of family life, including a pandemic puppy.  (Every blog needs a puppy mascot. Meet Chewy!) For the rest of my circles, tending relationships has taken the form of letter writing, e-mails, phone calls and the Zoom experience.  Showing people you care has never been more important, yet has called for commitment and creativity.  I’m not claiming I nailed it – there are more calls I could have made and more “how are you?” emails sent. We’ve all been pushed to our personal limits in a time when there are far more questions than answers.

The history books will capture the geo-politics, the numbers and the curve.  It is up to each of us to write the relationship chapter.  May we each continue to dig deep to find the energy to invest in our relationships that will sustain us and energize us as we move forward.  Our next step? #FunFriendFriday doughnuts with my teens, curbside Amish doughnuts are a memory-maker for sure.