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Hope in the New Year!

We head into 2021 with a wide variety of emotions. Some of you are excited to flip the calendar and ready to welcome 2021 with open arms. Your list of resolutions has been created and you are now working on your SMART goals and milestone markers. Some of you are still finishing up the 2020 to-do list or dealing with life changes brought on by COVID. You are sad or confused over losses, and even after the holiday break, you are tired and weary. These seem like opposites or extremes, and we float from one end of the spectrum to the other on any given day or even from moment to moment. Please know I am not reading your mind but sharing from my personal experiences.

In August, I did a favor for someone. It took me less than an hour and was totally within my abilities; no stretching needed. In response, this person sent me two copies of the book “Ripples of Hope:  Wisdom for Navigating Uncertainty” by Paul Wesselmann.  I gave one copy to a teacher friend who was heading back to school soon. She had a lot of concerns about a healthy way to begin the school year so I thought she could use a little extra hope. The other I put on the shelf after flipping quickly through the pictures... until recently. Although this is a book you can read in a few hours, it is one you will want to reference as time and life goes along because we always have room for more hope in our lives.

Some people have a practice of assigning a word to their year or forecasting a word for the coming year. For example, a few weeks ago, I heard a pair of DJs talking and one word they decided to assign to 2020 was “essential.” They went on to explain how it made them think of essential workers, supplies, and even essential aspects of faith. Their assessment of 2020 resonated with me. As I think about 2021 and envision where I want to be in the new year, my mind keeps coming back to the word “hope.”  Maybe this is why I am also still watching Hallmark channel and feel-good movies even after the holidays are over.

Paul Wesselmann looks at many of the complex aspects of the simple word hope in his book. Chapter 7 focusses on how we can activate hope through his main idea that “hope is a verb” (p. 82). As a reminder, verbs require action so hope implies we need to get moving or keep moving. Here are a few thoughts:

  • Look back at times when you relied on hope to get you through a situation. From this, know hope can walk you through the current situation.
  • Reach out to others for support. Be willing to share your story with others even the painful and hurtful parts.  Look together for hope.
  • Focus where you want to be down the road and how you want life to look. You may need to let go of some ideals and incorporate being gentle with yourself.


Some of you may already be motivated to head into 2021 with your best selves, heads held high, and ready to meet all your goals. But many of us might still be trying to gather enough strength to get out of bed, pack a somewhat nutritious lunch, and limp through another workday. Consider adding more hope to your days even in small measure both to inspire yourself and others. Hope can be a smile, an encouraging word, or even gathering our courage for something bigger. I am confident you can have a great 2021 while growing and spreading hope.

2019-20 President's Theme Logo

Sincerely,

Katherine G. H. Reichley, CEOE
President
Educational Office Professionals of Ohio
Academic Assessment and Accreditation Specialist
Office of Academic Affairs
c/o Otterbein University
1 S. Grove St.
Westerville, OH  43081
USA
Phone: (614) 823-1173  Fax: (614) 823-1335 

 

Back to School – Fall 2020

Fall is my favorite time of the year.  I enjoy the cooler weather, the beautiful trees, and harvest season.  Applesauce, pumpkins, and Thanksgiving on the horizon are some of my favorite things.  My husband and I also got married in October and will celebrate 25 years of marriage this month.  I know you may not share my passion for fall, but I know you are passionate about something else we consider as happening in the fall – back to school.  It is great to see students back in our schools this year.

Back to school has taken many different forms this fall.  There are students studying at home with their parents, and at the other end of the spectrum, there are students in regular classrooms with teachers.  There is constant cleaning combined with social distancing.  Face coverings are on and off depending on your age, location, and medical conditions.  Some want or need to work from home while others are excited to be back in the building.

There seems to be no right answers for how we should have started the 2020 school year.  Health departments, parents, school personnel, and even the federal government have been included in our decision-making processes.  Never before has so much care, conversation, and consultation come together to bring a school year into existence.  And, on the change of any group’s recommendation we create and pivot to a new plan.

In June, I had the opportunity to hear Daniela Obi share a presentation called “The Power of the P.I.V.O.T.:  How to Overcome the Stigma of Failure and Pivot from Setback to Success!” during a conference.  Her work efforts are around helping people bounce back from failure and head in directions that meet their goals.

We are all making difficult decisions in very complicated times.  Some impact us individually while others are for our schools and organizations.  We will fail sometimes or make poor choices.  We need to give ourselves permission to take a break and determine a valid new direction.  When we have our mind set appropriately on our new path, we can start again.  EOPO superheroes, we can truly PIVOT, and be back to school in whatever form it takes on this new day.

2019-20 President's Theme Logo

Sincerely,

Katherine G. H. Reichley, CEOE
President
Educational Office Professionals of Ohio
Academic Assessment and Accreditation Specialist
Office of Academic Affairs
c/o Otterbein University
1 S. Grove St.
Westerville, OH  43081
USA
Phone: (614) 823-1173  Fax: (614) 823-1335