August Executive Director Update: August Anxiety Anyone?
August anxiety seems like a right of passage for me. As I took a casual run this morning, I found myself thinking about how hard it must be for parents to have rising kindergartners, middle schoolers or high school students. Starting a new school year is tough, but during this unusual time and having a big transition is tougher. And then it hit me. Holy crap. That would be me. Isabella would be starting high school this year. Is that right? Jeez… it is. August always brought so many emotions for me when it came to Isabella because like clockwork, she would relapse right as we were gearing up for “back to school”. We would watch everyone post their first day of school pics and we would be in the clinic or heading to New York City. It never failed. Even though that time in my life was so hard, I find myself missing it a little. This year, at this time, I am reminded once again, of another first for her that will never happen. Although I’m not sure this was the first day of high school I would have envisioned for her, it’s still crazy to think about. She would have been excited, and that always made me excited.
This year the anxiety is back, but in a different way. Each day I try to be as present as I can be at ISF because I know in just one week things will change… and change a lot. This school year brings a lot of adjustment for all of us, as we prepare for the “New Normal”. (I have begun to hate that phrase!) For those of us with kids, we are finding ourselves in unknown territory as we sit and wait to see what each day will look like for our families. I find myself hesitating to schedule meetings the entire month of August because I’m not sure about what my kids are going to need and how much of my time will need to be devoted to making them successful. I’m equally as reluctant to plan for any meetings that are away from the house because I’m nervous they will downshift into technology to get in a quick game of Fortnite in my absence. If I’m at a lunch meeting, I worry I will come back to a missing assignment. Like many of you, we will now have to set up student learning spaces in our homes, while also getting our own work done as well. I’ve been stressing over this for about a month and have been working on plans to develop an “at home” strategy that makes us all successful.
School is back in session (kinda) and our race is right around the corner. It leaves us to focus on making this event a success and we need your help. As we watch the numbers come in, we are realizing one really important thing. Fundraising. Did you know that you are given a fundraising link when you register for the race? Every single dollar that is donated through your fundraising link comes back to ISF. 100% of it. If you post your fundraising link on your social media just a couple of times, you will be surprised who will donate. Peer-to-peer fundraising is integral to us as we roll into the second half of the year, especially without being able to hold events. Talk about anxiety… try running a charity with no events. Yikes.
In closing, as I look back on what this big new year would have looked like for Isabella, I am reminded that this is just a moment in time. I would be grateful for it. I would have loved for her to experience this day, even plagued by coronavirus, versus her not experiencing it at all. Take advantage of this time and try to remain positive. Wear a mask, wash your hands… we will all get through this together. And best of luck with those kids at home. Hold on tight parents! This will be a wild ride for sure.
-Erin Santos, Isabella’s Mommy