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Find the Way

virtual birthday partyI’ll jump in here to share one of the many lessons that I’ve learned. It is my privilege to serve as Chairman of such a remarkable Board of Directors during this time.

Barb Cady’s Lesson

Find the Way

Of the many life lessons lived during this year, the most significant one is that we have to keep looking for a solution. We cannot let obstacles, challenges, problems, detours, roadblocks and events stop the journey.

This has been a year of not-so-terrific “firsts” in TOPS. For the first time in 72 years, chapters were forbidden from meeting throughout the U.S. and Canada. For the first time in 65 years, we were not permitted to host an international recognition event. Many people offered negative opinions about what the future might hold for us. However, these people and circumstances have not defeated the TOPS spirit. In fact, we became stronger, closer and more determined as each circumstance was faced, addressed and resolved.

Chapters both got back to basics and moved into the future with equal ease. Folks began writing and sending actual letters and calling each other or the phone again. Reassurance was found in long-tested ways. People learned new skills to teleconference and hear each other’s voices in a group setting and even added seeing each other as we talked. We reported in during the times of our weekly meetings to keep accountability present, discuss progress and share how we were doing. We found ways to stay active together and still social distance. We found ways to share and encourage eating healthy. Drive-by events acknowledged each other’s accomplishments. We would not let “no” be the answer. We kept on meeting, supporting and caring every week. Our commitment to our mission is stronger. Quarantine was not an “excuse.”

When events had to be delayed or reformatted, we saw great creativity expressed to assure recognition of success achieved and efforts made. We were determined to find a way to honor achievements appropriately.

Using social media offered even more ways to show how much we care at every level. Using messages, memes and live feeds, we openly shared support and kept each other’s spirits high. Just like times when you know you have honestly worked your plan but the results do not seem to show, we leaned into it, breathed through it and kept looking for the way. We affirmed our determination with each other and kept reporting in. Moreover, the activity is continuing even though restrictions are lessening in some areas.

We are definitely getting back together and are stronger than ever.

I Care, Barb

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