As we head into the fourth week of our new normal, I find myself settling into my telework routine…so is our Acting Deputy Secretary! I even took my own advice and went outside last night and enjoyed the full moon. I read that moon bathing is far more rejuvenating than sun bathing. I was going to give it a try, but I’m not sure it’s an approved activity under Virginia’s shelter in place orders…or more importantly, that my neighbors would appreciate my new found inspiration!
Speaking of rejuvenation, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate and enjoy the emails I receive from many of you across the Department—TSOs, Asylum Officers, Mission Support Specialists, Forensic Document Examiners, Trade Analysts, and so many others have taken the time to connect with me after these weekly emails. You taking the time to connect with me is not just a joy, it really serves to remind me that our resiliency as a Department is anchored in a hopefulness for the future.
Hope is a real and powerful force and is a critical part of how we master the COVID-19 pandemic. Living by the light of hope and letting it guide us is one way we can eclipse the fear and anxiety in uncertain times. Hope—for the future, for the next sunrise, for the next flower to open, for our next family event—keeps us going. While the virus may seem like the strongest influence on us right now, it cannot change the fact that the sunset you see while driving home from work is still a beautiful, daily occurrence or that even the longest and toughest day is only 24 hours. I’m reminded of Eckhart Tolle’s quote, “Life is an adventure, not a packaged tour.” When we’re unsettled, it is often hard to hear the answers from our higher self. Hope is our ability to rise up and meet ourselves at our toughest moments. COVID-19 does not have the power to diminish the hope we have for our loved ones, our colleagues, and how we stay true to ourselves. For my part, I love the idea of living by the light of hope and allowing it to guide me and shine in on every area of my life, even when the work days are incredibly long and the physical separation from my family and friends can be quite lonely. Some days, if I’m really honest, I’m just hoping my laundry gets done!
Until next time, never underestimate that every day is a fresh beginning. Find ways to rejuvenate yourself so you can start each day fresh, making your hope more real and powerful than the virus. Take care of yourself and reach out to others when you need support. And, please know if you are experiencing domestic violence, you can call 800-799-7233. If you need help with suicidal thoughts, please call 800-273-8255 at any time. Do not hesitate to reach out. Your friends, family, colleagues, and the EAP are also available. If you need any sort of support for your mental health or staying healthy during this time, connect and stay in touch.
One thing I do know is that together, as one DHS, we remain a beacon of hope for the Nation we serve.
Chief Human Capital Officer