"Remember to be gentle with yourself and others. We are all children of chance, and none can say why some fields will blossom while others lay brown beneath the August sun." — Kent Nerburn
I agree with all of this. Another critical practice that I think is spreading is mutual aid networks. Mutual aid is not only a source of community care during crises, but nurtures interdependence that can foster real joy and belonging. For myself, contributing to these groups is giving me hope and purpose in moments where the slow-grind of my policy work feels too infuriating.
While mutual aid is absolutely nothing new, I have seen new groups sprouting up in neighbourhoods where I live and they are growing. I think it will take time for many communities build back the muscle memory of organizing and care work, but it is happening - and it is one of the strongest and most important actions we can take in the face of the climate crisis, growing polarization, etc.
What is most interesting to me, is seeing these networks emerge in the same timeframe as the rebirth of the labour movement. Two and a half years into the pandemic, and it seems that people are remembering the strength we get when we organize and work together.
Also, on Gratitude and Awe, I highly recommend reading Rebecca Elson's A Responsibility to Awe: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1912586.A_Responsibility_to_Awe
This collection by the late astronomer and poet delves into her sense of belonging within the context of the universe. It's a gorgeous body of work, and I have found myself often reflecting on passages (or even just the title) during moments of hopelessness over the past few years. She wove deep gratitude for her life into so much of this book, even in the poems where she reflects on her impending death.
As always, thank you for this beautiful piece!
P.S. Congratulations on all of these big, beautiful milestones!
The (literal and metaphorical) costs of daycare can't be overstated. At one point, that was our largest expense, trumping even our mortgage- and we were making decent money, had one of the cheapest rates on this side of town, etc. It simply would not have been possible had we been working in lower paying fields. Every company bemoaning the labor shortage should give serious consideration to providing on-site daycare. My guess is the quantity of applications would jump overnight.
Separately, absent huge increases in wages, the labor pool in some fields will be diminished for years to come. I'm specifically thinking of the restaurant/retail sectors. Those were some of the first people to be laid off in the pandemic's early days. Many of them landed at places like Amazon warehouses, and they've never looked back. Fixed schedules, benefits on day 1, and (relatively) large raises. Why go back?