From the Desk of Vassar Byrd

December 4, 2020 - Vassar Byrd, CEO | Staff | Community | Advice


I know you have heard this word a lot, maybe even to the point of eye rolling.  We get side swiped by waves and yet we come up sputtering.  It’s not glamorous, but I think everyone in this community already knows what it feels like.

Can you think about when you have faced something you have never faced before?  Can you remember that feeling in your gut?  How you experienced that?  What clarity descended for you?  Was some of it focused on what you can control and what you cannot control?   What can I control – and what are my options?  What can I NOT control – and how can I accept that with grace and composure?

When in your life have you been handed something you would never have wanted to handle?  And even today, you wouldn’t want to have to handle it?

….but when you look back, you’re actually kind of proud of how you did?

It’s never the thing itself.  It’s what you do with it.

I was fortunate enough to attend our national LeadingAge virtual annual conference these past 2 weeks.  One of the keynote speakers was Brené Brown and another was Judy Sorum Brown (no relation!).  They spoke a lot about resiliency and love.  Brené said her mantra for our times is:

Strong back

Soft front

Wild heart

For me that is a call to be tough and vulnerable and believe in the future and the good, no matter what.

And Judy left me with this, from one of her poems:

We cannot live in the house of fear and the house of love at the same time.

We have to turn our attention from what we fear to what we love.  We grow what we pay attention to.

I am never more grateful than in a time of difficulty and crisis to be part of this community, to be in relation to all of you, to be walking this road and growing together.