I’m going, to be honest with you, I had a hard Spring. The only way to get my work done and meet the new demands of remote-home school was to wake up at 4 AM and work long into the night. Aside from the long hours, there were many stresses at that time, like wondering how to stay safe, running out of the usual staples at the store, and being confined, to name a few.
While I was spiraling into a calorie-fueled, sleep-deprived funk, a few of my friends were bright spots. They converted their commute time to exercise time. They overhauled their diets and ate better. They started new hobbies. Because they had fewer nighttime activities to attend, they slept more.
I looked at my bright spot friends with a mixture of admiration, jealousy, and wonder. I wasn’t in a place where I could learn from their stories. They were just too good to be true.
During that time, a group of four of us started an every two-week zoom call. They, too, were suddenly balancing the roles of teacher, chef, and therapist on top of a packed schedule. We were all in the same boat. Sometimes one of us would have a little win (which we’d all learn from and try). More often, we’d all share our stumbles and struggles (which we could all commiserate with and support each other through).
Often associations highlight the bright spots. These are the organizations or individuals who win the awards, give presentations, and are cited in articles. We only hear about their wins, but those wins may feel completely unattainable to other members.
There are a few things we can do about the bright spot phenomena. We can encourage the bright spots to share warts, stumbles, and problems that popped up on their journey to get there. We can also balance the bright spot stories with more opportunities for peer-to-peer connections.
While you analyze what members need to learn, also think about who they need to learn from.