There are some ‘sayings’ that fire people up; some quotes that pluck at the heart and fill us with energy and renewed strength. “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose” I think phrases like this work because they paint a vision and invoke a deep emotion. They connect us both together and to a truth. Usually in that vision and emotion, whatever the quote, there is a universal note, even if quiet – hope. Connected to our truth, with clarity of vision and passionate intention, we can be intentional about where we go from where we stand now.
And where we stand now is a doozy. Four months into a pandemic and continued unrest around racial injustice, and it is clear this is a time without a lot of ‘normal’. One thing, however, is always true – you joined a family when you came to live and work here. You belong to a Generations family and we take care of each other. That truth is our strength. People on campus love you, value you, and want to see you thrive. Our motto is ‘we are a family caring for families” because that is our truth. I think having clear eyes around this leads each of us to make good choices personally, knowing the role we play in each other’s lives. I also hope that for any moment of this long road where you felt weary or lonely or a little blue, because each of us has been there, that knowing we are part of something together and you are not alone has warmed your heart. Even as we physically distance, we are connected. You are surrounded by family. Please reach out when you need support. Between our Generations Family Foundation, employee assistance programs, resident councils, support teams, and all the other resources at hand, we are here for you.
With our ‘cherish’ values in mind, the employee part of that family continues to evolve the design of how we operate. We are seeing each department push outside of preconceived notions and boundaries on how we execute everyday programs, services, and amenities. This is a marathon and we are looking both at the moment and to the foreseeable future. Our efforts have had stops and starts, clever things that worked and good tries that didn’t, or had to be rolled back to stay aligned with evolving local or state guidelines. Vitality programming, culinary services, salons, and every other department continues to adjust to the new and changing normal. Thank you for bearing with us on this journey as we work to meet the moment. Finding new ways to live normal community life while staying safe for each other has been a tremendous exercise in balancing imagination and practicality. We will continue to fine tune our approaches, so we are the vibrant community that drew you to us originally.
Which leads me to joy. The second part of our mission is about celebrating living. There is nothing a pandemic brings that should take our eye off that prize. Let’s work hard to prioritize play and fun in each day. It is one of our greatest tools for loving each other and enhancing lives around us. Some of my favorite community photos recently have been ‘dinosaurs’ and butterfly wings running down the halls, karaoke duets on the patio, the 15-year anniversary tropical bonanza, smiling faces at visiting snow cone and ice cream trucks, and outdoor sing-a-longs. Speaking of full hearts, those are moments that remind us what we are fighting for – the joy of being together and having fun doing it.
Lastly, please let me thank you for staying the course with us. In our 77-year history of service to seniors, there has not been an experience like this. We have never had to depend so greatly on every single one of us sticking together in our commitments toward safety measures – physical distancing, avoiding gatherings, vigilantly wearing masks, and practicing surgeon-like levels of frequent hand hygiene. Each of us has our lives to live and will daily face choices about what we do, where we go, who we see. Some of those choices include calculated risks. Thank you for every time you made the safer choice, the harder choice, because you remembered that your Generations family counts on you. What is more, thank you for every time you bravely shared with us when the choice made was not the safe one, so that we could have honest conversations and take action to protect everyone. All of it together equips us to keep our community family and home as healthy as possible. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.
Thank you again for standing with us!
All my best,
Melody Gabriel, CEO