As of this week, we’ve hit the three year anniversary of the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It still feels like yesterday to me. In fact, I had to count the years on my fingers…2020, 2021, 2022, 2023…because I couldn’t believe three years had actually passed. One daily reminder I have of the passage of that time is my son who was 18 months old in March 2020–he had only been walking for three months at that point—and is now a preschooler who comes home and describes the different phases of the water cycle to me. (Condensation, precipitation, collection, evaporation for those of you—like me— need a reminder.)
I wish it was as easy to see the growth and change in myself as it is to see in him.
In January, Damian Bazadona, Founder and Chairman of Situation Group (and my boss for the last twelve years), called me into his office one morning “to brainstorm something.” One of the best things about working with Damian is that he’s always got an idea cooking, and it’s usually a great one. He told me that he had gathered his notes from the all-hands meetings we hosted during the height of the pandemic (we call them SOTUs), and that he wanted to try to turn them into something that told the story of what we had all been through as a company and team. He began reading aloud the notes and scripts he had used to lead these meetings, and I immediately struggled to hold back my tears. I was transported back to that time–anxiousness, fear, grief–and also overwhelmed with gratitude realizing where we are today—pride, confidence, connection.
Over the last eight weeks, Damian has taken excerpts from those notes and scripts and drafted a sort of “oral history” of what was happening inside the agency during the pandemic. Aptly titled, “A Trip Down Trauma Lane,” it gives the full background and story of Town Hall’s origin. Born from a global crisis, conceived to support mission-driven organizations as they transform to meet a changing world, and built on relationships that span almost twenty years. It’s a long read but a good one. And it’s a story–and a team–I’m incredibly proud to be part of.
Reading Damian’s article and reliving those SOTUs, I was reminded of how uncertain the future felt then. The uncertainty has lingered. It still feels as though we’re never quite sure what tomorrow might hold. And based on the last three years, it almost feels like we’ve been trained to expect the worst. But reflecting on the past has reminded me that for my own journey, it’s the people I’m surrounding myself with day in and day out–my team, my clients, my partners–that helps me navigate the uncertainty. I can’t predict the what, when, where, or how; but I will bet everything I have on the who.
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