LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

“Stuck at home.”  This idea for a theme struck me as Governor Walz made his November executive order for a dial back on certain activities. As we all grapple with the ongoing difficulty of balancing our personal needs and desires with the safety of our communities, I think we are all experiencing some level of feeling “stuck.” 

As an introvert, I am not as bothered by having to stay home as many readers might be. My 13-year-old son, on the other hand, is having a very difficult time not being able to see his friends. I know he understands the basics of why we are doing this, but he’s frustrated, and I understand. We’re trying to find little tweaks to improve things for him. I don’t recommend rationalizing staying in a dangerous situation, but there is something to be said about changing your attitude to adapt to reality. As Anne Scherer reports (p. 18), there are a disturbing number of people in our area who don’t even have a home to be stuck in. That dose of perspective helps me appreciate the ability that I currently have to slow down and examine things around me. 

Although I don’t advocate for putting any extra pressure on yourself right now (We’re in a pandemic, I keep reminding myself!), if you find yourself getting antsy and bored, missing your social life and “normal” activities, consider learning a new skill like Erin Pagel did (p. 30). What about snowshoeing or cross-country skiing? Continue learning about anti-racism with some book recommendations on p. 26. 

We congratulate all who are starting new jobs as elected officials and in leadership positions in the area. Rochester will soon have a woman city administrator (Alison Zelms), who will join a woman city council president (Brooke Carlson), a woman county administrator (Heidi Welsch), a woman county board chair (Stephanie Podulke) and Mayor Kim Norton, among many other women in leadership in the public and private sector. Southeast Minnesota is full of women who are giving their all, no matter what paid or unpaid positions they hold. Get to know one woman who leads in her paid and volunteer positions: Barbara Jordan brings kindness and graciousness as an activist and community organizer who has made countless connections to help people advance (p. 16).

If you are feeling stuck, remember that we’re all feeling it, but there will be another side to this. Extroverts will be able to get their energy back. Until then, I hope that you can find satisfaction in your surroundings and continue to spread kindness wherever you go.