Welcome back to work, you stunningly brilliant and attractive world-changer, you!

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[Image description: A beautiful grey striped kitten peeking out from a pink box. This kitten thinks you are an amazing person who is making the world better! Pixabay.com]

My friends of the nonprofit sector. For many of you, this is your first week back at work after a much-deserved but all-too-brief period of rest. It is not a fun feeling, and not helped by the perky morning people in the office who probably should not talk to me until noon unless they want to get their faces splashed with lukewarm coffee. I don’t even drink coffee, but I will make some coffee and keep it nearby just to splash on perky morning people. I don’t care what your resolutions are, Neal!

You may feel the same way I feel, which is basically the way your office plants currently look. Your heart may too palpitate in thinking of the list of all the stuff you have to do—if you have a list and it’s not just a bunch of things you wrote on your hands days ago and are now desperately trying to remember.

There is no shame in the anguished, primal screaming you may unleash upon going through your email inbox, which is like Pandora’s Box but filled with more annoying things. It is not weakness to whimper softly in the supply closet or bathroom stall after slowly sliding your back down the door and collapsing on the floor while gripping your head with both hands, which I have done twice just this morning.

But let us take heart, my friends, and remember who we are. It is 2019, and as usual the world needs us. Specifically, the world needs you, you stunningly brilliant, astoundingly talented, and unbelievably good-looking agent of Equity, you!

Though you feel like crap today, remember that nothing you do is without purpose. Yes, program services are crucial to creating the world we wish to see. But so too are your many other daily tasks. Know that when you answer one of your ever-increasing 8,700 emails, you are answering one of 8,730 clarion calls of justice!

When you de-dupe the possibly hundreds or thousands of duplicated records from the database, you are clearing a path for Righteousness! When you enter data into Excel, collate board meeting packages, print out name tags, make snack runs, clean the office sink, call a donor, design a survey, or beat your head against a wall trying to write a grant proposal or appeal letter, you are increasing the quotient of good in the world!

This week, and throughout this year, let your chaotic desk be the fertile field from which spring the buds of innovation! Let your countless, unending meetings be bountiful opportunities to forge bonds with allies and temper the weapons to fight oppression! Let conference calls and jointly edited Google docs be crucibles in which you may strengthen your will to usher in a reality we know is possible!

Our toil is as interminable as most grant applications and many board meetings, and on days like today, it may feel futile. Do not minimize your work, though you may never see its results. Where there is darkness, your actions bring light. Where there is loneliness, your endeavors bring community. Where there is despair, your words bring hope. Where there are unclear, confusing, and irritating sentences, your editing brings Oxford Commas. You do this day after day, sometimes without thanks, often without sufficient funds, on occasion with only duct tape. And our world is better for it. Our world is better because you exist in it! How are you so amazing, yet so modest?!

I know the sense of dread and drudgery that may cast its heavy shadow upon your shoulders this week. You are not alone. Take time today to seek comfort in your morning beverage of choice, and feel no guilt in starting slow. In fact, go ahead and finish watching “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” or Season 2 of “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Then, find a reflective surface and gaze upon your visage. Damn, that is one smart, charming, kind, hilarious, stylish, world-changing Jedi unicorn of hope and equity and general awesomeness! That’s you!

Now go and create a better, beautiful, more vibrant, more just world, as you have always done!

Start by watering the office plants!

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