How Will We Roar?

How Will We Roar?

By Nancy Easton

A new year. A new decade. The roaring 20’s. Let’s see how we will roar. For me, a time to reflect, reconnect and refocus on what is really important – my family, good friends and this meaningful work. I feel fortunate to get to do this work everyday, this mission driven work where I am rewarded the minute I walk into a Wellness in the Schools recess yard, school kitchen, or culinary classroom. 

With a new decade, I find myself much more pensive. I have no memory whatsoever of the turn to the 2010 decade, perhaps because I had 3 kids under 9 and was growing a small non profit. I know I was in deep, juggling school drop off, big meetings, family dinner, bedtime and then back to work. I know sometimes I felt like I was simply checking my list, fulfilling obligations and getting through my day. I know I was building something, both with my family and with my work, that was perhaps still abstract. 

This decade, I am most certainly at a different place that I hope to remember when I am reflecting in 2030. The day to day is not as intense – both my kids and my extraordinary and inspirational team are self sufficient – but the big picture of the meaning of the life and work looms very, very large. And, the big picture of how we create systemic change to end childhood obesity looms even larger. I continue to build and yet now I do so with a bit more understanding of where the ideas and visions will land – and sometimes that is not always hopeful, especially when each day we are bombarded with stories like this

If you have been reading this new year entry for a while, you would know that I am not much of a resolution gal. Resolutions, like diets, are often broken after the first month. Think, rather, about lifestyle. Sure, my husband challenged me to a few new things this year – 30 days without sugar, inspired by a piece he read in the NYT, or upping my meditation game (ie, not missing a day for 30 days, even if I only have 5 minutes – thank you Just Sit. Generally, each year is more of the same. And, such is the new year for Wellness in the Schools, especially since we are actually really just midway through our school year. We have new initiatives that we hope to bring to scale this year, but mostly we will continue our great work in the schools each day with a heightened sense of awareness and perseverance. The work in our 150 schools, in 4 states and DC is intense, it is messy, it is grueling and rewarding all at the same time. This is the meaningful stuff. We will forge ahead, against many obstacles, often against a lack of understanding. We champion not just our work, but the small wins in schools and the big wins of like-minded partners who are fighting the same battle. We do not do this alone. 

I write this on the weekend we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and so I end with his inspiration – the time is always right to do what is right. This is why the extraordinary Wellness in the School’s team comes to work each day.  Bring it on, 2020.