Discover more from OmarKnows
How are you doing?
I’ve sat at my keyboard for the last few weeks struggling to write words and move forward. One of the reasons that I write on this blog and through this newsletter is that it gives me great joy. The joy of doing research, trying new products, sharing my experiences with all of you - and also getting feedback that I love. I love hearing from you about what you like and what you’ve found that you also like.
Product reviews are a passion of mine and I love to share this.
However, the past few months have been so challenging on so many different levels. COVID-19 has placed us into a shared experience that’s different than our normal one.
I have learned that public health is no longer a luxury or individual concept - it’s a national and global issue. We are so connected to each other and this virus has taken advantage of our connective tissue to create incredible damage that has shown up to us as individuals, families, and communities in very different ways.
Like many of you, I have woken up to the crisis around race that has been with us for so long... There for us all to see if we went looking. Yesterday while driving I saw a white man in my neighborhood standing on the corner of a street holding a sign that conveyed that Apathy challenges progress around racism. I reflect on my own roles as a parent and a leader and how inadequate my actions have been and will continue to be until I find a way to engage and move forward.
Remote schooling these past few months have really challenged my family in new ways as we face the emotional and social difficulties of remote learning. These have resulted in new feelings of failure and frustration as a parent who is juggling work and life in new ways.
Finally, my father passed away last month. I feel that my grieving process is stunted and limited due to my inability to be with my family and share both in the amazing legacy of my dad but also the sorrow and sadness of losing him.
These are tough times for me and I know for many of you and certainly for many communities around the country and the world.
Last year my family and I took 8 weeks off our life in the US and traveled to 12 countries and 17 cities - something that would be impossible today. We are so ever grateful for that experience. It brought us all closer together and was a great way to tie a knot on our relationship with my father who spent 2 weeks with us.
As I think about this summer I am making a commitment to myself to invest that time not returning to normal.
I don’t think we will ever return to normal. I don’t think we should. Normal is no longer an acceptable standard anymore.
I ask that you consider what, not normal looks like in a year. What will you learn and do that’s different? I’d like to leave you with some resources that I am leveraging to grow and learn.
Watch Just Mercy - this is a powerful movie that I watched a few weeks ago and my family watched together last night. We paused a number of times to discuss what it would feel like to not feel safe ourselves - challenging our own privileges.
Read How to Be an Antiracist - I am now reading this book as a way to challenge my historical apathy and academic views on race.
Listen to the Unlocking Us Podcast from Brene Brown - on recommendation from my wife I started listening to this.
Anti-Racism resources - a document with even more resources to read.
I will leave you with a small gift (from some colleagues at Microsoft) on how to answer the question How are you doing?
☀️ [sun] Normal capacity, focus, and/or well-being
🌤 [partly cloudy] Slightly reduced capacity, focus, and/or well-being given the circumstances
☁️ [cloudy] Significantly reduced capacity, focus, and/or well-being given the circumstances
⛈ [storm] Severely reduced capacity, focus, and/or well-being given the circumstances
🍳 [fried egg] Temporarily offline to replenish my capacity, focus and/or well-being
Talk to you soon.