When 2020 ended and we rang in the new year, it felt like a chapter was closing. For most, it may have been a very gloomy chapter, but I am an optimist and I try to look at the positive side of all situations. This past year was about rebirth, resilience, and coming together. As I reflect on the past 12 months and as I plan for 2022, I am encouraged, excited, and enthusiastic about all the opportunities, challenges, and new experiences that allow me to learn and grow in many ways.
Things feel like they are getting back to normal, whatever “normal” means. This year I am grateful that I can safely gather with loved ones this year for the holidays, grateful that I was able to take my oldest daughter back to the campus and to watch my younger daughters return to learning in person without fear or hesitation, and grateful for the family vacation that I took this Summer with my immediate and extended family. Many of us could not do those things last year, and it was an uncomfortable adjustment to make. Like my great grandmother always stated, “just keep living” and now, we can confidently say that we have learned valuable life lessons and we are built to handle a variety of situations. Through resilience, determination, and understanding we have adapted and evolved, and we are ready to move forward.
But how do we move forward? Moving forward first requires evaluating the past. What worked or did not work? What can be done better? How? There are a lot of questions involved in this process. And trust me, it is a process. In this process, I have come to realize that we cannot go back to “the way things were.” The fact of the matter is things will never go back to how they were. Pandemic or not, things change, and people change. We cannot live in the past and expect to move forward into the future. The pandemic has forced change upon us that may have taken longer to happen or may not have happened at all. For example, many companies are 100% remote now. Online learning is more prevalent than it ever was. Telehealth appointments are now the preferred methods of doctor visits. The digital world that we were already living in has grown exponentially in the past 2 years. It has pushed us to new heights and created a world that we might not have experienced for another decade. Times have changed and they have changed for the better. Although it is a major adjustment for some, it is a push in the right direction.
In the new year, I want to push us, UTC, the industry, the nation – to start challenging ourselves. The only way we will continue to grow and become better, both personally and professionally, is to keep challenging ourselves. I am not an avid sports fan, like my husband and my dad who follow all sports and love the game. What I do love is the “behind the scenes” stories that describe the essence of sportsmanship. Sportsmanship embodies discipline, respect, adaptability, fortitude, collaboration, and a never quit attitude.
Together let us get out of our comfort zone, try something new and master it in the spirit of sportsmanship. Thankfully, we have our individual experiences and knowledge to develop our team player muscle. With great honor and joy, I am happy to say we have our members to serve as a guide. Members of the utility industry developed the training course, mastered the course, and revised the course to address the known and unknown life changing situations that arise daily. Because of their resilience and skill, the uncertainty of our future looks bright. Together we can serve the underserved. Together we can build a future workforce for the critical energy sector. Together we can achieve technology advances that will provide affordable and accessible services for all. I hope everyone has a joyous holiday and I look forward to a prosperous New Year because we are in this together!