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Thoughts on the Last Day of 2022

The Desiderata. by Max Ehrmann ©1927

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember that peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.


Dear Friends of the WCY,

What a year it has been. When I think back to where we were in January 2022 and where we are now, 11 ½ months later... It’s like night and dawn (Not quite “day” yet, but I know it’s coming!)

A year ago, quarantines and a burst heating pipe disrupted all parts of our Y; we experienced the same staffing challenges that all businesses faced. It was hard. Members could not come in to work out. Bluefish had to miss swim practices. Children lost days in preschool and childcare. Many areas were closed for days at a time. Planning anything required multiple back up scenarios and many contingencies and caveats.


We started 2022 with a growth mindset - “Let’s weather this storm and start rebuilding.“


Over the past 12 months, we have rebuilt, both figuratively and literally. People are returning to classes, to the pool, to the track and weight room. Demand for our sports teams and leagues is high. We added more hours to our facility and more classes. We replaced the rooftop AC units keeping the air clean and cool in the fitness areas. We replaced the 20-year-old carpets in the locker rooms with more durable and cleaner epoxy floors. We replaced the Spin Bikes. We replaced pumps for two of the three pools and for our entire radiant heating system. We updated lighting fixtures, put up a new flagpole, and replaced a drinking fountain with a bottle filler.


Today, the last day of the year, we hosted five youth basketball games. Though the facility was closed, we were asked at the last moment to open our doors for our Y league. The gymnasium rang with the voices of excited elementary school children, some playing the first games of their lives, and their proud parents. After such a challenging start to 2022, what an inspiring way to end.


In a year of uncertainty, our staff, volunteers, board, and entire community has stepped up, as they have since 1977. I am grateful to be here.


At the end of the year, as I prepare for the coming one, I think of this poem, the Desiderata (above). It grounds me and gives me hope. I am looking forward to sharing a wonderful 2023 with you.

Happy New Year. Be cheerful, strive to be happy.


Best for 2023,

Russell

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