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Zooming toward a More Connected Future

Zoom is compelling many of us to take a closer look. For me, it starts with my aging neck and the sun damage due to the naïve use in youth of baby oil and reflectors in search of that perfect tan. Then there’s the uneven haircut, the result of manicure scissors and a greater appreciation for how others with a trained eye and far more nimble fingers than mine make it look so easy—even when it’s not. And let’s not forget those hard-earned character lines around my eyes, thanks to age or wisdom or both—or simply not enough sleep.

Virtual communication is doing much more than connecting us through meetings and webinars. It’s connecting families, friends and each of us with our priorities as it reminds us of life’s important lessons:

  • Worry less, stay present more. My husband often reminds me (and I need reminding) that the majority of what we worry about never happens, yet we invest all kinds of energy and time in the worry. When stuff happens, we’ll deal with it. Why expend the energy twice?
  • Live our priorities. At the top of our list is parent training with SARRC to support Matt in his communication and strengthen his independent living skills at First Place–Phoenix and our family home. And don’t even get me started on newly two granddaughter Hannah Jo…
  • Program fun into today. Get outside before the heat hits, share a Netflix program, play games, paint your own toes—or someone else’s. We seek out simple pleasures, including reading Dr. Seuss with Uncle Matt to Hannah.
  • Focus on what we can versus cannot do. That kind of can-do spirit is front and center as the annual SARRC Community Breakfast—a Valley fixture for more than 20 years—goes virtual this week. What an extraordinary chance to stay connected and supportive…from the comfort of one’s own home!

We’re experiencing all kinds of new connections with those in similar situations as we try to do our best to help those in need—and prepare for the future. A tall order, for sure!

In 23 years, SARRC has navigated—and made—a lot of history. And in recent years, so has First Place AZ, SARRC’s sister nonprofit since 2012. Together, we are hyper-focused on more hopeful outcomes and futures, leading with family and friends doing our best together to do what’s right and best for individuals of all ages impacted by autism. We can all start by registering for SARRC’s 22nd Annual Community Breakfast this Thursday, May 21, as we navigate these extraordinary times and continue supporting those we love and care about the most.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey recently announced his new executive order: “Stay Healthy, Return Smarter, Return Stronger.” As we re-emerge and re-engage, turn up the dimmer and take a closer look at how we can all return stronger—and wiser!

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