As a project manager, I get glimpses into clients lives every time we kickoff a new project. A laptop camera has become the lens at which I see into the personal lives of everyone I meet. I see their kids playing, their kitchen being repainted, or even that they are a fan of midwest AAA league baseball.

While these details help me humanize and connect with those I serve, their words resound to a greater scale of the day to day turmoils we all face.

In the last year, I’ve beared the burden of emotionally connecting with these hard working lawyers, marketing professionals, and Bar association staff through each Zoom call or Google Meet. I keep abreast of the events they face on any given day to avoid unwarranted callousness or emotional repose.

Last year one client had to end a conversation about email campaigns with, “Sorry, I think we need to hang up. We’re being told to evacuate. There’s a hurricane coming. I’ll call you back when I can”.

I didn’t object.

It is of no surprise that the new year has brought new anxieties. The hope of starting a new blog or portal is the hope for a future where they have their voice heard and appreciated. It is the hope that they can make a living through their knowledge, their caring.

With that hope comes fear. Fear that they won’t connect with an audience. Fear that they will be wasting their time, their money, their resources. Fear that all they have worked for will be for naught. I can hear it in the tone of their voice and the cadence of their questions about “best practices”.

I fear for them too, because what fears we share are the ones we face together. That my advice, my guidance, will fail to lead them to the success they deserve. That when they stifle themselves to finish a political joke about Trump, it’s because they are still processing the attack on the capitol that happened yesterday. I can hear it in their voice. I can feel it in their words.

We are all struggling right now. Some with careers or health. Others are struggling with their futures or their identity.

Understand we are all struggling in some way to keep from sinking and that some have just avoided drowning altogether. If someone reveals to you how they are struggling, appreciate the fact that they found you to confide in. Most likely, you are feeling what they are feeling. Just try to listen. Be aware that we all have our own crosses to bear.

I hope that you can add these thoughts to your everyday rhetoric repertoire. If you’re working on launching a new blog or portal with me, just know that I understand what you’re going through and if I can make life just a bit more easier for you, I will.