Mechanisms of Survival – This Too Shall Pass

We’ve all heard it before: history repeats itself. In 1918, the Spanish Flu pandemic, or “La Pesadilla,” was unusually deadly for influenza and infected a quarter of the world’s population, at the time, about 500 million people. That pandemic lasted from January 1918 to December 1920…that’s two years!

What we’re dealing with now has affected us directly for the better part of only two months…and let me tell you, it’s been a JOURNEY for me. As an extremely outgoing person, I crave human interaction, and I know I’m not alone in this. Fortunately, I have my husband Carmino, who is a mechanical engineer/comedian/pasta maker/urban athlete/coffee connoisseur, who has been such an encouragement for me during this isolation. (You guys, he even let me try my first-ever haircut on him!)

A new big part of our daily life is curating our balcony farm. Every year we plant and harvest tomatoes, herbs, kale, arugula, lavender, and zinnia flowers (my favorite!), which are in their own special box. This year, the garden symbolizes how life goes on even after a long winter, stressful days, and a virus wreaking havoc throughout my beloved city, our country, and the world. In a way, it’s my own personal victory garden! These plants, which are surviving and thriving, are a huge mood booster for my husband and I and proof that my own history will repeat itself – the time to bloom and reap a harvest is right around the corner.

This has been an unprecedented time for SMPS. As President of SMPS New York I’ve had to make some tough decisions for so many unforeseen reasons, and I know you’re all right there with me. We built so much momentum in the beginning of the year, and I know that there is fear–for your job (if you still have one) and for the uncertainty of your futures—but that momentum has carried us through to this point.

And I don’t know about you, but sometimes it’s hard to focus on maintaining professional development and relationships because, like most of us, we’re not simply working from home, we’re working at home as the consequence of living through a pandemic. There’s no sugar-coating this situation, but I know we all have the ability to use this as a moment to focus on the more important things in life and enjoy them before this moment passes because yes, this too shall pass.

All I truly want right now is for you to remain safe and healthy during this time. I do not have all the answers, but please know SMPS NEW YORK IS HERE FOR YOU, now and more than ever. Reach out and connect, to me, to the Board of Directors, to each other. Our organization is built on relationships, and those can continue to thrive.

FYI – as an added tool, we recently created a “member’s only” Facebook group where you can vent frustrations, inspire action, and share support with each other. Please email Elizabeth Bellsey if you’d like to be added.

So, what’s next? Tomorrow, our Annual SMPS-NY Town Hall will be our FIRST EVER virtual networking opportunity for all members and prospective members to check in with one another and talk about anything you may need. I’d love to discus new technologies, how your pets are helping you cope, our new favorite exercise in a small apartment routines, and anything you learned to bake (sourdough!) and most of all—what you’re doing to RELAX!  


I am sharing with you a drawing made by my niece. She created this piece to comfort the Board during our last meeting. It just so happened the meeting fell on International Unicorn Day (yes that’s a thing) so I’m sharing it with all of you because your voice matters, because I miss you, because we will be stronger after surviving these days, because you should smile more often, and because she’s right, “we have the Uni-power to get through this” especially if we stick together.