By Steve Moran

In the overall scheme of things, I am almost embarrassed by this article. My sucky day is trivial compared to what so many of you are dealing with. Sick and dying residents and team members, trying to figure out how to keep team members and residents safe, and, for many, wondering if you or your business will survive.

Extraordinarily  Ordinary

While we have had extraordinarily positive feedback about the “Our Time to Shine” virtual summit, we have heard directly and indirectly in pretty . . . how do I say it . . . forceful terms, that a number of operators think what we are doing when we are doing it is extraordinarily insensitive.

And since what we are doing was intended to provide a path for finding some sunshine, inspiration, and growth in this extraordinarily difficult time, it was frustrating. It is for that very reason we have offered to make the content available on-demand after the event.

Next, I got strong pushback from a sponsor about something we had done, again in an effort to help them grow their business.

Then finally, I woke to a text message rant from a “friend” about how insensitive and inappropriate one of my marketing emails was.

What I Realized

Nearly every morning I spend some quiet time, reading, praying, and journaling. Journaling is often how I process negative, frustrating things in my life. I got to realizing that underneath all of the publicly expressed optimism


It feels like the other shoe is about to drop. That we are just one minute away from a life-destroying disaster. We are so much better at vividly imagining all the things that could go wrong than we are at imagining all the things that could go right. What makes it even harder is that even the very best case scenario ends with lots of people dead and massive economic pain.

There is nothing wrong with thinking this way, feeling this way. It is biological, compelling us to look for danger so that we can protect ourselves.

Ultimately though . . .

We are scared that we will get sick.

We are scared that we will die.

We are even more scared that someone we know or will get sick and die.

We are scared that one of our residents or team members will get sick or die.

Some of us have even lost a loved one, or a coworker to the disease. 

We are afraid of losing our jobs.

We are afraid of someone we care about losing their job.

We are afraid of losing our businesses.

We are afraid that the economy will never recover.

We feel guilty, like we should have prepared better, made better decisions. We watch with horror the news stories about mostly nursing homes but some assisted living communities where they have massive numbers of residents and workers who got sick and died. We hope it was because they were not good enough and that we are good enough.

We imagine the guilt the leaders who have lost people must feel. We know it is impossible to be 100% protected.


Optimism abounds but maybe it shouldn’t. I get that we need to put on an optimistic face for teams, residents, and even ourselves. Ultimately and rightly we know we will, almost all of us will get through this. We won’t get through unscathed, not a single one of us, but we will get through.

We need to give ourselves and others a break.