The Koa Club Newsletter – What are we grateful for in 2021?

Life Musings

What are we grateful for in 2021?

In 2021, we faced continued upheavals in our lives from the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of us have had to work from home as offices remained closed for health safety measures. In the meantime, restaurants, gyms and other businesses slowly re-opened but with certain restrictions imposed on entering the premises. The “Great Resignation” continues as more people, especially women, have decided to leave the workplace for a myriad of reasons and there were and continues to be labor shortages causing disruptions to the supply chain and our regular way of life. Let’s not forget the intense conflicts over politics, diversity and gender issues which continue to worry us. Though we did not have the shock of experiencing the full lockdown of our lives as we had in 2020, 2021 is still not an easy year for many of us. As we begin to regain some normalcy in our lives, such as being able to travel again to see friends and family and engaging in social activities, most of us are still trying to find sure footing in this new normal. Know that you are not alone in feeling frustrated, worried, anxious, scared, isolated or confused during these times.

Research has shown that infusing our lives with more appreciation and thankfulness can be instrumental in helping us overcome some of the fears and anxiety we face and to maintain a more optimistic outlook in unpredictable times.

To that end, we want to highlight some of the wonderful achievements from women in 2021 that we are grateful for (we are just sorry we can’t list them all here!):

·         Amanda Gorman, the nation’s first youth poet laureate, who delivered her powerful poem “The Hill We Climb” on inauguration day.

·        Vice President Kamala Harris became the first woman (and the first Black and South Asian-American) to serve as vice president of the United States.

·        Economist Janet Yellen became the first woman to head the Treasury Department since it was founded in 1789.

·        Sarah Thomas was the NFL’s first-ever female referee to officiate a Super Bowl at the Super Bowl LV.

·        Chloé Zhao became the first Asian woman to win a Golden Globe for best director.

·        Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala became the first woman and first African to lead the World Trade Organization since it was founded in 1995.

·        Sarah McBride was sworn in as the first openly transgender state senator.

As we head into the Thanksgiving holidays, we have decided to dedicate this issue to sharing what we, and others who are a part of The Koa Club, are grateful for in 2021. We hope you will join us in sharing what you are grateful for in 2021.

From The Koa Club team:

More than anything else, I am grateful that my friends, family and other loved ones have been able to stay safe and healthy in 2021. I am also grateful for the opportunity to make a positive impact in women’s lives through The Koa Club.  We are truly proud of what our small but effective team has achieved so far by creating a platform for women to learn useful professional and life skills, and to build supportive lifelong connections with other women, whether through the many workshops we curate for our general community members throughout the year, the private social network we have created for their use or through participation in the structured leadership programs that we offer. Some of the most gratifying moments for me (and my heart wants to burst from joy!) from undertaking this passion project are when participants in our leadership programs tell me that they have gotten a better role in their organization, felt more confident in their current role, or have become a more effective leader or team member because of the knowledge, tools and strategies they have learnt from our programs. I am equally ecstatic when a member tells me that she now knows how to be better prepared for snowshoeing, how she is savvier in managing her finances or how she has adopted helpful wellness practices for stress management, all from listening to our amazing speakers, panelists and contributors discuss these and many other topics.  Helen Keller once said: “Knowledge is love and light and vision.” We are truly excited to see what the future holds for us and we look forward to continuing our journey of growing, learning and building together.” – Susan S., CEO & Founder

I am grateful for the constant reminders of how lucky I am to have the friends/family and support system I do to help me tackle the obstacles I’ve come across over the last year! Emotional support through stressful times does more to me than anything else.”Gillian W., Program Manager

For my health, family, friends and my job. – Robin D., Koa Ambassador

I’m grateful for the opportunity to discover who I really am, what life means to me and to be more open to different experiences.” – Motswedi M., Social Media Coordinator

From some of The Koa Club members:

A new job I really like and where I feel appreciated.” – Penny W.

4th grandbaby born, and all are healthy and happy! I am very grateful for them.” – Maggie R.

The support of my family and friends during a very trying time.” – Deni G.

Thankful that my family is healthy and well! Also thankful for girls’ trips!!!!!” – Brandy S.

“Family, my “guy” and being able to work in a supportive environment.” – Barbara R.

“Got a chance to go to Joshua Tree last weekend and it was amazing! Also finally going home to Florida to visit my family this week.” – Catherine G.

Good health, great friends, my daughter!” – Penny P.

I’m grateful for my friends and peers. I’m always happy to talk to an adult at least once a day.” – Jennifer B.

Covid19 vaccine for 5-11ys old.” – Ursula W.

My neighborhood.” – Kristi H.

Good health for loved ones and community.” – Vanessa C.

Our health. Our community.” – Viola S.

I’m grateful that the vaccine was such a game changer that we are slowly opening back up and able to travel and visit loved ones.” – Catherine W.

The love, laughter and support of family and friends through Year 2 of the pandemic.” – Angeline L.

My family being healthy during this pandemic and the Covid 19 vaccine developed by our intelligent scientists.” – Dianne B.

I’m grateful for the ways that working remotely in 2021 gave me the extra time needed to change my life and happiness for the better.” – Gabriela V.

Cocktail bars and airplane trips to reconnect with friends. – Wendy G.

For a supportive partner, friends and family.” – Amanda F.

I am grateful to have been able to fly to Australia and be there for the birth of my first grandchild. At first, we were unsure if I would be able to travel due to the restrictions but thankfully, I was granted approval to visit for 3 months and be there for all the incredible moments that come with a new addition to the family.” – Shelley W.

My family & friends, health and a great new professional opportunity.” – Michelle H.

My family being healthy during this pandemic and the Covid 19 vaccine developed by our intelligent scientists.” – Dianne B.

I would have to say I am grateful for my faith, family and fitness.” – Cathleen W.

Community – now more than ever, connections, belonging and community are especially important.” – Cara C.

From some of The Koa Club speakers and contributors:

Healthy family — traveling again” – Ellenore A.

My health.” – Gayle V.

I’m grateful for friends who feel like family, and the ability to lean into my introvert nature with good friends, good coffee, and a good book this year. – Sharon P.

Considering that for me, 2021 was a lot tougher than 2020, the one thing I am absolutely grateful for is my family and friends. I am surrounded by amazing, caring people who make me laugh and let me cry, who have my back and challenge me, and with whom I never have to pretend. Them, and my dog Lili who walks with me whenever I need some fresh air and exercise, even though she would prefer staying on the couch.” – Micha G.

I’m most grateful for two things: modern medicine and the miracle of scientific research. Because of this, I feel free to reunite with friends, family and clients who I’ve missed so much. I’m also so dearly grateful for my clients and the honor they bestow on me to be their financial guide to help them achieve their goals. My heart and thoughts continually go out to those who haven’t had such a blessed year.” – Darby A.

I’m also grateful for so much. I think right now I am grateful for reconnecting my brother during the pandemic. We have never been super close as he is 12 years older than I am and we basically lived different lives but we reconnected during the pandemic and Face Timed every week for over a year. I am thankful to have reconnected and now have such a close bond with this amazing man.” – Carol D.

Family and Iced Tea. Grateful for the support and energy I receive from both! Andrew M.

I am grateful for a job that allows me to have a deep connection with other women and help reignite their confidence and I’m for the pandemic’s silver lining of more time with family.” – Mellicia M.

Time with my family. – Delight R.

“My husband Gilbert and his unconditional love and support.” – Brad K.

I’m excited to be involved in your endeavors! Thank you for having me.” – Gilbert V.

Hiking buddies!” – Travis M.

I am grateful for White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies.” – Alex D.

“I would say I am grateful for life friends, family and faith.” – Devin C.

“Grateful for embracing self-compassion.” – Stan S.

We are forever grateful for our members, speakers and contributors to The Koa Club and for everyone else with whom we may have cross paths along our journey from the start of The Koa Club through to the exciting future to come. We thank you for making our lives and experiences richer, better and more meaningful with your stories, insights, love and support.

Susan Seah

Founder & CEO

The Koa Club

Be Brave. Be Koa

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