The Bottom Line - Fall 2020 - 45

PUBLIC SAFETY AND JUSTICE
HOW WE ARE SUCCEEDING

FINDING STRENGTH
By Milissa Penn, Public Safety
and Justice Cluster

By Kathy Burton, Public Safety
and Justice Cluster

I

I

n the early days of COVID-19, many of
us looked forward to working from home.
Although we did not know how long the
mandatory telework would last, it was
an opportunity for someone like me, the
Executive Assistant in the Public Safety and
Justice Cluster, to take advantage of the
commute hours saved each day, and to pay
more attention to my health. For me, this
became more important after contracting
and recovering from COVID-19. My goal
was to get well in time for the arrival of my
newest granddaughter, Talayah. With prayer
and determination, I willed myself better
and began the journey towards a healthier
lifestyle. Although I miss the camaraderie
and connectedness one gets from being
in the office with co-workers, I enjoy the
hours gained from working remotely. "It
has allowed me to focus on my health and
wellness and I'm able to take early morning walks without the stress of rushing to
come back in to get ready for the commute." Today, I still get up at 5 AM but now,
instead of dealing with traffic, I burn those
calories and replenish them in time to begin
the workday, intentionally reserving a bit of
energy for playdates with Talayah. *

am one of the Public Safety and Justice
Cluster's Budget Officers. In April this year, I
was supposed to say, "I Do" and be united with
George - the love of my life, my best friend,
and my pillar of strength for the past 11 years.
Instead, I had to say "good-bye" to him through
video without one last touch or kiss. COVID19 took George away at a time when I too was
fighting my own battle with the virus. Those were
very dark days, but through the grace of God,
my family, friends, and co-workers, I was able to
cope with it. I see my co-workers as an extension of my family whose support was always
available. I thank them from the bottom of my
heart for being there for me, constantly checking
in on me, extending a helping hand, dropping
off food, driving by to wave and say hello, being
a listening ear, praying for and with me, and
embracing me even though it was all done virtually. Despite the very real challenges, I am committed to my work and regularly attend Teams
meetings, analyze Schedule A's, and collaborate
with my colleagues. Today, I feel better physically
although my heart is taking a bit longer to heal.
I take it one-day-at-a-time. Knowing that I can
rely on the PSJC family makes each day manageable. It's a tough road ahead but, never stop;
always push forward. *
FALL 2020 | 45



The Bottom Line - Fall 2020

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