With the shine of a New Year over, February is always a unique month. The cold air has gripped Ontario and the dark grey skies of winter have taken hold. We joyfully get excited when a beautiful sunlit painted sky graces our days, because we are all definitely ready for Spring. If you are like me, I surround myself with plants and greenery, and maybe treat myself to the odd bouquet of tulips, just to inject some energy and joy into these drawn out wintery days. Right now at times, many can feel overwhelmed navigating work and now remote school worlds colliding at home. Most Ontarians would admit that 2021 has not really started out as they would have imagined (or hoped) it would.
Hope, a sentiment we clutch optimistically, with the expectation that positivity and normalcy may be right around the corner. February, the month heralded for cupid, love, roses, chocolates and Valentine’s Day. This year, I challenge you to make it about so much more; for me, February is about family, courage and kindness.
February 15th is Family Day in Ontario. It is a day identified as one to be spent with loved ones with a focus on time together. Some would say everyday has been family day with emergency orders and stay-at-home orders in place. Family time may not be joyous for everyone, for those that suffer abuse, feel isolated or have lost a loved one; this can be an empty and lonely time. We may not all be part of the same biological family, but we are on the same team with our co-workers, our neighbours and our friends. So this year – let’s extend our reach on Family Day! While we can’t physically see each other right now, let’s make a commitment to our broader “FAMILIES” to check in on them. Send a text, a snap, phone or virtual call, and really spend time with those in our immediate households. Sometimes that moment you take can make the difference on the other end to truly brighten a person’s darkest day.
The last Wednesday in February is Pink Shirt Day. I have been a proud supporter for Anti Bullying Day for many years now. It is a day we band together and by wearing pink as a broader community we speak out against bullying. I am proud to announce that on February 24th, all employees at our 23 ONroute locations will be bringing awareness to this campaign by wearing a Be Kind pink shirt. I encourage you to join us, take a stand in wearing pink because only together will we help end bullying.
Let’s believe in the power of hope, family, courage and kindness. We need to encourage and inspire acts of kindness – because our extended families need us. So if you are feeling overwhelmed, alone, and stressed, don’t pull back from your extended family, friends, neighbours and coworkers – LEAN IN! We all deserve to have a team cheering us on and telling us we are awesome on the days we really need to hear it.
As always, thank you to all of our essential workers and healthcare providers for everything you are doing to keep Ontario going. For those of you that must travel the roads, our ONroute team and plazas are open 24/7/365 to support you and provide a safe and convenient environment when you need to stop on your journey. At ONroute, we are ON IT for you!
Chief Executive Officer, ONroute