Letter from the Publisher

Coping Mechanisms

I was having lunch recently with a friend and client who I find to be particularly thoughtful and wise. I shared (perhaps overshared) some struggles my family has been dealing with because of the pandemic. He, in turn, talked about challenges his family has faced and then referenced a quote that’s been attributed to the late actor Robin Williams: “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”

Those words have been stuck in my head for about a week now. If someone you interact with seems distant, dismissive or rude, give them the benefit of the doubt. They might be struggling. We just lived through an incredibly stressful, disruptive year, filled with uncertainty. There were some silver linings for sure (more time with family, new hobbies), but overall, the pandemic was difficult for many of us.

One of our feature stories, “Rebalancing Act” by Stephenie Overman, examines many of the unhealthy coping mechanisms we developed over the past year, from eating and drinking too much to working excessive hours and losing exercise time to other priorities. Now that life is getting back to normal, it’s time to shed some of those unproductive habits and reset. Our story can help you get back on track.

This issue also includes our annual Extraordinary Teen awards. We made a major change this year by forming a selection committee to review and rank the nominations. Their charge was to select a diverse group of students (in terms of race, gender, talents, experiences and locations) who are extraordinary, with compelling stories to tell. The students had to have demonstrated strengths in several of the following areas: academics, leadership, extracurriculars (sports, the arts, etc.), service, passion, creativity and overcoming adversity. I think you’ll agree the teens we chose excelled in many of these areas—in spite of the disruption and uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

Our inaugural selection committee was comprised of Lisa Fikes, acting president and CEO, Leadership Center for Excellence | Volunteer Arlington; Whytni Kernodle, founder and principal at Global Goddess Enterprises and co-founder and president of Black Parents of Arlington; Troy Cogburn, AVP for enrollment, Marymount University; Lizzette Arias, former executive director, The Dream Project; and yours truly. We are thrilled with the results and thank the committee members for their guidance and input.

Last but not least in this issue are the results of our biennial Top Doctors survey. Conducted by Professional Research Services, the survey asked area physicians to choose the best of the best among their peers. I hope you find the list informative and useful.

We want to hear from you. If you have any questions or suggestions for us, please email me at greg.hamilton@arlingtonmagazine.com. Letters to the editor and story ideas should be sent to jenny.sullivan@arlingtonmagazine.com. I hope you have a great summer, and thanks for reading Arlington Magazine!

Greg Hamilton, Publisher