In just two weeks, the world has changed beyond all recognition (this picture of us on holiday in January feels like a LIFETIME ago).
The freedom and security we all took for granted is now either non existent or has a ticking time bomb attached. Nothing feels permanent.
I’m worried about the impact on our business and on our household income. My slightly out of control addiction to the news and social media is making it hard to focus on work.
I don’t think I’ve quite got my head around what all of this means yet. So many colleagues have really pulled themselves together and appear to be productivity ninjas of the highest order (you know who you are – MASSIVE RESPECT to you). They are providing helpful free resources for others, creating online communities and are pivoting their businesses in a way which responds to need without taking advantage of people’s vulnerabilities.
I feel like I’m doing well if I don’t look at Facebook for 20 minutes and it’s a miracle if I get dressed.
There’s a novelty factor in this new life which I expect will replaced once either cabin fever sets in and / or someone I deeply care about contracts this virus and isn’t able to access the health care he or she desperately needs.
But while I felt able, I’m determined to THINK POSITIVELY (she says, shouting at herself…)
As a family, we have SO much to be grateful for.
- We love each other (yesterday Tony made me laugh SO hard I cried twice).
- We are healthy.
- We have (for now) a home, food and money (ish) in the bank (and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that by the time this goes out, the government will have announced measures which will support self employed people and small business owners who have no recourse to sick pay and / or further work for the foreseeable)
- We have purchased Super Mario Deluxe for the Nintendo Switch and have not yet run out of coffee
And by keeping gratitude at the forefront of my mind, I’m doing my best to project into the future and wonder what good will come out of this miserable situation.
So here are some personal reflections on harnessing the good in hard times and on what the new normal might look like once this crisis has passed*
*I recognise that many, many people are really going through the mill right now. If my list of positive thoughts is not going to be helpful then delete this email, shout, swear, do some press ups then eat the last of the chocolate ice cream. Whatever you need…#youdoyou
- A workplace honesty revolution
In only a week, I’m witnessing that people are feeling a little more comfortable in bringing their whole selves to work.
I never thought I would see the CEO of the NSPCC in patchwork yoga pants (if you’re in need of a lift, please follow Peter Wanless on Twitter for his #OOTD updates). Or that I would get to meet the children of colleagues on video calls.
Everyone’s a bit more sweary, small acts of kindness shine like beacons and bullshit radars are turned on to the max.
If this is the workplace new normal then bring it on.
- A giant wake up call
My ex-colleague Esther Pearson put this quote on LinkedIn and it hit me hard.
“We realise we can’t abuse the animal kingdom without it biting us back.”
Wow. Talk about arresting truth.
This was the day after I read this article in the Guardian about humanity’s vile disregard for the animal kingdom and how our destruction of the environment is directly linked to the increase in new diseases which are transmitted from animal – human.
If this is what it takes to make us change our behaviour then fine.
We must act now and those of us with privilege MUST take the lead and do more to offset the impact of those who have fewer choices.
I don’t actually know what this means yet, my mind is all a blur.
I’m thinking immediately about where my food comes from but recognise that there are probably other actions I can take to minimise my own personal footprint and that of my family.
Long term, this painful truth will be a good thing for many charitable organisations who have the answers to these grave problems.
One of my current clients has a bold ambition around rewilding our planet and creating a more colourful, healthier world.
Already they’re doing amazing things globally (even in places like Brazil where government policy is far removed from environmental concerns) and once this storm has blown over, I’m confident that they will have more people than ever before on their doorstep, offering support and seeing for the first time the need to take the climate crisis seriously.
Despite the gaping hole in imminent client work ahead and the unprecedented loss of income, I’m feeling surprisingly calm about the coming months.
This is weird. I really should be panicking about looming economic disaster on a large scale and on a personal level and yet I’m feeling grounded, grateful and (occasionally) excited about the opportunities which lie ahead.
- The opportunity to do more yoga, more journaling, more learning, more cooking.
- The opportunity to work on my business, decide on our direction, get ahead with content, make improvements to our website, take our digital products to the next stage.
- The opportunity to hang out with my family a bit more and to rest.
For the first time in a long time, I feel permission to focus on what is right in front of me. The important things. The simple things.
I suspect that in the medium – long term my hopes and dreams will have to change. I wonder if my ambition will diminish and if my world will have to contract to reflect the new reality.
Do you recognise ANY opportunity at this tough time?
What do you think the long term positive impact of this crisis will be?
Please share it with us, we’d love to hear from you.
Keep your family close, keep being yourself at work, don’t be a stranger.