We’ve passed two months since our Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, locked us down and a few weeks in I wrote my first blog giving my observations as to how us humans were coping.
People have been asking me to write another, so this time I thought I’d share what this strange, dystopian, scary and life-changing time is teaching me. I’ve prefaced each of the points ‘I’ve learnt’ but for most you could also read ‘re-learnt’ as in: I already knew this but, boy, has this time reinforced it.
OK, I’ve learnt…
How it feels to live with a low-lying ‘buzz’ of fear/anxiety. I am very lucky in that I’ve rarely felt this in my life and I am keen to remember it so that I can empathise – to some extent – and support those friends, family and colleagues who feel this regularly, while also acknowledging how much more unsettling it would feel if I didn’t know its source.
How it feels to be out of control of something which is massively impacting my life. Again, I’m blessed in that – in my recent life at least – I’ve largely been able to control or at least ‘steward’ my life and I’ve learned this really isn’t comfortable for me.
How much I enjoy working with superb people who teach, guide and support me every day and how much I enjoy offering this in return. (And how easy – and actually …OK! – it is to use Zoom/Teams/Webex et al to connect with them and how much time/life, carbon, and cash this saves.)
How vital my friends are to me; real friends, who I can be completely myself with and who look me right in the eye – even down a computer screen/phone – and make me feel safe and loved.
How important laughter is – hence the plethora of gifs, memes and mini films in circulation – but also, the courage to cry.
How important it is to value the fundamental things, not everyone is blessed with… our health, the health of our loved ones, a trusting, loving partner and the safety and security of a home and an income. As well as the small things… a glass of something chilled in a garden, a sunset, a squirrel, a cuddle, a walk or bike ride in the country, a quiet moment in the early morning before the world is awake,
How, when you let your guard down and tell someone you don’t know (either), that you’re scared, worried or just having a bad day, they do the same and you both end up feeling better.
How people can still shock me in how cruel, small minded, selfish, harsh, petty, opinionated, gullible and weak they can be.
How people can still shock me in how committed, hard-working, funny, clever, creative, resilient, kind, selfless and strong they can be.
But most memorable for me will be how quickly we all learned, adopted and adapted to this ‘new normal’ and still found ways to be happy and productive and … living our lives and running our businesses. Curtailed lives and businesses, in many ways, yes. But still, we’re doing it.
And I really do hope we don’t do the human thing of having short memories because the things we’re learning and feeling now will, I think and I hope, change us. In some ways bad, for sure, but also good, profoundly and forever.
What have you learnt? (and is it learned or learnt – big debate here about that!)