A sense of isolation was the result of a life decision to become financially and emotionally self-sufficient. This was a choice born out of a dysfunctional family dynamic. So, it won’t surprise you to hear that I delivered on that promise. Our ‘world truths’ beget our decisions; our decisions drive our behaviours; and guess what? Our behaviours bring those life choices into fruition.
I’d made peace with my choices; or so I thought. And then lock-down happened.
The first few weeks were pretty frenetic. Like you, I was making sense of the new ‘current’ reality. Calling emergency board meetings; making sense of the Governments’ announcements and new legislation; wrapping my head around the impact of it all on the work I do – and the way that I do it.
As we focus on the business and whether it is surviving, coping or thriving; it’s easy to forget that there are real people, like you and me, at the helm of those businesses. On the one hand, trying to balance the need to generate income and save jobs; whilst, on the other, struggling with the ethical dilemma around bringing people back to work too soon; and putting their health at risk.
Working from home, isolated from their colleagues, puts the mental and emotional well-being of many employees in jeopardy. It strikes me how many people are struggling with lock-down from a mental health perspective.
I’ve heard people say “I’ll never again complain about those trite conversations at the water cooler” and “I’m actually looking forward to sitting in a traffic jam, on my way to a meeting” and “I have a new appreciation for the simple things in life – like sharing a coffee with friends”. The latter rings true for me. I enjoy my own company and can happily spend whole days immersed in my work. But weeks? Not so much.
Thanks to lock-down, the awakening for me is that self-imposed isolation has served its purpose. It had become a way of life based on ‘old thinking’ that stopped serving me well a long time ago.
So, I’ve made the decision to become more sociable, both in and out of work and also online. I may not ‘need’ the interaction; and it’s pleasurable none-the-less. That’s how I’ll be different as we emerge into our new world. Right now, the ideas are percolating as to what that might look like.
What’s the opportunity that lock-down has gifted you? Recognising that, what’s the change you’d like to make? Take action now to prepare for your new reality. As a result, when we are no longer ‘confined to quarters’, you’ll be well placed to implement and embrace the change.