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Two weeks ago, life was exactly that life. It was straightforward with the usual anxieties.
Life has changed stripped to its roots.
The time we always wanted but thought we’d never find has been given to us in the confines and safety of our homes.
Who knew that shops, gyms and stores that are inextricably linked to our everyday lives would shut down and life, as we know, would change beyond recognition.
I believed it would be a minor adjustment as I work from home one maybe two days a week.
But with all four of us at home, I am finding it hard.
We are in uncharted waters with no compass to guide, no rule book to tell us how.
Less than three months, we woke to a new year, a new decade and new beginnings.
Three months and we are homebound.
I try to make ordinary out of the extraordinary times and its irrationality.
Searching for answers, I pulled out my notes on what I want to achieve this year.
I am not too fond of goal setting because it sounds too concrete, almost immovable.
Business coaches will roll their eyes in disbelief as part of their mantra is to have a clear set of goals which are essential for moving forward.
My personal goals for this year are:
- Healthy family
- Money to pay the bills
- More time with friends and family
- A world less crazy
Two of the above I am achieving the rest is out of my hands, out of control.
With uncertainty comes insecurity the fear of the unknown; hence the title of this blog post Uncertain Optimism.
We can’t control what is uncontrollable.
Uncertainty heralds fear and worry.
Anxiety about work, jobs, the future?
I have cut back on things that aren’t important.
I have lived and worked through three recessions and have learnt that saving wherever you can is essential.
Ironically, when I feel insecure and worry, spending money calms and reassures me.
I have to restrain myself only too aware that £25, £50 or £100 could make the difference in providing food for my family or paying a bill.
Despite what we are experiencing, we have to try to look forward and be ever optimistic.
We are more connected than ever and social media is awash with help and advice offering support and care to those who are most vulnerable and alone.
Not too long ago my colleagues and I shared our longing for the old ways of doing business.
Phone calls in place of emails, one to one meetings, a poignant reminder of an age long gone.
We are using zoom for meetings, skype and the phone to talk to each other.
Our online world, where people once felt disconnected, is making people feel more humanly connected than ever.
And while we can’t physically be with each other, something good is coming out of our confinement.
A closeness that I had thought was long gone.
Real-life conversations are taking place in business, between families and friends.
Real moving conversations are happening on social media platforms people are sharing funny anecdotes and stories.
Social media is teeming with funny memes and videos; peoples take on being in lockdown and stuck at home that brings humour into an otherwise dark time.
No harm or maliciousness implied it is the human psyche making the best out of a very grave situation.
Ironically, the coronavirus has bought us together in a different way.
We long for closeness and human touch.
We talk to each other remotely, connected by technology, united by the same anxieties.
My parents are the silent generation.
The newspaper was used instead of toilet paper.
They have lived through food shortages, a poignant reminder of a time long gone.
Human beings are creative in the way they work, look at the changes already taking place.
We are highly adaptable, yet under normal circumstances, we rebel, we loath and fear change.
Employers are changing their attitudes toward working remotely.
Those who resented the idea of their employees working from home have reluctantly accepted that it has to be.
Twenty-five years ago teleworking or telecommuting wasn’t in the English dictionary. It is now.
The work-life pattern is shifting dramatically.
We are sharing meals together, being a family.
At the start of January, there was the usual online help and advice that accompanies the start of a new year.
How to be productive, how to manage time, the self-help books that signify the beginning of a new year fuelling our systemic fear of anxiety and being alone.
Yet here we are united in one common aim to get through this crisis together, to survive.
Aristotle extolls the virtue of magnanimity, meaning generosity.
We should take heed of this virtue as the fate of humanity rests on us being kind to each other.
Maybe the coronavirus is what humankind needed to bring us together after all.