The day of the lock-down announcement was eerie. What’s going to happen to me? What’s going to happen to my kids? I need to go to them right now. Will my job be safe at the end of all this? Will I have enough food? While I’m trying to process all these uncertainties, I’m being rushed to get on with reorienting my whole life of work and home in 48 hours. It’s a goddamn lot to deal with!
I not only watch my own reactions, but also observe how other people (don’t) adjust, operating from a place of shock. Some people froze into the old reality, unable to comprehend our new reality. Two things happened to me that day that heightened my awareness of our situation.
I sat in on a board meeting the day lockdown was announced. For some background context, the company probably has quite a bit of comfortable money. But people hadn’t quite shifted to the new reality. Statements like “secure the future”, “long-term planning”, “protect our $$” – basically still trying to operate from old ways of doing things and trying to apply that in a new environment. Eventually though the board got to a more human discussion about how to support people, considering the organisation has a bit of extra ‘fat’ sitting in its bank accounts.
The second thing that happened to me that day was someone tried to lock me into a 1 year lease contract. I kept saying, I cant commit to that term, I need something short term and flexible as we have no idea what is going to happen in the next 12 months. In his angst he was trying to protect his patch, trying to lockdown in the lockdown. I get it. But we are not operating in the same conditions anymore. Eventually we got to the right place too.
Two things people must start accepting;
- Most of us are coming out of this financially worse off, whether that’s through loss of income, loss of work productivity, stalled contracts, less in your kiwisaver, reduced house prices. Very, very few will end up financially in a better position. Accept this an open up your generosity despite of it – especially to yourself and your family first.
- No one knows how this is going to roll out (except maybe Nostradamus). Get used to short term plans. Get ready to re-orienate yourself. Get ready to plan a thing and then have it disrupted. Get ready to feel secure, then insecure. Old accepted rules of doing things – do not apply. Long term assumes certainty. And that is something we definitely do not have.
There are many adjustments we are all going through, but one thing is CERTAIN, we will not be returning back to the world we once knew.