Normalcy brings with it a natural momentum. We churn on through our existence on a rotation of chores and duties with key scheduled markers letting us know where in the week we are. Increasingly, over the last twenty years, that normalcy is longer working hours, perpetual motion in our brains and our bodies, disembodied families, stress, anxiety and disconnection. We have known that how we were living wasn't working for us, but we had no mechanism or will to reset. Change is always scary when we seek it, extreme change beyond our control, gives us no option and forces us to yield to its greater power.
Insidious change is what are used to, we don't even realise its happening until its too late. But this is a different kind of change, in an ever speeding world, it is a magicians trick. It pulls away that tablecloth with a sharp flourish and we watch the crystal teeter and totter before it settles to, hopefully, find it's centre of gravity again. The cloth has well and truly been pulled and the impact on each and every human is enormous. When you find yourself saying to your offspring 'This global pandemic is not about you!' you know it's seismic, you know things will never be the same again.
Some of us, traditionally undervalued workers in nursing, caring, and retail are working harder than ever before, innovating, grafting and risking their own health to make everything ok for everyone else. They have not one moment to reflect but only even longer hours in which to react. Frontline heroes who deserve a recalibration in the minds of the nation. This group doesn't have time to read blog posts right now, it's bust saving the nation.
Some of us found nothing under under the tablecloth once it was pulled, the glassware simply fell into the void as entire sectors were decimated and frozen in time. Hospitality, events, culture and travel all have have victims up and down the ranks, many who may never recover. Our thoughts are with them all, the purveyors of our joy and happiness, the tastes, the words, the chords, the laughter, our experiences and our togetherness. There must be ways that we can support you in these dark times. A recently cancelled show offered the option of credit note, refund or donate to the the theatre. Surely some donation to the artists is also a consideration?
Some of us continue to work remotely and, with extra time in our schedules, are reflecting and rethinking everything that we do and everything that we are. What do we do in our day to day lives that effectively has no utility, the wasted hours of commuting and unnecessary meetings that could be streamlined to give us back our lives, our mealtimes and our bedtime stories.
In crisis, things either get better or worse. The one thing that thrives, even in social distancing, is a sense of togetherness, community and selflessness. We want to feel purposeful, useful and dignified. If you have food and shelter, stability and love you are already a winner. People have shown and shared their love for family and friends in beautiful caring ways, through windows, in song and in unity.
But it is societies weakest members who will suffer the most, the victims of domestic violence, the homeless, the addicts, the old and alone. What can we, in our position, do to look back on this time and say, I was the very best me then.
And the bigger question, and one yet to be asked. How can we hold onto the best of us once relative normality returns. How can we continue to ask what we can do to help, how can continue to cherish hugs and value the clink of a glass with friends. How can we, until our final breadth, continue to say, I was there in 2020, it was horrible, but it made me a better person - forever.
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