It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog but on a rainy Sunday and day 30 in national lockdown, I find myself thinking about what happens when we come out the other side of COVID-19. Part of me looks forward to life returning to normal and part hopes we hang on to some of the learnings and behaviours that we’ve developed during this short but impactful time. The ones that make us better people; behaviours like protecting the elderly and the vulnerable, greater tolerance and patience, empathy and support for doctors, nurses, carers, teachers and those we maybe took for granted before; a respect for freedom and democracy, a sense of wonder and appreciation for nature, a renewed and deeper connection with family and friends and what happens when countries and organisations put their differences aside and work together for all of humanity. Sometimes we have long memories and other times we forget far too fast.
For many, this lockdown is an opportunity to recharge and more importantly reset. I’ve often been asked, ‘how do you keep so many balls in the air?’ My answer is usually ‘some balls are rubber, some are glass. I make sure to never drop the glass ones. They are time-sensitive and fragile. If you drop them, they break. A rubber ball however bounces back up. This means when things get crazy, you can safely drop one of these in the knowledge that you can and will pick it up again soon. It’s important you know which of yours are glass and which are rubber.’
As social distancing forces us to slow down, we are presented with an even greater opportunity; to consciously put ALL the balls down, at least temporarily, and think deeply about the ones we pick back up. Is this a behaviour, task, meeting, commitment you want to pick back up? If yes, why it is important to you? Is it important for the right reasons? If it’s something you don’t want to pick back up, understand why you are choosing to leave it behind. Some balls are in the air just because they’ve always been there, and you’ve never thought to consciously put them down. Maybe now is the time and maybe new and exciting ones even appear.
In every crisis, there is opportunity. For many, this crisis is an opportunity to slow down, to get off the hamster wheel that is life and make conscious changes about how you choose to move forward when the wheel starts again. The important difference here is that you choose.
When the moment feels right, put ALL the balls down, get off the unicycle and take a rest. As our social restrictions lift and the time comes to pick each ball back up, think wisely about which ones you pick back up and why.
Maybe some are best left on the ground.