I feel it’s been ages since I have written here and I think it’s partly because I can’t wait until 2020 is finally over.
We’re only in June and already I feel that it’s been a long drawn out year that has left me – and many others – feeling worse for wear. I keep thinking about the video I did at the beginning of the year when I felt so helpless with the bushfires that were raging across Australia but since then, it’s as if someone has come by and shook the entire world. Rattled it around and it’s left us all emotional, uncertain, stressed and anxious.
However, four months on, nothing much has changed except that the emotion I was feeling is now felt by everyone around the world.
To be fair, the COVID isolation period for me wasn’t as bad as to be expected. After all, I’ve been working from home for some years and I don’t have children so didn’t go through the whole homeschooling debacle. Also with a husband in essential services, I had the whole place to myself. The only change was that I was not able to see my family who live nearby and who provide my main social outlet. Luckily, my parents are across technology and have seen much more hardship in the past so to them, this was simply a glitch. Sometimes, it was they who provided me with the comfort just with their words, “this too shall pass”.
As restrictions are eased now, I didn’t rush out to get my hair done, or go to the shops or go to a restaurant for a meal. I haven’t commuted on a train nor have I gone into town. Only this week, I finally met up with a couple of girlfriends in person for a coffee and a walk along the beach but even then, the “social awkwardness” of wanting to hug them and touch them really irked me. People may say that at least we can go out now and meet with friends and family but there’s still a part of me that is utterly annoyed that we are denied the total freedom – the lack of fear – of the bloody virus. I’m left to question everything in my head and it can’t go back to how it was.
There’s always an underlying anxiety or fear with everything and everyone and the only safe place is to stay at home and be surrounded by the things that comfort you and what’s important to you.
This time for me has been an eye opener personally. I’ve realised that work to me is something that I’m doing that helps give me focus and I do enjoy it but it’s not something I want to keep talking or writing about. Sure, it helps pays the bills and I love working with my colleagues but if I’m entirely truthful with myself, if I get to 65 (or whatever retiring age) and I’m still writing or sharing videos about organisational learning and development, then I would have failed.
What I would like my work to be is an opportunity for continual learning and an opportunity to express this in different ways. That is, my work to be learning. I don’t always want to take a didactic approach either – or the position of the expert. I want to simply do my own thing – my own way – however, with the goal and outcomes of what is required of me in my work if that makes sense.
I want to be the builder, the doer, the creator – I want to create useful things for people to use and most of all, break apart so they come up with better stuff!
What this period of isolation has taught me is that I’m comfortable in my own company but I need a core group of people around me – mainly my family – as my support network. I value long periods of time to myself and I can EASILY fill this time with stuff I love to do. I love creating knitted garments; I love learning (my French is progressing) and I’ve read tons of books that I would never have otherwise read. The realisation hit me that I’m basically living my “retired” life now and I’m totally okay with that. In fact, this is what I’ve wanted all along.