Well, for those of us in Melbourne, once again we are experiencing more of this thing referred to as “unprecedented”.
Firstly, let me say that I am not immune to the ups and downs provoked by all we are navigating. Nor have I been through anything like this before. So I don’t have any definitive answers and I am cautious of anyone who does.
On television a few days ago Bronagh and I watched a journalist say “Melbournians need to accept the lock down. Put a picture on your fridge of where you want to go after this is all done and get on with it.” I turned to B and said “Oh… That’s what we are doing wrong… we don’t have a picture on the fridge!”
I am not sure my words are worth more that the ‘picture on the fridge’ strategy but I certainly hope to help if I can.
A bit flat, again?
Remember…The first two stages of grief are denial and the anger. The activity that happens most in those first two stages is that we seek information. Therefor, every time you find yourself feverishly searching for new announcements, waiting for press conferences or seeking answers, you are starting the cycle of grief… again. It doesn’t matter that you went through them last lockdown or last week. They start again. Possibly with different intensity, but they happen none the less.
Knowing that ‘information gathering’ is step one, it can be a good trigger to let you know that a flat patch might be coming for you or those around you. It may not come at all, but it also may.
The other warning that a flat patch may be coming is observing yourself or others being angry. I feel I have seen more anger this time round.
After these two stages comes a depression (high achievers call this ‘a bit flat’). At this time you need emotional support, as do those around you.
Take your foot off the gas at this time and reduce the expectations you have of yourself, others, work, life and similar. Relaxing a bit won’t put you in a permanent state of ‘lazy forever’. You will come out of it.
Then comes bargaining and acceptance… again. These stages are when you eventually become open to ideas, initiatives and adaptions again.
So… I am just saying… you might be a bit flat soon and so may those around you. Good idea to instigate some nurturing activities for you and for others.
Not feeling close to friends?
The isolation we are experiencing isn’t just the 5km boundary or curfew. We are also noticing that people have different views on “this whole pandemic thing” and it means that sometimes friends and loved ones feel like strangers. It is worth noticing that this impacts us. Our world can beef very small as you no longer know where it is safe to share your view of things.
Some friends still want to hug and shake hands, while others wear gloves to shop.
Some think we should just follow the rules while others see the suppression of liberty.
Some think it like a common cold while others think it will destroy the health system.
(And these examples are the far less militant and polarising differences in the community.)
When close peers, friends or those you love have opposing views, it is reasonable that you may feel empty or rattled. It can be an unsettling divide as you see a side of people you hadn’t seen before 🙁
Fortunately, we do all still love each other. We have had wonderful times together and our friends and loved ones are great people. We are all just coping. No one has ever navigated this before. We are all trying to work it out.
Luckily it is for other reasons that you love your friends and family. Phew 🙂
What is the truth of the situation?
You may have heard the story of blindfolded people all touching an elephant, and based on what part they touch, they all state different truths. One holds the tail, another a leg, and another the trunk. But none have the whole picture of the elephant.
This “unprecedented” situation is so complex, with so many issues, all interconnected, across different cultures, countries, beliefs, industries, demographics, economies and more, that there is not one person on the planet who can adequately understand all the complexity, nor explain it, nor know how to navigate it or solve it. Myself included. Actually, especially me.
We are all doing out best to grasp it and in the process we may see one aspect more than another. It is healthy to know this. It can take the heat out of wanting others to see the elephant the same way you do.
So what then?
Well, the Rocky series of films are often mocked when actually they are masterpieces of film.
I think Rocky said it best:
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that.”
We have all been hit, hard. It is ok to take a while to get up off the canvas. So do that. And when you’re ready, see if you can make someone’s lockdown a little better.