It’s difficult to imagine what would happen if the world stopped…well, it was hard to imagine before 2020 unfolded and we experienced the devastating impact of COVID 19.  The unimaginable happened – we all stood still.

This shook us – hard.

I distinctly recall travelling around New Zealand in early March to deliver face to face training to my client – and I was running a session in Whangarei when I had a conversation with my client who told me that it would be ‘business as usual’ for them, and therefore for me, until and unless there was a community outbreak of the virus.  “Oh, no worries” I replied “that’s not going to happen” – how naïve was I?! Of course it was going to happen…

So everything came to an abrupt standstill very quickly.  Now what? Like everyone else I was full of questions, worries, fear, apprehension… for my family, my friends, my business, myself.  Glued to the 12pm daily news, awaiting the Prime Minster’s briefing, waiting to be told what to do.

Now, four months on, we are not out of the woods completely – mind you, we, here in NZ have it a LOT better than the vast majority of the world beyond our shores…I find myself reflecting on what happened – and the enormity and resilience of the human spirit.

What have I discovered?  Well… I rediscovered time – forced isolation made me stop, look around me and smile at how fortunate I am to have my bubble.  I rediscovered the joy of sitting on the deck reading a book, listening to the radio, chatting with friends near and far via telephone, Facetime, Skype and the newly found wonders of Zoom! And I found peace and tranquillity in doing a Jigsaw – so much so that I Wasgij now – always up for a challenge!

I found that people are kind, and can smile, even in the face of adversity.  We can pull together; we can find a new way forward and we can still thrive.  The last four months have seen me question if I will still have a business to come back to and still have clients that want to work with me.  That worry for all that own their own business is never far away regardless – however, I found people wanting to re-connect and wanting to get back to working – so much so that I have new clients joining me…wow!  The support was always there – it never went away – it was just on pause.

My Change Management and Resilience workshops look a little different now…we are good at them…when we have to be, when we want to be, when we need to be.  The skills are there – we just need to use them more often.

So what has that four months taught me?  Well, trust in yourself and your support network is probably the biggest business related one for me; and on a personal note, it’s to look up more often and take stock of what I have rather than what I still want.  Reflect on the joy of the little things – the shared joke, the sun shining, the warmth of a hot cuppa and a cosy blanket on a cold day, the cuddles of a wonderful hubby and two little furry animals, finding the missing piece of the jigsaw you’re working on.  And finally…knowing that I am one of the lucky ones, the really lucky ones…there are many many people that have suffered so much through all of this – so pay it forward – in whatever way I can – be it in deeds, attitude, a listening ear, more patience.  I’d love to think that we will all remember the Anzac spirit that one of my delegates referred to this week – and that I am proud to be in this race – the human race. 

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