Melbourne is almost out of lockdown, but I can't help but feel that some of us will be still in it.
I am a positive person. I am that annoying person in meetings who can see the positives, sell the business case, and are the eternal optimist. I suspect many of my former colleagues are smiling right now as they read this.
However, I would not be lying if I didn't say this lockdown hasn't affected me, and I wonder about the residual effects. I also think about those who are less fortunate than myself. As a small business, I have maintained an income stream during 2021; many have not. I have also just published a book that has received some good reviews and celebrated my birthday with my family in March between lockdowns.
We definitely need to open up, I want us to open up, but it is not without some anxiety.
We are a family of five; four of us are vaccinated, our 9YO son, who is returning to school next week, isn't. Like any parent, we are a little worried. Our middle child has anxiety about returning to school and making her brother sick.
My wife is an emergency nurse at a private hospital; she has had many Risk Management roles across many hospitals here and in the UK, but this is the busiest she has been. She could be working 24x7, and this is before we open up. As a casual, highly qualified, and experienced nurse, she is a gun for hire but will probably take December and January off as things peak. I wonder how many others like her will too?
My father and stepmother are entering their mid-eighties; we haven't seen them since January as they live three hours away. Our family is working through their next and most likely final move into assisted living. Without a doubt, the isolation that the pandemic has required has impacted their health. They were grey nomads up until 2019.
Then there is other stuff that everyone has that is below the tip of the public iceberg. It isn't going into this blog.
As for me?
I need to see people beyond a screen; my primary client is in Sydney. We have a lot to work through into 2022, and we don't know when we can get into a room and do this.
In the last four to six weeks, my morning 30-minute walk has turned into 90 minutes, and my daily yoga practise on the lawn is now over an hour. I needed both, and you know what, I still don't feel that great.
I haven't felt so flat since close family members passed away. That brain fog and weight that enters your body, has lingered in this lockdown. It is the first lockdown that has affected me, or is the accumulative effect of all of them?
So next week, when you are talking with somebody from Melbourne.
Give them some latitude if they seem a little off; for many, it will not be a snapback; they will be working themselves into it.
Consider how you can take the time to value their contribution, make a point of saying something positive that is genuine.
Ask what you can do for them; the reopening is a beginning in a sense, and many of us will remember the support.
Here's to 2022. I am setting my foundations for next year from next week and I will need your help.