David shares his ‘top 10 things’ that the current situation has made him commit to changing forever.
Having retreated from a ski trip from France in lockdown, through Switzerland in lockdown and arriving back in the UK just before the lockdown happened here, it’s fair to say that the first week back at whatever I’m now calling ‘work’ was a panic-filled dark cloud of uncertainty.
Then, as the lockdown started to feel like the ‘new normal’, I started to realise there was a whole load of learning to be had. Some of that learning was inevitably forced upon me from having to ‘work’ in an entirely virtual way. But, the biggest learning was when it occurred to me that what was happening to me was like my own version of The Truman Show. For those of you who don’t know the film, The Truman Show is a 1998 American science fiction comedy-drama. It stars Jim Carrey as Truman Burbank, who was adopted and raised by a corporation inside a simulated television show revolving around his life until he discovers it and decides to escape. For most of the film, as a viewer, you know Truman is living in a fake world, but he has no awareness of it. There’s a great scene where he bumps into the scenery set and realises it wasn’t actually a real vista.
Covid-19 has been like that scenery set for me. Like crashing into something you thought was real… but isn’t. There are so many things that I thought were ‘real’ (or really important), that it turns out were as fake as most of the stuff that comes out of a certain world leader’s mouth. The jolt from the crash has allowed me to notice and start to list the things that I’m not going to revert to when things get back to whatever ‘future normal’ turns out to be. My list is up to 30 so I thought I would share the top 10 in the hope that it prompts you to start your own ‘I ain’t ever going back’ list. Here goes:
- I’m not going to travel around looking at my phone. From now on, it’s head up, smiling and saying hello to the people I meet
- I’m not going to fly around the world unnecessarily. If it works virtually then I will do it virtually; saving time, cost and the environment
- I’m not going to ‘eat on the fly’… I’m going to cook more (from raw ingredients) and sit down to eat regularly with my family
- I’m not going to interrupt people. Using virtual meetings software has caused me and other people to ‘wait their turn’ and not jump in… this feels great
- I’m not going to use the excuse of ‘being too busy’ for friends and family. I will spend time talking to, seeing and hugging the people I care about
- I’m going to stop pretending real life isn’t going on when I’m working. So, what if a dog barks or a child wants something when someone is on a virtual meeting. If real-life leaks into work, I’m going to welcome it
- I’m going to be less selfish. I’m going to remind myself of the ‘Covid spirit’ when, for the first time, the whole world faced a common enemy. I’m going to be more kind, offer assistance with nothing wanted in return, applaud others more, be ‘in it’ with people, help my neighbours or help your neighbours… I don’t care. We are all in it together
- no more media overdosing. I’m going to be selective with both what and how I consume news… half an hour a day feels about right
- much less inactivity. I’m going to exercise every day, walk more, notice nature more as I do and never again take the weather as my decision-maker for staying indoors
- less of the speed trance. I’m going to slow down. Be more thankful of people (even if they are getting paid to help me and especially if they aren’t) and more thankful in general
Who knows, I might even dye my hair purple if the mood takes me! New normal, new me, new you?