Transitional – a few thoughts on a difficult work week for many

This is hard – and may be hard for different people in different ways

Let’s start by acknowledging that the past week has not been “normal” and for many people in many ways, it’s been hard.

There’s a saying “be kind for everyone you know is fighting a hard battle” which reminds us not to judge others harshly when we don’t know what circumstances they’re dealing with. The current situation takes that a step further and shows us at least some of what our friends and colleagues are juggling on the work front – a video call taken from the closet because it’s the only private spot in a small shared apartment, a sick kid looking for a hug of reassurance during a call, increased responsibilities at work because you’re the “digitally savvy” one, and sudden pivots in projects – whether that’s moving classes or conferences online at short notice or seeing opportunities to be quickly responsive.

It’s a lot.

And that’s before we throw into the mix the challenges that we can’t always see. Worries about elderly relatives or at risk friends and family. Concerns about shifts in income, ability to pay the rent, or disappointments that forthcoming big events such as weddings or a holiday now need to be postponed…And then mix in how exhausting it is to sit on hours of Zoom calls when you’re an introvert – or just need a bit of space to process everything else that’s going on.

I know this weekend has been a big, long exhale for me and a chance to reflect. Here are a few thoughts:

Challenges can be opportunities to be kind

One thing I have noticed is that these windows into the struggling, the adjusting, and the trying our best have also been opportunities to be kind and have presented moments to engage more gently, human to human. Many emails that I’ve sent and I’ve received have been much gentler in tone – asking after loved ones, sharing snippets of life around the world. Deadlines have been adjusted, and networks for advice, support and simply sharing have been revived or ramped up in activity. Continue reading