The past year has been an… experience, to say the least. We’ve shifted our lifestyles from what we thought we knew to what we actually know, refocused our time and energy to the things that really matter, and grown to be different people than who we were before. Now that the pandemic is coming to a close (…or is it?), it’s time to step back and reflect on some of the lessons that we’ve learned along the way. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be touching on how the pandemic has affected us and how our pandemic “experience” can be used to ensure future success.
Oh man! Patience was definitely a hard skill to learn and cultivate over the past year. We all likely thought we had patience before the pandemic, but what has transpired within the last year or so has truly tested some limits. While frustrating and difficult to learn, think about how much patience we’ve gained in the process!
Arguably the most challenging: patience with technology. When tech works, life’s great! When it doesn’t, it’s a painful feeling. To make things worse, it wasn’t necessarily an option to go visit an expert and try to get the tech fixed. The best solution was to slow down, be patient, and hope that things would work out. Not only has this struggle taught us patience, but it’s also taught us how to find creative solutions to our problems and how to be more independent.
Let’s not forget, we’ve also gained patience with people (seriously – so much)! How many times has “you’re on mute” been said in the last 12 months? It seems like too many to count, there had to have been a world record set. Not to mention the various run ins with someone on a call who conveniently had a dog barking in the background or the classy work attire consisting of pajama bottoms that we all sported. It’s amazing to see how our interactions with people have changed and how we’ve changed alongside them.
Space and Grace
If we’ve learned anything in this pandemic, it’s that grace is extremely important. We’ve evolved as people who are all at different comfort levels – and that’s okay! The beauty of the situation is the space provided by the pandemic allowed us to feel out our next moves and gave us grace in times that we might have been a bit lost about what to do next.
Recently, the importance of grace has been revisited as things have opened almost as quickly as they shut down. Everyone takes different lengths of time to adapt to new circumstances, and it’s sometimes a lengthy process for many to re-engage with the people and things around them that they have been distanced from for so long. The space to adapt as necessary and the grace given in difficult times are not always easy skills to pick up on, but we all made it through!
Nothing says “I am resilient” like making it through a pandemic! Nobody could’ve expected the trials that came throughout the pandemic or the hardships that we have been through. Regardless of what each person’s experience has been, we have all been affected by the effects of COVID-19. Each of us have our own battles that we’ve gone through, complete with shock, growth, and reflection. Though our experiences may not be the same, it was a tough year for us all. Yet, we got through it together. Talk about resilience.
Perseverance is a funny thing. It’s something you see on those cheesy stock posters often hung in offices and school buildings. It’s something we all want to be described as having, but maybe something we doubt that we actually have. Truth be told, after the last 16 months, we all have persevered. We’ve struggled through tough times at work, with our kids, and socially. On top of that, we rapidly adapted to our environment and circumstances, and have (possibly) adapted back. Gone are the days where we envy stock posters; here are the days where success stories are told about us.
We may have been through countless hardships recently, but there is new hope on the horizon. Soon (if not already) we can start again and become something greater than what we once were – both personally and professionally. As we continue our reflection on the pandemic next week, we will explore what to expect with a return to the office.