“How are you?” I asked. “A bit blah” replied my client, “it feels like same old, same old, if only something interesting or exciting would happen! I want to change something but I don’t know what I want to change.”
Resonate for you? It did for me. My own routine of weekly trips to London to meet clients face to face stopped abruptly two years ago. While I so appreciate the freedom zoom has provided in the months ever since, luxuriating in my own surroundings and lack of travel-hassle, I’m aware of something missing, not quite right. The words “normal” and “new-normal” are cliche yet they sum up what we used to take for granted and the adjustments we’ve had to make to navigate this changed world.
I came across a simply brilliant McKinsey article that I’d like to share. It’s a longer read but well worth it. While the authors Aaron De Smet and military veteran Adria Horn focus on The Great Resignation – why employees are quitting in droves – my own reflections made sense of the disquiet I and many others are experiencing two years in to the pandemic. We have faced massive uncertainty, governments no more in the know than anyone else, varying expectations and experiences, with even the most self-aware having difficulty keeping up with these shifting sands. Those sands haven’t really settled, even now. Patterns and routines have changed, we’ve lost connection to our sense of belonging and community, and even when we do meet in person, do we shake hands or bump elbows, keep our masks on or take them off? Awkward.
And then there’s the complexity of grief. It’s obvious when we’ve lost someone to Covid, but much less so when we simply miss routine and its predictability, can’t easily find the sense of self provided by a work identity mirrored back by colleagues. No wonder people are asking the big questions: what gives meaning? who’s really important? is this the right career track? how to feel fulfilled? The vagueness, confusion, dismay and disappointment we have felt all contribute to feeling adrift and lost, grief for what could have been and may not ever be..…
I may not have the answers to these questions but I do know how to help you think about them if they’re banging loudly at your door, how to sense in to your deep intuitive wisdom to find answers.