Monthly Musing – May 2020 – Opening doors
How are you feeling? It’s been weeks and weeks since we all started to stay at home; I don’t think any of us ever imagined this!
At first, people spoke of grief and bereavement for a way of life that we had lost. There were thoughts of hope for our planet, and for a new way of living that would reconnect us to our world in ways that we had forgotten. The streets were silent and people seemed afraid to even make eye contact. It was all strange and new but for most of us, the unusual has become usual; we’re getting used to being at home, chatting to people from a distance and, believe it or not, queuing in a way that is extreme even to us British super-queuers!
What has struck me most is how resilient we are, how adaptable to our new situation when many of us might have thought ourselves too stuck in our ways to change. There’s no question that this happening in our advanced digital age has helped us; businesses that might otherwise have gone out of business have been able to stay open online, for example. In our house, we’ve loved watching Andrew Cotter’s dog commentaries when, as a sports commentator, his work would have been on hold but he has continued to keep us entertained. People who thought themselves “too old” or “not tech savvy” enough have been able to get to grips with technology in a way that has opened up a whole new world for them. Last night, we took part in a family quiz with people from all over the country – and even abroad – that we would never normally see except at occasional family events, but here we were on a Friday evening, glass of wine in hand*, comfortably ensconced on our sofa discussing quiz answers with literally distant relatives.
What I think this experience has shown us is that the well-used quote of “when one door closes, another one opens” is actually true. One of my husband’s clients has said that he doesn’t intend to work full-time in his office any more even when he can as he can quite comfortably work from home; something he had never considered. We’ve seen that whilst it felt at first as if the world had stopped and the ground had fallen from beneath our feet, we haven’t kept on falling. Yes, there are people who are struggling and I don’t forget that, but equally we have all met neighbours who we might never have passed more than the time of day with who have been there to help, and our communities have pulled together in ways that we might always have wished for but never experienced. Kindness is spoken about more often, and people have been going out of their way to find kindnesses to gift to others.
More than anything, I think that our resilience and adaptability has shown us that we can legitimately use an updated version of that quote. It has shown us that we can apply that to all areas of our lives and we will be OK. We can choose to be passive and see what life brings us – but now we’ve seen that we don’t always have to. We are able to take what we’ve got to work with and work with it. We are stronger than we think we are. And this new quote? “When one door closes … open it!” I love it!
* not small daughter, obviously. She was on the soft stuff 😀