What will my story be
“Tomorrows history can start today.”
During my childhood, I used to walk to school, a journey of about a mile, and one morning I just wondered to myself “I wonder if I will remember this when I am older?”. On that day, at that time, I took a mental snapshot of the scene before me and I can still remember that scene quite vividly to this day; where I was and what I could see.
Although I have a really rather good forgettory, that’s getting better with age, I can remember some situations as if they were yesterday. I can remember playing with my toy train set as a child, and I noticed that one of the carriages in my train set was remarkably similar to the carriage that transported the body of Sir Winston Churchill to his burial place. I watched the ceremony on TV with my mum and dad as my engine pulled that carriage around in circles, and that left a memory.
I remember watching the Saturn 5 series of rocket launches, and particularly the voyage of Apollo 11 and the moon landing, and listening to James Burke explain everything that was happening as it happened. I remember those memories being brought vividly back to life again when I was able to visit the Kennedy Space Centre complex at Cape Canaveral on the East coast of Florida.
I remember crying with my brother on the afternoon of my wedding when he had just heard that his future wife’s mum had just died, and I remember where we were as we sat together, hugged, and shared some memories before they had to leave.
Shortly after we were married Sue and I went to live in France for some 6 months with my work and remember experiencing a very different culture, and not only because of the language, the wine and the long lunch breaks.
I remember exactly where I was when the twin towers were hit in the 9/11 bombings in New York, and at the time I recall thinking, “What are the twin towers?”
After each of these scenes, life seemed to carry on pretty much as normal for me. I had some new memories to take with me, but there was little that actually changed. My “normal” was pretty much the same. After our current crisis has passed however, we’ll not be going back to the old “normal”. It won’t be there.
For some, there will be little that has changed personally, while for others there will be massive changes to accommodate and get used to. One thing is for sure, society will have emerged, rather like a butterfly from its chrysalis, into a new normal, and we’ll all have stories to tell of what we did and how we coped during “the lockdown”. One day we’ll look back at this season, and it will have been a turning point, we’ll all know what we did during the COVID-19 lockdown. What will your story be?
The news is filled with stories of people not following medical advice to remain in isolation as much as possible and flouting the social distancing recommendations. My inbox seems to have become filled with courses from experts on how to take advantage of this lockdown and set up an online business to make a fortune in a few short weeks, and with invitations to pay for a lesson from an expert in how to use these new online communication tools.
There are also less sensational stories of people who have worked tirelessly to tend to those becoming ill, and stories like that of my neighbour who offered to help our family with supporting my mother-in-law who is elderly and frail “because he has some time on his hands”.
From a family perspective my story will be about spending a really special season where Sue (my wife) and I were able to spend all day together, adjusting to meals from what we had in our cupboards and accommodating for the ingredients that were unavailable, and the opportunity to read several books that needed to be read and “wouldn’t read themselves”. It will include two family weddings that have had to be postponed, and a family holiday we had been looking forward to for several years being cancelled.
From a work perspective, we’ll have some stories to look back on too. I have been working increasingly in an online world for most of the last 20 or so years ever since I started my business. I’ve been working from home and connecting with business colleagues on the phone and online and using an increasingly diverse collection of online tools to connect remotely both with family and friends and with colleagues and clients based in the UK and in the US.
So, in this lockdown season my story includes being able to help all sorts of people learn how to engage in this remotely connected world, a world they would probably never have wanted or needed to engaged with otherwise, and possibly didn’t even know existed.
Five years from now we’ll look back on this season as one where the adoption of online communications took off, where working from home and not travelling to work became mainstream and a preferred option for many, and where travelling for business meetings became a thing of the past. We’ll discover that we don’t have to do it as we always did!
When we get there and take a look back with some personal stories to tell, what will my story be? I can start writing that history today.
About Roger Fairhead
Roger is a leadership specialist delivering Leadership for Business Achievement through Speaking, Training and Coaching to business leaders and entrepreneurs.
“He is articulate, tracks complex issues with ease and has an incredible gift for raising pearls of wisdom out of the murky depths of people and process.” His passion is to help people to learn effective leadership skills to lead their teams to capitalize on their strengths and passions to realize their dreams.
Leadership for Business also invests into the dreams of families in the world’s underserved communities to offer them small loans that empower them to invest in their future, to provide for their families and give back to their communities.