I feel like I need to preface this blog with a note explaining that I am a massive zombie movie fan. I love the gore, the predictability and the dystopian view of the world gone to the hands of flesh-eating creatures for reasons that I cannot explain. It is neither normal nor healthy, this proclivity to find entertainment in such avenues, but I shall not chase my tail in the exploration of all the weird things that entertain me. Anyway, you can imagine that when I first heard news about the Cornona virus, my immediate thought was, “There it is, the rise of the zombies”. I can’t say that I was particularly alarmed by that thought either, everyone who knows me, knows that if we were in a zombie movie, I’d either be the person who died during the opening credits or the stupid person who decided to keep a zombie as pet, and ended up being eaten by it. Trust me, I’ve given it a lot of thought, so I’ve already accepted my fate. But I am sort of attached to my mortality and I don’t think I am quite ready to give it up for the zombie apocalypse (besides I’ve already imagined myself as one of those women who still rock a bikini when they’re sixty, so I still have a few years to go and to work on that bikini body). Zombies aside though, what if this isn’t the end of the world as much as it is the end of the world, as we know it?
Two important things shaped my thinking that perhaps we’re gearing for a new world, one is that I beat Husband at a PlayStation game (mainly by screaming “Stop hitting me” and pressing every button on the controller) and the second is that Husband beat me at Scrabble (by getting a 42 score for the word “sexy”). I mean, in what universe is Husband better at Scrabble than I am? Yes, I’m still nursing my ego over it. In all seriousness though, what if the times really are changing? What if this new version of normal allows us to not only challenge our existing preconceptions, but the opportunity to reinvent who we are and what we do? What if I really am some sort of legendary gamer and what if Husband has had the talent to be a wordsmith all along? Okay, it’s a stretch on the gamer front, but what if this time of isolation and spending more time with ourselves actually shows us a greater deal of who we are and who we could be? What if in this world, where we’re preoccupied with restrictions, there is an opportunity to ask, “What if?” What if this is exactly the opportunity we’ve been waiting for to remove the restrictions that bind us?
Just consider the new way in which many of us are now forced to work. I marvel every day at both the resilience of people and at how resistant we are to change. We are fascinating creatures, both in our ability to compel ourselves and others forward, and in our ability to get in our own way. I wonder if post three weeks of lockdown, or even further beyond that, if we’ll look at remote work and wonder why we didn’t adopt such practices sooner. I am not of the belief that technology can entirely remove the need for human contact, I would never want to work or live in that world, especially because the people side of my job is the most interesting. It’s interesting how we now have no option but to trust each other, trust that things will get done even though we can’t look over anyone’s shoulder anymore. You have to find it intriguing though, that many of us will actually thrive while working remotely and I can’t help but wonder what the new “normal” at the office is going to be. One thing I will say about working remotely though, it’s almost like having a long-distance relationship- if you have built a strong foundation of trust and respect, you’ll probably whether the difficult days much easier than if you didn’t. Also it’s sort of the relationship that only makes sense if both parties have committed to making it work. When we come out the other side of this, will different things matter to us both professionally and personally? Man, I hope so. I hope we start to challenge what is is that we want and who it is that we are. One thing though, not my zombie movies- self-reflection and growth don’t you dare steal my movies from me. You know what’s the most exciting thing about the time we’re in right now? That we have the power to shape tomorrow. What if we didn’t waste that opportunity?