If the current crisis has taught me anything, it’s gratitude and perspective.
Ninety five percent of the time I’m doing OK. But there’s also the five percent of the time when I can spin out. During these moments my fears range from what I’d do if I lost my job, through worrying about the mental health of my team during this pandemic, to wondering what would happen if China turned on Australia and our economy gets even more f**ked. I feel like the worries are proportional, but sometimes the noise is deafening. It’s given me an insight into how people that experience anxiety like this feel on a regular basis, and I hope I’ll carry that empathy with me as things return to ‘normal’
It’s also been hard to find the equilibrium between my home and work life now that the physical barriers have been removed. It has been genuinely great to see my wife and kids more and I feel like all of our relationships have improved. There’s been really fun times I know I’ll look back on wistfully, like my daughter making me coffee at 11am each morning and our group Zoom ballet classes. But it’s not all hearts and flowers. Quite often, my wife or one of my daughters will stop me when I’m speaking to them and say, “Don’t talk to me like I’m your employee, I’m not, I’m your child / wife.” This has got me thinking about authenticity and can send me down the rabbit hole of wondering about my home and work persona and leadership style.
I had a really big wake-up call a few years ago when it came to checking my ego and choosing a different path, so it’s been a bit sobering to think my wife and kids feel like I’m that different in a work environment. It’s kind of odd that in my comfort zone (my house) I’ve been taken out of it trying to get the right cadence between the professional and the personal. But I view myself as a constant work in progress. And if the current crisis has taught me anything, it’s gratitude and perspective. It has made my priorities (family, friends, health) extremely clear and given me a greater sense of gratitude for the things I do have.