A retrospective on resilience

Given that we’re now in the home stretch of this year, I thought a look back over how far we’ve come in the last 12 months might be helpful to some, and give a bit of perspective on what we’ve achieved.

So let’s go back to September last year and remind ourselves of what was going on in our world…

By this time in 2021, the pandemic had been our reality for 18 months, we’d been locked down nationally and by state and in some cases by either LGA or postcode for protracted periods, and you might remember that both Sydney and Melbourne were in the grip of yet another lengthy lockdown, which would thankfully turn out to be the last of them, and Melbourne earned the dubious honour of being the city with the 2nd longest total of lockdowns internationally by the end of our 6th one in November 2021.

Face masks and their mandates, QR code check-ins and social distancing all were already part of our daily existence, and our borders, both interstate and internationally were firmly closed, no one could travel and any overseas arrivals were going into a 14-day quarantine and our collective fixation was on numbers; number of fresh cases, number of deaths reported from the virus, percentage of the population that was fully vaccinated, and how many vaccines had been administered – quite a contrast from today where these numbers, whilst still available, are no longer being reported with the same breathless, almost ghoulish fascination. 

Even though our punitive movement restrictions were being eased so that people from vaccinated households had a little more freedom (we could travel 10km from home not 5, and were allowed outside for 3 hours, rather than 2..) this was conditional – there was still a divide around those who were vaccinated and unvaccinated, and there were protests against the harshness of the edicts around movement and the ability to work depending on your vaccination status, and we had a nighttime curfew of 9:00pm – I’d actually forgotten this one was only a year ago, I thought it was the year before.

Melbourne had also experienced an earthquake of some proportion – minor by overseas status but still enough to be a talking point for a week or so.

On the property front, we were seeing price increases of significant amounts with the regional markets leading the way as people reevaluated their lives and looked to shift into a different mode of living, ad the rental market starting to recover from the effect of the lockdowns with vacancy rates falling and rents starting to get back to where they were pre-2020

Fast forward to today, and we’re told by our leaders that the pandemic response has now “finished” due to high vaccination rates and low transmission numbers, life has returned to something close to what we experienced before February 2020

Why am I telling you all this..?

Well, one of the things I say to a lot of my coaching clients when they start to plateau and get a bit frustrated is to look at where you’ve come from and compare that with your achievements to today… and if you go back over the last 2 ½ years, start to benchmark where you were in February 2020 with where you are now – I think you’ll surprise yourself.

We’ve come through a storm and we’ve been tested. But the purpose of a test of this nature is not to show us our weaknesses, it’s to display our strengths.

We’ve become stronger within ourselves, we’ve found (or been reminded of) the things which are truly important to us, and we’ve seen just how much we can withstand yet still be standing, and also how much more we’ve accomplished in one short year…

Resilience isn’t bouncing back after adversity, it’s the ability to bounce Forward…