I once heard a CEO liken his job to playing Space Invaders, fighting to keep at the top of the level and doing all he can to stay there. If he dropped his guard for a second, it could all go horribly wrong. When I’ve been working a high pressure job, I’ve often thought how apt this description is. I love tackling all the problems and keeping the show going, thriving on the pressure. But as soon as that show is complete, I want to get straight onto the next one, and to the next level.
At the moment though I can’t.
The pause button has been pressed.
Not the stop button and not the reset button, just pause.
This is just a pause. We will soon be back on site tired and stressed and all saying, “remember when we had nothing to do but sit at home”. But we will be loving that stress, most likely more than we ever had before. Even the mundane tasks, like catching the bus to work or simply going to crew catering, will feel like the most exciting adventure. Finally getting to see those colleagues and friends you only ever see at work will become the most incredible and joyous reunion, because right now we simply don’t know when that moment will be.
Maybe the work will have changed in a way yet to be discovered or planned, but these moments will still be there. When I lay in bed or go for a run, I end up defaulting to thoughts about my work. I can talk to friends or families I can’t see in the flesh, but I can’t talk to my work. My work is not just a job, it’s who I am and what I love and I greatly miss it. My work has now become that holiday you plan in your mind for ages and can’t wait to get to. I am now a tourist in the fondest memories of my work. Returning to work has now become my ultimate dream destination.
But to get to that destination I need the play button to be pressed. I, like us all, are now just waiting. The journey has been delayed. It will be pressed, but we don’t know when and maybe the button will be a bit sticky and doesn’t play as smoothly as hoped. But it will play, and that sticky button will in time become unstuck. This situation, although desperately present and effecting us all in so many different ways, will become a moment in history. We don’t know how exactly our lives will look once this moment has become the past.
Time is a great healer.
There is so much talk of how the world will have changed for the better. But we just don’t know. Opinions are everywhere but for me they don’t help. Maybe it will change and maybe it will just go back to how it always was. But for me, my main hope and prayers is that when play is pressed, we get to continue with all the players we started with. Really that is all that matters.