I, like many others continue to work from a (farm) home base. I love being a health professional but as a parent to amazing and very dedicated health and educational professionals I continue to reflect and admire their altruism in putting themselves at the coal face to support us all, just like many others. Life continues to have challenges as the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted on each of us in very different ways.
Rural Australia has now stepped through a third strike as the pandemic arrived on the back of our experience of persistent drought followed by horrendous bush fires. Certainly, the pandemic has highlighted our call again to action, to challenge our tenacity and the grit of rural spirit, and to demonstrate authenticity, vulnerability and humanness to lead.
The brilliant Harvard Business Review article written by Scott Berinato, titled “that discomfort you’re feeling is grief” highlighted the collective anxiety we have all felt through the pandemic, and noted the early feelings of loss and named it as a grief. Noting in actuality we have experienced competing griefs: changes in the world as we know it: anticipatory grief- as we process the potential and imagined losses: the economic challenges ahead, the uncertainty. Anticipatory grief anchors us in the future trying to forecast and plan like we can really ‘know’ when this will go back to something we know, and yet quite likely it can’t! We have to anchor ourselves in change, in a new mode, and learn to stay present in amongst the adversity.
Undoubtedly, we are in the midst of incredible change and we are drawn to stretch forward and seek a new future with a freshness and vibrant certainty, we must cocoon our anxious thoughts in the promise of a reversion to what we know and address the new challenges and change. A new norm will follow and rural Australia is best suited to rise to the challenge, a simplified life where we are already witnessing the following:
Innovation and Specialisation
Incredible examples within our local region has been demonstrated as business pivots, manifesting new modalities of trade, demonstrating creativity and expansion as collective minds scaffold the community to new and exciting products, servicing a new need.
Local businesses have harnessed fused energies and excelled in demonstrating new strengths and a fresh ability to respond and adapt. A perfect example includes the introduction of “Bunker boxes” (well done!), clever take-away (delivered with a smile and no touch), superb hampers as gifts and presents, online versions of businesses abound, the embrace of fresh flowers and local small business demonstrating a talent for a new, modern, flexible approach.
Community has been strengthened, the human need to offer support for each other is evident, the awareness of those whom are struggling, and the kindness of offering a hand, nicely demonstrated locally by the ‘pay it forward’ coffee for our health and emergency professionals (another congrats to local business here!).
There is indeed a silver lining if we look for it, the power to manage what we can well and creatively. Consider how to be enraptured by the things that are truly us, taking some extra time for others, for ourselves, how to connect and contribute where I am able, to embrace the gift of being at home more and truly mindful of the treasures within reach.
In the face of these changes certain elements come to the fore, namely how we make personal choices to vest in life, live through our values, enjoy movement and sports, and plan for our future.
Choices for a Future
We all are responsible and choosing our path forward. THINK for yourself, for your loved ones, pay attention to our lives and the situations you are experiencing and plan a working pathway that fits with our community and your own personal needs. We can practice acceptance of the numerous changes, grow together and embrace a new future, but stay informed and equipped to encompass your potential.
My wish for you all is a brighter future. Dr Amanda
Article Published in DOWNTOWN MAGAZINE, Issue 23.