“The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was, is lost…”
Those immortal words kicked off an epic fantasy adventure (Lord of the Rings, for the curious). And just like Frodo and gang, 365 days ago we were told that it's a dangerous business to go out of our doors. So we didn’t.
Unlike Frodo and gang, for the most part, we stayed at home. We worked from home, exercised from our garden, socialised from our couch and fine dined from our kitchen.
This blog started as a way to document, fly on the wall style, how a business can function and run in such extraordinary conditions. The truth is that it has been sometimes difficult, often frustrating and mostly ‘business as usual’.
Looking back at our previous blog posts we complained about Zoom fatigue and dodgy haircuts, praised flexibility and collective spirit, and mostly allowed ourselves to rant, rave and ramble about all things Covid. Some blogs were insightful and wise, others just an unedited stream of consciousness.
Reflecting on it all can be a little depressing. There is a stinging clarity in seeing everything we have missed. Some have lost loved ones, others have spent considerable emotional energy worrying about their own health and those close to them. On top of that we have all experienced cancelled weddings, birthdays, away days and skiving-off-work-early-on-a-Friday-for-drinks days.
But there is also something cathartic about looking back on this period and saying you have lived through it, worked through it, endured it and come out the other end.
If tough times make tough people, then uncertain times make resilient people.
It is true to say that much that once was is now lost. But in the process, we have found so many other things along the way. New hobbies, new working patterns and priorities, new skills. Some of us have even ticked ‘write an online blog’ off the bucket list.
In one of the most famous quotes of all from JRR Tolkien:
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”