A couple of years prior to my quitting my job, in the corporate world, where I invested 23 + years of my life, I had registered my Not for Profit, and my ‘Work From Home’ (now popularly known as WFH and trending) became the new normal.
Today, when many organizations all over the world are looking at WFH or virtual offices, as a way forward, it’s encouraging! It gives hope to families for them to spend time together, help each other with home work and care for the young and the old. Learn a bit from each other and learn about each other! Life could get back to normalcy, without the aggressive ambition to do more and the unnecessary pressures, and the belief, that if one sits longer in one’s office, one is considered committed and diligent! For folks who have to travel hours to work, rush for last minute meeting, miss lunch and for those folks, who are so exhausted by the evening, that dinner is a luxury and story telling to the young, an ordeal, I think WFH is a blessing!
Remote work could actually be very effective and much more rewarding for both, the employee and the employer. Clearly, because we get time to think of new ideas in a different environment-our home, we have our defined timelines and we abide by them because inherently we are disciplined, we have time to think and read, which we otherwise don’t when we are sitting in meetings or in our office, we have time for ideation as we look around without interruptions of meetings and clearly because as human beings, we want to honestly achieve, be relevant in an organization and also not let ourselves down. We are self respecting folks who know and understand the deliverables.
Now, its about time, we appreciate the nicer things in life, time to engage and be with our families and just understand our priorities. And I say this because, in the hindsight, the past 4 years, gave me time to spend with my family, particularly my mother, who unfortunately passed away a few months ago, in December 2019. Since I started to work from home, we watched more movies together in the theatre, went to book stores and read, enjoyed our lunches with friends like family. As a family we went out for dinner more often and travelled around the world many times more. We spent time doing things which I could not do regularly earlier, either I was in office or I was on flights on work, at times 4 cities in a matter of 6 days!
I still remember one year I was traveling so frequently, that I was confused, which day of the week it was or which city I was in! Much like the memes today during COVID-19, which read -What day is it and folks are given 4 options -Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and they end up saying, “I don’t know”. Exactly!! When I look back, a well thought of decision to have quit from a 9-6, back to back travel, spending less time with family, and therefore today, it’s much easier for me to adjust to being home all day.
Since the lockdown, the day begins, with me, standing at my window, seeking blessings while looking up to the blue sky with glistening white clouds, capturing the crisp energy, breathing in the air which feels fresher and calmer – in Mumbai. Looking at the radiant copper pod trees (yellow gulmohar) in full bloom swaying in the breeze and listening to the birds chirping and unfeignedly unwinding. I can also spot different birds, which I earlier did not. I am in between designing a new kitchen appliance, most needed now than ever before, hope to get it manufactured soon. I have registered for online courses (life is a never ending learning process) and I am meditating everyday at 12 noon sharp! Have been watching the daily news, reading newspapers online, learning about Covid-19 (relevant), trying to eat on time (important) and spending time introspecting (necessary). Advising friends on a way forward for their new ventures, branding and designing. Writing, organizing my thought process and working on my cooking skills,. After many months of staying away from chatting with friends and family on phone, have got back to saying a hello, FaceTime and of course glance through forwards!
I am actually thinking, what if my mother was here today, we used to discuss a few prophesies for the world! In the 60’s and 70’s, life was simple, realistic and worthy! Even life in the 80’s was fine, its in the last 2 decades or so, enough global warming because of our greed, chaos because we don’t know what it means to live within a framework and so much wastage, because we think everything will last forever. My mother is watching us go about doing our chores and probably wondering if only, we had taken slower strides, led a simpler life and ate more healthy,! Why is it necessary to see cars flying, planning life on Mars (isn’t our Earth good enough), building more than required and forgetting what fresh vegetables grown naturally without pesticides mean. Manufacturing irrelevant products, flooding our oceans with plastic, cutting down trees and just doing what ever we want or wish to do!
As I watch and read, concerned about what is happening around the world, the sadness, the anxiety and the sheer helplessness every where. I recognize that each one of us, have our own stories, we have our own commitments and it’s not as though we are all on the same plane, facing identical challenges or having to deal with similar issues. Each one of us is affected by the unhappiness we see around us, unemployment, loneliness and loss. At the same time, I also see the sheer willpower and determination to fight back. I see oceans and rivers now clean with fresh water. I see images of dolphins swimming fearlessly, peacocks dancing, animals venturing out to see what it is like to be on their own, pretty flamingoes, different birds chirping and the beautiful blue skies. Watching children learning online and spending time indoors with parents. I see folks doing selfless service and communities coming together at large. I see amazing opportunities of reconnecting, engaging and collaborating with each other. We are fighting a crisis, known as the ‘unknown enemy’ but today I see the world coming together, challenging this ‘unknown enemy’, and working towards winning both, the current battle and eventually the war!
Could we take a leaf from what we have learnt this past month, embrace and take advantage of the changes which would benefit all of us. These are uncertain times and therefore we need to live in the moment, harness our creativity and going forward, reinvent our life. Life will not be the same again, is a given, so let’s see this sudden situation, as an opportunity, after all, every downside or downturn has a upside or an upturn for the better and if we are strong, confident and optimistic, this too shall pass! Could we make fundamental changes to the way we consume, relook at earth’s carrying capacity and the planet’s life support systems. We are obligated to act on behalf of generations to come, and therefore the resolutions we make today, will influence the health, happiness and fortunes, of all persons in future and ours as well!
My mother is probably saying, “PAUSE, it’s time to REBOOT, take a step back and GO”!
P.S: On checking the Cambridge dictionary ‘Reboot‘ -‘when the holder of the intellectual property discards all existing continuity and starts from scratch, it is known as rebooting.’