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Enjoy: #OneWord to support resilience

Back in January, when I thought I already knew how to wash my hands properly, I chose enjoy as my #oneword for 2020.

The idea was to use enjoy to shape my approach to the year's adventures. I didn't imagine those adventures would be confined to my country, my city, and my home.

It hasn't always been easy to find things to enjoy in the past few months. My job had been based around face-to-face relationships, and delivering learning, coaching, and consultancy in person. Uncertainty and the unknown have tested my resilience.

Which brings me back to my #oneword. I've realised its potential as a tool to increase my resilience, especially by supporting my optimism, my decisiveness, and my presence. (These factors are included in the 2020 Global Resilience Report.)

My February progress report reflected on simple pleasures, discernment, and playing to my strengths. In this progress report, I've made the connection between what I #enjoy and my resilience.

Boiled egg in egg cup with a picture of bear playing cricket
I'm optimistic this batsman will hit a six.

Enjoy the simple pleasure of a boiled egg

For a while there, buying eggs - or any food - felt complicated and gave rise to pessimism: the supermarket queue would be long, the shelves would be empty, the shoppers might infect me.

I made the choice to be optimistic that the queues would move, the shelves would have food on them, and the shoppers would comply with social distancing. And so it was.

Being at home gave me time to rattle around in the cupboards and rediscover some charming crockery.

I remember this lunch vividly, as I enjoyed eating the egg and looking at the eggcup with its dear little batsman.

Stone slab inscribed with a poem by A T Campbell
Poem by Alistair Te Ariki Campbell

Enjoy the freedom to make decisions

Being at alert level 4 meant being in lockdown—we didn't have our usual freedom of movement. I made a point of exercising my freedom to make decisions where I could.

In February I wrote about being more discerning in what I read, watched, and listened to. This has been useful over the past few months, helping me decide when to engage or disengage with news.

In recent weeks, I've been able to make decisions about where I work: at home, or in the office. This image captures a day when I decided to work at the office, and decided to enjoy the late autumn sun on Wellington's waterfront at lunchtime.

Hilary, Dinah, and Kristen on screen during a Zoom meeting.
We got used to seeing ourselves on screen.

Enjoy learning new skills

The pandemic response created both opportunity and necessity for learning new tools and technology. But it didn't give much lead time!

At The Training Practice, that fast learning curve highlighted our different learning styles and our strengths. Hilary kept the conversation open, Kristen explored technology and solved problems, and I added structure. We had twice-daily screen meetings as a team. We developed and delivered learning on screen. As we did so, we began to read reports on the challenges of virtual meetings, and their potential to drain energy.

The drain for me was seeing myself: I learnt to develop and embrace my virtual presence, both as a colleague and a facilitator. Some of what I had to overcome was firmly linked to vanity and coming to terms with my image on screen. Another part was about accepting the medium and being as engaged and present on screen as I am in person. I'm really grateful to the workshop participants whose learning experience during lockdown helped me learn to work in a new way.

I'm aware that my ability to enjoy life in the first half of 2020 speaks of privilege in many senses. I hope that as you read this, you can recall or look forward to something you enjoy.


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