In today's show, my guest, professional development trainer and coach Jacqueline Dolly, notes that tough times are an opportunity to reset and renew our careers, our lives and our relationships. She shares some terrific insights about how reset on the professional front. But she's right that the implications are much wider-ranging.
I envision a phoenix rising up from a pile ashes. Maybe the ashes are your job or career. Maybe they represent a failed romantic relationship or a lost friendship. Maybe they represent our society at large. The question, I guess, is what comes next. We can't change the past, and we can't control the future -- but we can influence it. We can choose how we respond to everything that's happening all around us.
Besides starting Doomsday Happy Hour, I'm examining my relationships. I don't believe all of my pre-coronavirus relationships will be there when this is over. In fact, I know they won't all be -- some have already crumbled. I've let go of "friendships" if I thought that the friendship and caring weren't genuine. A few weeks ago I was at a personal low point; but I wasn't so trapped in my own head that I couldn't understand why some friends were unable to lend any support. They were struggling too. One friend, though, basically said that she couldn't be there for me then AND didn't care to be there for me ever, though I'd been there for her many times over the years. AND she made crystal clear that she didn't value me as a person. So that "friendship," which at one point I thought would prove lifelong, is over.
Sometimes, though, it's with people even closer to use than most friends -- our spouses, our parents, etc. -- with whom we struggle the most. As Father's Day and my wedding anniversary approach, I think in particular about my relationship with my husband, and how other couples are faring. I think of our friends who had to separate because he's an ER doctor who was treating covid patients day in and day out; she had to leave with their young child. I am overjoyed that this beautiful young family has been reunited. I think of couples who got along great pre-coronavirus though they each also needed some alone time -- alone time which they haven't had in months. Will these relationships bite the dust after years and years if not decades together? And then I think of my husband and me. I wonder if the fact that he's been gone 80-90% of the time throughout this crisis hasn't somehow been an advantage for us as a couple, as much as the kids and I miss him. At least we're not in danger of overdosing on one another....
In today's interview, Jacqueline notes that Charles Dickens' words "'it was the best of times, it was the worst of times'" perfectly fit this moment, and she's right. We see dramatic selfishness, yes, but we also see breathtaking generosity of spirit -- selfless doctors like our friend who separated from his family so he could continue working on the frontline, and doctors like James Mahoney and Alfa Saadu who, oceans apart, put off retirement and came out of retirement, respectively, and eventually paid the ultimate price so others might live. And people like Patrick Hutchinson, who carried Bryn Male to safety just last week in London.
Jacqueline says seize the moment. I hope to do so in every way. Here's hoping we can all do so.