(3 minute read)
I write that in reference to so many things.
2020 has become a year of ultimate reflection for many of us and it’s for a reason. It started with fire. When fire ripped through Australia in June 2019 and continued into 2020, the news of the devastation spread across the World. By mid February 46 million acres of land had been burnt including 80% of the Blue Mountains World Heritage area (reference CPD).
Unbeknown to us all at the time there was a virus born into existence in the small town of Wuhan, China. The first case of Covid-19 was reported in the UK on January 29th in my home City of York. In March we were ordered into national lockdown. Just two months later, the horrific murder of unarmed George Floyd by a police office in the states, opens the World’s eyes to white privilege in an explosive way.
The Great Pause during the lockdown period has left many of us with more time in our day to day lives’. Time to reflect and ponder. Not only is the World around us facing such unbelievable times but our awareness on Mental Health has risen to an all time high. This cannot be coincidence.
I’ll start with what is close to home for me as that is what I have most knowledge on currently and that’s the flexibility of our working environments. I’ve said for a long time now that the Monday to Friday 9 – 5 pattern no longer serves our lives’. The rise in people wanting to become self employed along with the rise of mental health related illness can also not be coincidence. Going to the same place of work, to sit at the same desk, at the same time each day does not suit all. It is a burden that many of us fight against. There becomes a need and want for more. Yes, for some this routine and ‘normality’ is supportive but for many it’s quite the opposite. Long gone are the days where the need to work office hours is necessary. The technology we have created needs to be utilised to it’s full potential. We have the ability to allow early risers to work early and night owls to work late. Urgent responses if required out of hours can be had through the wonders of mobile phones. A simple message of urgency when absolutely necessary is all it would take.
Our high streets have seen a huge decline over the past decade and for me the correlation between that and this increasing pressurised 9-5 environment is too closely related. I myself know that shopping on a packed and busy high street was no longer enjoyable. Queuing and rushing and not able to find a seat at lunch is not my idea of a relaxed day. There are far too many people in the World for this Monday to Friday 9-5 pattern to continue. It’s time for change. It’s time to allow flexibility and to calm the pressures, to understand what is truly urgent and what can wait until tomorrow. It’s time to inspire the next generation to behave differently. To rid themselves of the ‘weekend’ and working to live.
Our script is centuries old and it no longer serves nor is necessary.
We’ve always done it this way!
So what?! What the worst that could happen?
The next thing I wanted to comment on is the conversation around Anti-Racism. As a white woman I have been taking my time to learn and listen. I understand the privilege I have and that I’ll never know what it feels like to feel anxious around a police officer or to be talked to in an inhumane manner because of my colour. What I do know and what I can say, is that I am Anti-Racist. It is simply not acceptable that in this day and age there are still so many uneducated, narrow minded individuals that believe they are superior because they are white. I still don’t feel best placed to speak up but I’m sure as hell not staying quiet. Patricia C Washington recently shared a personal story on IGTV that hit me – to the guy in the lift and anyone who agrees with his behaviour, it is not OK!
I will continue to listen and learn.
2020 has been brought to us by the ‘Time for Change’ movement, issued by Mother Nature and Earth*. Quit the shit, it’s time to change.
*Total fiction obviously but feels appropriate