Exploring Resilience via Lifes Burning Issues

Tag: Thoughts (Page 1 of 23)

2020 to 2021

The clock ticked over from 1159 to 0000 then 0001, and 2019 turned into 2020 with everyone’s hopes resting on the fires ending. Nothing changed as that clock ticked over. The fires raged, people continued to suffer and thousands continued to rally to protect and support the community.

The clock kept ticking…… yes, the fires eventually went out, only to be replaced by floods and then then the COVID19 pandemic really kicked into gear globally. 

Each phase represented different professional challenges for many, myself included. 

I’ve participated in this, reflecting that I do so from a position of privilege in many ways. I’ve maintained secure employment in a position that enables me to contribute to helping others. In workplace that pivoted well and facilitated work from home arrangements. Not all my colleagues could, and many ( my fellow firefighters, police and ambulance and healthcare worker friends…. and all the other essential workers who had no choice but to keep society functioning) remained on the “front lines” responding daily to the needs of the community.

And here we are 366 days later (yes, because a year like this one needed an extra day!) and again we are waiting on the clock to tick over from 1159 to 0000 then 0001, this time with people’s  hopes resting on the end to COVID19.

I’m not one for “New Years resolutions”. My observation is that time is a continuum, and nothing in the world changes when that clock ticks over from Dec 31 to Jan 1, except maybe an attitude.

If you were desperate for the fires to end last year, what will you do about climate change? If you are desperate to end the pandemic, what will you do about wearing masks and following health guidance.

If you didn’t like the last 366 days, do something about in the next. Change will only come, one minute and one decision at a time. The clock is ticking and you have choices to make. 

That little act of kindness in the midst of chaos

They are simple words, however they can really mean a huge amount to someone!

I have had what many around me have described as “a very tough week”. I know that the week has had an effect on me… a couple of sleepless nights, a couple of headaches. There has been some fairly extensive active reflection going on in the middle of these circumstances, ensuring that I’m being consistent with my framework for how I wish to live my life, and that the actions that I am taking around the circumstances are in the best interests of everyone involved in them.

One key observation I can make is that while intellectually I’m pretty sure I’m in an OK place around the circumstances of this week, the physical symptoms are telling me that there is definitely a gap between where my head is at, and the realities of the stress that the situation is creating. Being aware of this is invaluable, because it is a reminder that I have to look after myself in the middle of all this, and that I’ll know when I’m back in balance.

You are probably wondering why though this post is titled “that little act of kindness in the midst of chaos?”

The week has been filled with contact points with others who know what is going on and have looked out for me, and enquired about how I am going in the circumstances. That type of support is always appreciated. However it was another little act of kindness that really hit me in the midst of this weeks chaos.

A  firefighting colleague, who is no longer in the firefighting industry,  who I have not seen or had any real contact with for a LOT of years,  reached out on Linkedin by endorsing me for some skills. A little random act of professional kindness, which I immediately sent a thank you message for…. but that was not the powerful act…. it was what followed.

Several minutes later my phone rang, and it was that  colleague who reached out to say thank you. Initially it was a thank you around the story of how I got here on this blog and the work of the Samuel Morris Foundation. He let me know that via a completely unknown connection he had been informed of the impact that our work in the drowning prevention space had on this unknown contact, and he wanted to say thank you for those efforts and the difference they make, to that person and to the broader community. Then he went further, and he referred back to some ancient history of us as fellow firefighters and a particularly traumatic set of circumstances that he had found himself in professionally all those years ago. He acknowledged that one night in the midst of his own little piece of chaos I had picked up the phone and rang to check on his welfare and he wanted to say THANK YOU for all the difference that made to him in that moment.

There is no way that this colleague could have known about the circumstances of this week, or the impact that his little act of kindness via an endorsement and a phone call would have on me today in the midst of my own little piece of chaos. However, those little words that he started and ended our conversation with THANK YOU have had a big positive impact on my day.

My question to you  is…… how often do you say THANK YOU with some real meaning? Is there someone you can think of today, that reaching out and saying THANK YOU for something they have done for you (even if it was 20ish years ago!) would be valuable (because you never know what might be happening for that person right now!).

THANK YOU, for taking the time to read this post…. now go say THANK YOU to someone who made a difference for you!

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