Digital Exhaust(ion)

Do you know the moment when relief and tiredness merge into one experience? The moment before you realise that this new achievement is not the crest it is a shoulder on the ongoing climb. Take a pause to look back and celebrate what we have done. Then we must go on.

I wrote earlier in this pandemic about the challenges of fatigue. Across many domains we are now seeing that fatigue play out. Here in Victoria, we experienced a rollercoaster 48 hours where it briefly looked liked our reopening from lockdown would be delayed by a new outbreak, only to experience two days of no cases or deaths and the announcement of the new path out of lockdown. Devastation turned to doughnuts.

In the intervening 24 hours of disappointment across a range of connections, you could see the impact of the fatigue. Everyone is tired of work, of restrictions, of their narrow relationships, of lost sleep, of lost dreams, of grief, of worry for friends, family, colleagues, community and more. We needed hope and change, just like we needed to do all the work to make that hope and change possible.

This is not a small voice
you hear.

Sonia Sanchez, This is not a Small Voice

One benefit of blogging through the last nine months has been to be able to look back on the rollercoaster journey and the reiteration of themes of hope, love, poetry, connection, frustration, remote working, collaboration, community, loss and work. Sharing all that has also fostered critical interactions, conversations and support that has helped me through this journey so far. That digital exhaust is a record of the exhaustion we all feel. However, it is also a record of all that has worked, all we needed to do together and the work that still lies ahead.

We are exhausted. However, the pandemic is not over, our organisations still need to continue to change and adapt. There are great big global challenges and small personal ones that we still need to address together. The hope, today as ever, is that we can come together and start to do that work.

Earlier in the pandemic, I referenced Emily Dickinson’s Hope is a thing with feathers a great deal. Let’s go back to Emily now for the current air of celebration and the rowing in Eden yet to come:

Wild nights – Wild nights!
Were I with thee
Wild nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile – the winds –
To a Heart in port –
Done with the Compass –
Done with the Chart!

Rowing in Eden –
Ah – the Sea!
Might I but moor – tonight –
In thee!

Emily Dickinson, Wild Nights

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