We are going to show our age in this essay!
We both grew up as Baby Boomers, spending hours playing and creating with our Etch-A-Sketch (if you don’t know what one is, click on the link).
Using two knobs, you can create pictures and designs that get etched on the screen. When you want to erase it, you simply turn it over, gently shake, and the etching disappears. Then you turn it over and make something new.
By analogy, we see this time of navigating through the global COVID-19 pandemic as an Etch-A-Sketch time for humanity, and for all of us individually.
Our world has been turned upside-down and has shaken to our core much of what we once knew. The picture we had drawn about our life suddenly became hazy and poorly drawn.
As we attempt to redraw a new picture you, like us, are probably wondering what the new picture will look like. Will what you think is your new picture soon be turned up-side down and erased just as fast? Our collective dis-ease is palpable, yet we all have an urge to draw a new picture we love because that is our nature as Creators.
This time will always carry a distinction for those of us living through it. Life will be known as “before the virus” and “after the virus.” This is much like other traumatic times that have set before-and-after markers: before-and-after 9/11; before-and-after “the war” (pick one); before-and-after “Brexit,” etc.
We are currently in the “between time”—between the picture of life as you knew it and whatever the new picture you will draw. Not knowing what the new picture looks like is filled with anxiety and ripe for drama and reactivity.
A team member recently shared a story symbolic of the situation:
“I got seriously triggered the other day and, sadly, it lasted a couple days. I couldn’t seem to shake the mood I was in. Then my daughter (acting far too old for her age) looked up at me and asked, “Do you need a reset?” I looked over at her and said, “Yep – thanks!”
“Turns out she does listen from time to time. I got hugs from both the kids, I apologized for my attitude, they forgave me, and I was able to start my day over.”
When we received this email, we immediately thought of the Etch-A-Sketch moment and then the next day we saw an article in our local newspaper with the headline “Resetting Normal” and the illustration was, to our surprise, of an Etch-A-Sketch!
No matter what you label this time; a reset, an etch-a-sketch moment, or the do-over idea we wrote about last week, the concept is the same. You can always start again. You can always redraw the picture you want for your life.
The question is, what do you want to remember that you drew on your Etch-A-Sketch when you remember this period of your life?
As a client of ours so powerfully put forward in an essay targeted to this time, “When we look back, let’s be proud of what we’ve become.”
This powerful inquiry is beginning for our world, nations, and our communities. Let it first begin at a personal level by asking yourself: “How do I want to emerge from this in-between time?”
Begin drawing your new picture now. Remember that as you learn and adjust to this evolving moment, you can always redraw a new picture of your life. You can always begin again.