• KK

Pandemic Pivot

I’m a big fan of the pivot. The last few years of my life have been pretty dedicated to just that. I had a career, a life, a side hustle, all of the things a girl could want, and then they were sort of abandoned when I had to take the time to deal with a pretty significant head injury. Luckily for me, I had Big Tuna to watch over me, and to make sure I was doing the things I needed to do to get back to the person he thought I should be, or more accurately, the person he thought I would think I should be. Let’s be clear, I’m not the person I was. But I’ve been working pretty hard at becoming someone that I can be proud of in the now. I made a pivot. I’m still working at it. I’m still recovering, but I’ve changed course, and I like the direction in which I’m headed.

So… I’m not going to sugarcoat this: this whole global pandemic nightmare that we’ve been living the past twelve months is remarkably similar to living with a brain injury. The parallels are pretty striking. We are all stuck at home, little or limited access to health care, loss of taste and smell (I’ll tell you guys about that in another blog post), and a complete and total shut down of all the things that made up a life. No restaurants, no fitness classes, no shopping. The world, and our lives, sort of – stopped.

Despite the world putting itself into lockdown, there have been some incredible success stories of pandemic pivot:

The art gallery in Collingwood, Ontario that pivoted to sell “Zoom Art” for virtual backgrounds on Zoom calls.

The vodka distillery in Winnipeg, Manitoba that pivoted to manufacture hand sanitizer.

The Winnipeg mother and daughter duo that launched a charcuterie delivery service.

And, beyond business successes, real live people all over the world used this time to pick up new skills like learning to knit, speak Swahili, or play the piano. Me, I went back to school. It was actually a perfect opportunity when online learning became a “thing”. I couldn’t get myself to school or sit in a bright classroom otherwise. I used this lockdown time to get myself access to education that would have otherwise been impossible for me. That was my pivot.

All of this being said, I want to be very clear about this very important critical point: just because you haven’t found your pivot, or you’ve decided not to pivot, does not mean that you have failed at pandemic life. For some people, probably most people, this was an opportunity to slow down, look inward, and just stop doing for a while. And there is tremendous value in that. If you haven’t looked at it that way, take a few minutes today to stop and think about all the things you did not do. Now, instead of thinking about how much you miss them, think about how taking a break from those things either made you appreciate them more, or perhaps gave you the opportunity to do something else (even if that something else was doing nothing). Embrace the down time, friends. We all need to give ourselves a little grace. If you taught yourself Swahili, then I say good for you, but if you didn’t – I’m still proud of you for acknowledging that a perfectly acceptable pivot was the one you made to slow it all down.

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