Yes, we are in times of uncertainty, significant stress and hardship and it is completely normal and human to feel anxious, scared and worried.
You are not alone in this. Every person is going to be directly or indirectly affected by the COVID 19 pandemic - personally and professionally. We are all in this together, and together we can get through it.
I've often said, breakdowns lead to breakthroughs and this event in front of us is no different.
Over the past year at least, our community has been through drought, bushfires, extreme heat, poor air quality, floods and now this.
I'd like to share an experience I had this week to demonstrate the purpose and value of this article for you.
While I was waiting in a queue, with about 100 others facing uncertainty and hardship (on various different levels), I was surprised to see a young man wearing an apron armed with a notepad and an eftpos machine. He was from Janeks Café up the road and he started asking the people in the queue if they wanted to purchase a takeaway coffee.
I thought to myself, "good on you" and when he got to me, I was happy to order a coffee and support his initiative. To me, he was doing exactly what we all should be doing - focusing on and actioning what we can do.
His café was reduced to take away orders only under current government restrictions, but yet rather than wait for customers to come to his shop, he took his shop to the customers. He saw an opportunity and he tried it - he must have walked away with 30 plus orders and we all got some sustenance in the coolness of autumn.
At this time and among all the news coming to us via the media, the conversations are based on what we have lost, what is no more and what is shutting down.
Perhaps we should be changing the conversation to be what we have, what can we do and what we can build? The circumstances in front of us are uncontrollable - we should be asking ourselves what are the opportunities here, what projects can I now turn to, what can I do with the time I now have or how can I/we be sustained over the next period of time?
Challenging times bring out the best and worst in human behaviour. Right now is no different.
While waiting in line, and after finishing my coffee, two separate business owners then walked down the queue.
The first last lady was from Blooms of Bowral. She was a florist and was offering people a single flower to cheer up and brighten their day.
She asked for no money nor expected anything in return. She offered me a flower and I thanked her, declined it and asked her to give mine to someone more in need.
The second local business person was a lady from Mezza Bar. She was handing out pieces of chocolate fudge. The deal was exactly the same as the first lady.
Those of you who know me, understand chocolate is my biggest vice and I gratefully accepted the offering.
How wonderful for these two local business people, who must be facing the same feelings of anxiety, fear and stress, were able to rise above their own circumstances and reach out to help others.
Truly amazing and inspiring as it demonstrates how sometimes the small things we do can have a big impact.
When I was finished my work and out of the queue, I went to both of those businesses and bought a bunch of flowers for my wife (who has been working very hard to support our family recently) and bought some chocolate fudge (for me) as it is important to be kind to ourselves and others at this time especially.
Now might be a good time to ring a mate, a close friend, a family member and check in to see how they are.
Perhaps a small act of random kindness could be in order - do the dishes, a load of washing or a small project for someone else who is having a tougher time than you.
Read also: Let us know you're Open for Business