I set this site up a few months ago and started writing content about building a new sustainable future, with business playing a starring role. Then along came Covid and it all went out of the window. Partly because my daughter was no longer at nursery, my freelance work disappeared and I found myself with no time to do anything except entertaining a 3 year old and keeping us all fed. And partly because it was hard to find the headspace to think about anything else or to believe in its relevance in the midst of the turmoil. A few weeks in, I’ve felt a bit of a shift. We’re settling in to life at home, grown to accept the situation and the uncertainty, and I’m trying to find small pockets of time to focus on the things I was doing before. It turns out that the name I chose for this site seems fitting. We’re living through a strange time which has the potential to unleash huge change. Is it possible that this could be the catalyst to reimagine the way that we live and work? In the atmosphere of momentum that was built during 2019 with the Climate Strikes and Extinction Rebellion, could this be the event that proves that we can make the big changes that our planet so desperately needs, and fast?
Talking with friends in the days leading up to and at the start of lockdown, we often agreed that it felt a little like living through a disaster movie. We didn’t know what was coming, how concerned we should be or how we should be behaving. Yet just a few weeks in and it’s amazing how quickly things have become the new normal. Queuing 2m apart to get in to a shop, not being able to go out to eat, being at home all day every day. It might not always be easy, but it’s amazing how adaptable we humans are. One of the strangest things though is not being able to plan. The furthest we are thinking ahead at the moment seems to be to work out what we will be eating for the week ahead. It’s been a long time since we had a proper holiday, but it feels futile to talk about when and where we might go. Our diaries are empty and there’s no point in making any plans. Living in London, I am constantly putting in reminders to book tickets for something, to check out a new child-friendly museum or try out a new restaurant. All these things have fallen away. Instead, each day we notice how the plants in our garden have grown in the past 24 hours, the new flowers and shoots emerging. Our weekly vegetable delivery is a highlight. We take each day as it comes – another blank canvas to fill. It feels as though we are living life on pause, in suspended animation. While I’m as excited as the next person for restrictions to lift, I can’t help but feel that maybe the silver lining to a longer lockdown is the increased distancing from ‘life before’. The longer that we have away from our old behaviours, the better the chance that we might question them and find ways of living that are more sustainable, in every sense of the word. Sustainable for the planet, sustainable for social justice and equality, sustainable for physical and mental wellbeing. What if we used this pause to start the conversation about how we can shape the future?