New Beginnings, Next

New beginnings - what's next

A year ago, I recorded a Vlog; What now, what next, what after?  Well, we’ve done the now and we are now thinking about what next.  In Wales we are starting to see an easing of restrictions from what has been dubbed LD3.  For my family we managed through Lockdown One, enjoyed a brief period of freedom over summer, held our breath through local restrictions, groaned at the Welsh Firebreaker and barely managed to hold it together in Lockdown 3.  Twelve months of not normal, not knowing and every single part of our lives being changed.


The Pandemic killed my business.  I am a change practitioner and getting a group of people in a room round a flip chart was suddenly illegal. In April 2020 I started a new business with four other co-founders, two of whom I have still not met in person.  4iforum was a direct response to a crazy situation where all the rules of business no longer applied.  Next for 4iforum is working out how we take a business model that was designed in a virtual space and move to a blended space that merges in-person and virtual participation.


My what next is hoping we get our vaccines soon and dealing with the fall out of impact of the pandemic on my two kids.  Both my kids are autistic.  Both suffer from anxiety in normal life.  My daughter does not cope well without structure and routine, so home schooling was a nightmare. My son, trying to manage GCSE’s and google classroom, had a fit/panic attack in mid-January which triggered muscular and vocal tics which are impacting his daily function.  This is the hidden story of the panic, how all the support structures for people with disabilities just… stopped and has yet to restart.


I know the impact on my mental wellbeing has been dramatic.  My ability to cope with anything “more” is limited.  I have no capacity to deal with additional problems and I have begun struggling with insomnia, a sure signpost that things are not well.


As I contemplate new beginnings, I have to confess I am left with more questions that revelations.

  • How do we as a nation reconcile the loss and process the grief?
  • When will I get to see my family again?
  • How many years will we need to wear masks for and socially distance?
  • Will my original business revive and be restored?
  • When will my husband return to working in an office?
  • How will I be able to cope being in a room full of people again?
  • How will I manage using public transport again, heck, will I ever use public transport again?
  • Is there a future for 4iforum – can we make it work?
  • Should I give up on being self-employed and get a job?
  • What do we do if my son’s tics are a long-term condition? Will they stop him from being able to drive?
  • What long term impact has this situation had on my daughter’s wellbeing? Can equilibrium be restored?
  • How will my daughter cope with the change to high school?
  • How will my son cope with going to college?
  • How will my dog cope with me being away from home for work?


I guess in truth for all of us the new beginning is simply that none of us know what comes next. We are all pioneers in a new land and there is no map.  We have survived the stormy sea crossing and have arrived at a new shore. What next requires us to be prepared to be fearless is search of a new life, establishing a new settlement in an unfamiliar territory.  It will require us to innovate and trailblaze.


And like the last twelve months… we will, because we must.

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