Sales of sweatpants up. Sales of suits down. Standards are shifting. Selections from drawers and closets are simply not the same in our virtual and remote worlds.
Expectations are different, too. Tardiness to a training, once taken as a sign of disrespect, now simply means Alex had to let their dog out to pee at the last minute.
Logically we know that in the context of the coronavirus our ideas of how we must perform cannot remain the same. But it isn’t easy. We still want what we want when we want it and when we said Friday was the deadline, we meant Friday.
We know we need a new perspective. We need to see our measures of merit differently because life is simply not the same. The lens of understanding is required when your friend just checked their bank balance and is afraid they can’t make Wednesday’s rent. When the father of three misses the meeting because the day care closed for COVID. And when loneliness lies beneath the cheerful smile on your 8 a.m. Zoom.
Before this year, we judged others and felt justified. We made plans and executed accordingly. We knew our standards for ourselves and for others. Now we question whether our two weeks of piled up laundry means we are lazy, depressed, or merely disgusting.
We might be able to call forth our compassion and forgiveness for others—”Others have it much worse”—but when our own standards start to slide south…
I can’t believe I forgot to attach the key document—twice! I’m such a f— up.
I’ve fed my family take out and leftovers for four days—am failing so bad in every way.
I’m not going to my niece’s indoor wedding reception. I know I’m being selfish.
My challenge is that the bills still need to be paid if I want my Netflix fix, that work project is not going away, and I do need an occasional shower.
What standards will we hold ourselves to in this new world? I like to think the standards don’t change whether we are in a pandemic or paradise. Be kind. Be loving. Be forgiving. And there’s no rule against extending the same generosity of spirit we show to others to ourselves. We all could use a little mercy now.
Might there be a benefit to adapting any of your performance standards during this time?
What do you extend to others that you don’t extend to yourself?
What values do you want to hold on to regardless of the conditions?