This week wasn't my finest week. I struggle anyway in lockdowns, but this week in particular wasn't flash. Perhaps it's just the sheer grind of it all – I don't even know what day we're up to.
The Captain's Log that started off as mildly amusing isn't remotely funny any anymore. Perhaps it was reading that the Police Commissioner had met with Destiny Church executive, Brian Tamaki, via Zoom to discuss plans with him for a protest gathering this weekend.
Or maybe it was the 45 new cases reported in one day. Or it could have been the huge gang funeral procession that blocked streets in West Auckland on Friday and was against every kind of public health directive…
When so many people are trying so hard to do the right thing and obey dumb rules and you have the Police Commissioner giving space to Tamaki and gangs being able to live their lives exactly as they please with no repercussions or consequences – it rather makes you wonder why you bother.
If we're not out of Level 3 this week, though, I'll bloody well be signing up to Tamaki's next protest and bouncing alongside that oleaginous rabble rouser on his Massey Ferg or whatever it is he intends to ride into town on. But still, and this was the constant refrain from people after the Canterbury quakes, there are so many people worse off than me. Like this texter to my show on Friday.
"I was a small business owner, had three individual businesses and I employed 20 staff but I've had to close all three over the last 18 months. I wasn't making millions but enough not to work for anyone else.
"I lost everything we'd worked for over the past 25 years. I've turned to beers and I'm not sure my why my wife and family put up with my shit. I think they're hoping I'll just come right. I've stopped contact with everyone I know, my wider family and friends are gone. I've now become a sad person and an alcoholic just to get through the day."
It was a real cry from the heart and I am absolutely certain he is not alone. And although I am not, nor will I ever be an entrepreneur, I remember hearing that most successful businesspeople have failed at least once before they make their millions and I called on the businessmen and women who were listening to give my poor texter some heart and hope. And they responded in their droves.
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Men and women who had been devastated by the 87 stockmarket crash or the GFC or just plain bad luck, who had lost not just their businesses but their homes, some who had stared down the bottom of a bottle and some who had contemplated suicide, and they had all clawed their way back.
Their suggestions were sensible – give yourself two jobs to do every day. One involving getting outside and getting some exercise, one a simple household task. Get in the habit of achieving again. Try to give yourself one alcohol-free day a week to start with because alcohol is a depressant and won't be helping in terms of the despair you are feeling. And they all concurred with what I told the texter.
The sort of person who enjoys the support of a good woman and a loving family, the sort of person who has the initiative and skills to build up three companies and employ 20 staff, can do it again. The businesses might be gone but your skills and attributes haven't. If this is you, I hope you remember that too.
Acknowledge the pain and loss that comes from losing what you built up through absolutely no fault of your own, but when you're done, put down the beersies and slowly but surely start doing what you do best again.
Covid and the lockdowns might have taken away your livelihood, but they haven't taken away what made you a successful high achiever in the first place.