Eight months. Eight normal, peaceful months. That’s what my family enjoyed after moving from Sydney to our new home city of Christchurch. Then, in September of 2010, the first of our major earthquakes hit, and life was never the same. (That’s if you count adjusting to life in a new country with a new job, a newborn baby, and two other children under five as ‘normal’ or ‘peaceful’. I guess these things are all relative.)
Whether it’s the ongoing ordeal of the earthquakes or the sudden shock of 2019’s terrorist attack, the last decade of every Cantabrian’s life has been characterized by more than our fair share of disruption and trauma. Hopefully, somewhere amid these disasters, we’ve learned a few lessons that might help navigate the coronavirus pandemic. So here are eight brief lessons I’ve learned—one for each of those long-forgotten months before life in New Zealand was turned upside-down.
Go easy on yourself (and on others)
In a fast-paced society oriented around productivity, struggling to get things done can make us feel worthless. But these types of traumatic events have a significant effect on almost everyone’s capacity. Post-earthquake, there were days where my brain felt clouded in fog. There were days where, after pushing on for too long, I hit the wall. It happened to almost everyone. Continue reading