Today (Friday) is my last day in my current job. After 7 years with the same federal agency, I will be moving on to another department as of Tuesday. Changing jobs while working full-time at home is weird. Typical rituals, like emptying your office, going for lunch, talking to colleagues one last time - even hugging them, closing your office door for the last time and physically handing in your badge, no longer exist. I emptied my office last March. We will go for drinks in a few weeks so that will be nice. Sure, I am saying goodbye to colleagues but on Tuesday, the only difference will be that I will have metaphorically changed the channel and there will be new people on the other side of the screen. It is a bit surreal to say the least.
The pandemic has robbed us of many of our rituals, where people got together to celebrate, mourn or mark key life moments. While things are slowly getting back to normal, there is a growing dichotomy in how we live our lives. I think we all have aspects of our lives where we are going about our routines pretty much as we did pre-pandemic, while in other areas of our lives, we are existing under the pandemic bubble, as we were when the pandemic started in March 2020. It is interesting, if not perplexing, to think that we can now go to concerts or shows and be in close interaction with people, yet there are no short-term prospects of physically going back to work. I have come to the realisation that this is no longer a pandemic reality but rather a changing reality. As the proportion of vaccinated people continues (hopefully) to increase, the rationale for staying in a virtual world no longer can be solely attributed to the pandemic but a societal choice and change in modus operandi, driven by personal preferences, (perceived higher) productivity, and better work-life balance. Being in management, I wonder about what we are losing in terms of social fabric and key intangibles that sustain long-term productivity and cohesion.
Boy! How far have I drifted away from art in this blog :)! Changing realities are all around us and it will be interesting to see how these will evolve in the various spheres of our lives, including work. How are you experiencing these changing realities?
September was a great month artistically. I participated in two exhibitions and painted quite a few new works of art. . Election night ended up being a creative night for me, as I completed two paintings while watching the results trickle in. The sky in Changing Realities (below) has some foggy characteristics, bringing about some mystery to the underlying landscape.
I just love the other painting I created that night - My Mind is Made Up. The colours are just popping off the canvas and I just love the layering on it. You may wonder how to determine whether a painting is done. I often ask the opinion of my kids to be honest and they give me great advice - they are becoming quite the art critics. My son Alex has such a good way to tell me, ‘Good mom but you should keep going’ :). The other main criteria is answering the question, would I hang this in my house on a permanent basis? And the answer for this one was a no brainer.
My head is full of artistic ideas for the coming months; I wish there were more hours in a day. Stay tuned for more information about what’s coming up. In September, I issued my first email to my distribution list. If you wish to subscribe, you can register on my website or just drop your email address in the comments. I am planning to do another email in November and there may or may not be some special surprise for those on the list :)