When I was young, I remember one of my favourite merry-go-rounds (or carousels for Americans) was the ladybird ride at Butlins, Clacton on sea. It was free, and I spent many happy and carefree hours on it over the course of my holiday there. I loved the music, the characters and the fact I could go on it whenever I wanted without need for money.
In later years, I used to marvel at the colours and ornate designs as merry-go-rounds morphed into stunning carousels with horses; the lights and music creating a magical world of wonder; the horses carrying their riders to exotic new lands.
Carousels as we now know them were inspired by jousting competitions in the middle ages and by the early 18th Century, they could be seen at fairgrounds throughout Europe
Nowadays, sadly my experience of carousels is usually limited to waiting for luggage at airports and for many people work is a merry-go-round where we jump on and go round and round chasing contacts, sales and profits in an endless cycle.
Therefore, how merry really is the merry-go-round? One of the benefits of this challenging season is that many people have been given the gift of jumping off the merry-go-round and allowing themselves to refocus on what truly matters to them. Yes, there have been some deeply sad times and some painful experiences. Yet, as with any time of change there are also opportunities to pause, to breathe and to refocus.
Some have been freed from the frustration of the daily commute, others have discovered afresh the way the sun hits different parts of the garden throughout the day. It has been interesting and sometimes inspiring to see the different social media posts of what people have achieved during lockdown whether a new hobby, creating artisan bread or some new musical accomplishment.
there are also opportunities to pause, to breathe and to refocus
Time to adjust
When we jump off the merry-go-round, we can find refreshment and enjoyment. It can take a while to adjust and to find peace again from the noise and the dizziness, but we can experience the wonder afresh of relationships without hurry, connecting with people instead of networking and enjoying long walks that take us somewhere instead of just going round and round.
Taking into account your pre and post lockdown experiences, what are you going to change going forward? What will you do differently? What will you keep?