Certainty in Uncertain Times
Updated: Mar 8, 2021
One thing is certain at the moment, and that is that life is very uncertain. From whether your child will be in school this week or next, if going on holiday will be a thing in 2021, or if you’ll be able to get a takeout coffee from your favourite venue. I know the latter two are rather ‘21st century problems’, but uncertainty in any daily routine and life, whatever that is, is mentally exhausting. I feel very lucky to have a job and a healthy child, and somehow to have managed the working from home, home schooling challenge and still kept moderately sane. That sanity has been well fed by the amazing landscape I live in and the small but very meaningful interactions I have had with my friends, family and local people. I am more certain now, in these uncertain times, that human contact is essential and that wilderness, peace, nature, the outdoors, and often splendid isolation in those places, feeds my heart and soul and keeps me sane.
About this time last year I walked up to my local stone circle on a cold blue skied day and made a short two minute video piece to my phone camera saying what I would do if I was selected to become part of the Homeward Bound 6 cohort. This was my application to a global leadership programme for women in STEMM (Science Technology Engineering Maths and Medicine). Little did I know what was about to befall the World and the impact on my own and everyone’s lives. In the summer I heard I’d been selected for #TeamHB6, rather shocked and uncertain about the challenge that lay ahead I accepted and then kept rather quiet. What did a global leadership programme mean when the World was in lockdown, and especially one that culminated in a three-week voyage of discovery to Antarctica. People were dying, losing their jobs and their livelihoods and I was considering self-development and a trip to Antarctica; all of which came at a cost that I needed to fundraise. Now certainly did not feel like the time for that.
Certainty came with a commitment of support from my boss, belief in the Homeward Bound vision, and acknowledgement that this was an amazing opportunity for me. That belief in me gave me the support I needed to commit. And in my mind, there was still plenty of time for the global problems to subside, the pandemic had waned over the summer months; fundraising and other things had time to progress. Yet here we are a year on and next week the 12-month global leadership programme kicks off. I find myself embarking on a journey with 100 other women in STEMM from around the globe on what promises to be an exciting and challenging journey. We of course have no certainty that our leadership programme will culminate in an Antarctic voyage, although we all hope it will, and our fundraising efforts feel slightly uncertain and tempered by this. But we are ready for the challenge. On International Women’s Day, as I reflect on the past year, I am more certain than ever that we do need more women at the global leadership table to really make a difference; and that NOW is definitely the time for action and to #choosetochallenge.