This week I learned that Boy Scouts was originally founded in 1907 by Lieutenant General Baden-Powell in England and not here in the USA like I always thought. Their motto, “Be Prepared” originated at the same time, and when Baden-Powell was asked “Be prepared for what?” he responded, “Why, for any old thing.”
The Scouts’ motto has resonated with me this week. Normally, I don’t give it much thought, but with everything opening up in this “new normal”, I’ve realized I’m not as prepared as I could be. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to finally be out and about, to see restaurants fully open and travel ramping up. Travel is what I am most excited about, as my first flight in over a year was this Wednesday.
Recently, I hosted my cigar and giggle water (aka whiskey) event, and I noticed the most bizarre thing: Friends and colleagues who have known each other for years had no idea how to greet each other! Do we shake hands, do we fist bump, or do we wave? Maybe we should do some odd secret initiation greeting and really shake things up. For me, I simply hugged everyone, well almost everyone 😊. One friend commented that it is almost as if we have forgotten how to be social in public. There may be some truth in his statement, but I believe we haven’t forgotten how to interact in our old norm; we are just writing new rules for the new norm.
Speaking of writing these new rules, I found my first plane ride since January 2020 to be a challenge. It’s been so long since I’ve flown that not only have I forgotten how to pack, but while going through security at the airport I had to think about that process and make sure I removed everything from my pockets and put it away, everything but my ID. I used to have traveling down to a science; Retro Abbey would book my flights and I would pack the night before. I knew what I needed to pack, when to leave for the airport, and what I needed once I got there. Now, over a year later I found myself looking at an empty suitcase (had to find it first) and no idea what to fill it with- I felt so unprepared! Eventually, I figured it out and packed for the occasion; as a golf trip requires a specific attire, I packed a few collared shirts and concluded that I should be good to go.
This all made me realize that the hybrid normal is tricky. Not only are we creating new rules, but we are living by the Scout’s motto and adapting on the fly. Our preparedness is helping us navigate these new norms, but we are also out of practice on many things; or at least I am!
“It pays to be prepared.”- Aesop
Be a good scout this weekend.