What’s struck me, recently, is how my clients started using Yiddish in their conversations with me. They’re not so much kvetching (that’s Yiddish for complaining), as trying to find words to describe this extraordinary experience.
Living and working through a pandemic. English just doesn’t capture it. You don’t have to be Jewish or from New York (they don’t fit into either category) to know there’s something wonderful about Yiddish. It’s onomatopoeic.
Here’s what I’ve been hearing:
- They’re enjoying not having to schlep (take a tedious journey) into work.
- They’ve become adept at schmoozing (making small talk) online.
- They’re staying shtum (quiet) about the things they’ve been unhappy about. There’s enough going on. They don’t want to kvetch.
- And, especially in the early days, it was such a schemozzle (a state of chaos and confusion) at their workplace.
They didn’t say kvetch, I added that one. The point is, I don’t recall them ever using Yiddish before and I didn’t hear it so much this past week. We’ve all adjusted pretty quickly to working from home.
Still, I’ll bet you’ve had a verklempt (overwhelmed) moment since lockdown. And if so, welcome to the club.
Verklempt is usually associated with grief. While most of us are resilient and have been fine much of the time, this pandemic living is exhausting. It’s brought about a form of collective grieving.
The increased use of Yiddish is evidence of the heightened emotions we’ve all been feeling.
With lockdown restrictions beginning to slowly lift around the world, it feels like there’s a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. But we still don’t have immunity, and the true economic cost, let alone the mental health toll, won’t be known for a while. It’s not time to let our guard down yet.
Please continue to take good care of yourself.
And on that note, if you, or your HR Director, is interested in making sure you’re minimising the stress and maximising resilience at your workplace, I can help. Schedule a quick chat with me here to learn more. My clients have found this helpful and I wanted to offer you the same opportunity.