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COFFEE, CATASTROPHE AND CHANGE

Coffee---positional

The Martini Mums was actually born out of a joke to lighten up a really dreadful morning. It was originally called The Martini Mums Guide to Surviving Dubai. Clearly that wasn’t going to fly, but you can see where I’m going with this. We were living in Dubai after my husband was recruited for a fantastic new role. We’d packed up our four and six-year-olds ready for yet another adventure.

Sadly the Global Financial Crisis decided to interrupt the party, and a group of us ended up one morning at our favourite café waiting to hear whose husbands had been sacked on the “day of the long black knives”. There was no humanity in it. They guys were called individually into the boss’s office and either given a termination letter or told they were staying.

What I have always adored about women is that, no matter whether we’re besties or not, we come together when the chips are down. So that horrid morning when some of us were facing the serious prospect of having to leave Dubai, we joined together and drank coffee, talked about options and waited for the phone calls from our hubbies. Some were good and some were not. There were tears, for sure there were tears, but there was also plenty of laughs as we shared the load and worked out how best to tackle the next challenge. And then the magic happened. We started talking about all of us needing some “guide” to weathering Dubai. A land of opportunity, but a pretty difficult one to navigate at times.

And I suggested that given our group rather enjoyed a drink or two, and given some of the issues around alcohol in the Middle East, we should call the guide the Martini Mums.

It was a great thought starter. The crew started sharing all the different tips and tricks we’d gathered during our time in Dubai and there was an amazing amount of information. So there it was, grouping of ideas to help cope with unplanned change. They were all very practical, but sometimes when the big picture is looking frightening the details can be reassuring because THEY can be tackled.

What this moment also confirmed for me was that, no matter how much you plan, we are all living now in a constant state of flux and chaos. And that is ok. In chaos there are patterns which we can identify and work with. We can use the chaos and change to our advantage.

Martini Mums is about helping see those patterns and managing the change that generates them. About being comfortable that you can use change rather than having it abuse you. What I’ve learnt is that everyone manages change in their own way – there is no “one size fits all”. By sharing our experiences and the things we have learnt along the way, hopefully we can make that next change – big or small – a  positive experience and not something to dread.

Melissa.


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