By definition, elastics snap back to their original shape.
Until they don’t.
Sometimes, stretched too far for too long, they simply remain limply in that extended state, unable to stretch much further, retain their previous shape or even meet a challenge in between. They’re done.
(Think well-used elastic waistbands).
As I check in on how my clients are doing these days, I am often hearing some variation of, “I can’t [or won’t] go back to the way things were before.”
Sometimes it’s an empowered message, delivered Thelma and Louise style. Sometimes it reflects a sense of frustration or defeat, particularly from those being expected, often by their workplace leaders, to retain a shape that no longer fits them. In those cases, it reminds me of what many women must have felt in 1945, having handled new jobs and responsibilities during the war and then been expected to return to their unpaid work at home with little fanfare or even recognition of the traumas they too had experienced in the previous years.
If you are being asked to resume a shape that no longer matches who you’ve become, I see you. And if you are someone expecting others to do that around you, be careful and kind.