It was only a few weeks ago when Work/Life balance meant being able to leave the office and be home in time for dinner or being able to catch a recital or soccer game after school. Instead of taking our work home with us, we have taken work into our home. Creating balance has been replaced with creating boundaries. When does our work end and home begin?
Prior to the pandemic, I shared time between a WeWork, my kitchen table and a favorite coffee shop. Depending on what I had to do dictated where I went. Now I spend the majority of my day in my “COVID-Cave” which is an old secretarial desk in a corner of the basement. Originally, the arrangement was less than ideal but it has been working out surprisingly well. Sometimes all we need is a small space of our own.
The initial fallout of this crisis was devastating and a direct hit to my personal economy. Chaos ensued as clients and contacts realized that their businesses might have been able to sustain a recession but they weren’t pandemic proof. However, our collective humanity started to emerge during this time as well. The professional distance that I maintained with my clients was replaced with a social connection in the span of usually one pandemic panic call.
While our professional world was collapsing, we suddenly inherited the responsibility of teaching our children as well. If you want to have more productive sales calls, have your seven-year-old sit next to you coloring while on the phone. If I wanted her to make the best of this situation then I needed to do the same.
COVID-19 created an entirely new lifestyle for me. At first, it was nothing but chaos. a few weeks in and a new routine has now set in and I am very happy with the direction it is going. Both personally and professionally the difference in my day is astounding. Challenges still exist for sure. Teaching my seven-year-old math is excruciating at times but we are doing the best we can. However, the positives are outweighing the bad which is shocking to me.
The exercise equipment that was untouched for months now is used daily. I am waking up later and working out more. Didn’t see that scenario ever happening. I am doing less work but getting more done that is important to me. A shift has occurred that might be irrevocable. That thought is both exhilarating and terrifying.
Decisions seem to be happening at rapid pace in the business world and personal life decisions are being slowed down. Sales cycles have gone from months to days. However, we are taking the world a little slower at our house. An happy bit of happenstance in an other wise unpredictable time.
Social distancing has brought us closer together. As someone who has longed for the family life of yesteryear and tried to avoid the need for constant motion with events, teams, and activities this has been an unintended consequence of the COVID pandemic. I always wondered if my daughter was going to remember the moments we shared or just the running from soccer to ballet to art to random events. This public health crisis has put so much more into perspective.
Our days are hectic just like everyone else. The end of the day has become special. Clients are not being met for cocktails. School activities aren’t happening. Gym classes are replaced by individual training. Instead, we gather at the table and pull out a deck of cards. Music occasionally interrupts us, but for the most part, it is just us. We talk as a family, compete and laugh.
Uncertainty about what tomorrow will bring exists for me every night. I am confident though no matter what the world looks like after this moment in time, my daughter will look back and smile at the moments she shared.