By Katie Kennedy, Sales Manager
I am fortunate enough to be able to work from a warm and comfortable home. And my family is healthy and together. These are my greatest silver linings. There's no doubt, however, that social distancing has changed how we live our lives, and it can easily feel like everything is changing for the worst.
But there’s something reassuring about falling into a simple routine with the people you love. My partner, Greg, was working from home a couple of days a week until his company mandated everyone work from home all the time.
Other humans in the house include 15-year-old Jack, who is in high school, and Sarah Rose, who is 21 and in college. They are both doing the e-learning thing. I mention their ages, so you know they are self-sufficient. We don’t have to do much for them to keep living their lives as best they can right now. If the fridge is stocked, they are fine. And the fridge is stocked. Not in a “hoarding-because-the-world-is-ending” kind of way, but in a “making-their-favorite foods-is-the-only-thing-I can-control-right-now” way. So, we have all different types of deli meats, cheeses, and bread to please our different types of eaters. Sarah likes sourdough. Jack likes basic white bread. We have both.
I really enjoy everyone being together at home. We all wake up around the same time, though I am probably the last out of bed most days. We meander into the kitchen to begin our breakfast routines. Greg makes a fancy coffee. I like green or lemon ginger tea. Jack usually grabs an Uncrustable from the freezer and eats it frozen. Sarah pours some milk into a bowl of cereal.
We all move to our workstations and hope we can get the necessary bandwidth to accomplish what we need that day.
My emails now have less to do with my sales cycle, and more to do with a genuine interest in how my clients are coping with the current situation. My workday is generally a bit slower than it was three months ago. And while I love a busy day where I can hustle from one thing to the next, this has given me space and time to do the things I always wished I had time for. My inbox is at zero. My Dropbox is organized. I have had time to think creatively and do things I consider more strategic and thoughtful.
I notice that even though we still work full-time, the slower pace of the world around has, in some ways, been unexpectedly positive. It’s given us more quality time together as a family. Greg’s typical eight-minute skateboard break between meetings can now be eight (or, more often, 14) minutes spent with Jack. Silver lining.
Last night, I looked at my watch. It was 6:50 pm, and we were all still working. I went into everyone’s ‘office’ and said, “Turn off your devices! Meet me at the kitchen table!” I brought out two giant coloring books for adults. There was a cheese board in the middle of the table and old coffee mugs full of colored pencils. Each of us chatted and colored a picture before dinner.
We talked about the book Greg is reading. Sarah asked Jack about the book, which he is begrudgingly reading at my request. He said it isn’t realistic. I asked why, and he started spouting all this information on why particular events would not have happened during that time period. After a moment, I realized how lucky we were to be together like this, sitting around the table as a family. And that Jack was actually reading the book I had bought him. There were my silver linings.