I, too, would like to toss much of 2020 in the trashcan.
And some of 2021 honestly.
Jokes aside, last year is going to be one of those years that we hear about in future conversations and respond with, “GASP. We don’t talk about THAT.” While I’m sure that will be the case for many people, myself included, there are a few things that I learned – and we learned as a culture – that I think we should keep around moving forward. Read mine – and let us know what yours are!
I like going to see my doctor in person sometimes. It’s great when I’m having a physical or have a lot of questions or have an upcoming allergy test – it’s not great for things that I’m literally at the doctor for five minutes, and the drive takes longer than the visit. Cue the telehealth visits from the pandemic! It’s made visits so much easier to schedule between meetings or on days I know I have a lot to do – plus – the doctor is usually not late!
Teaching and coaching are two parts of my job that I love – and this past year, I’ve gotten to work with so many global companies because of working from home. While it’s not perfect (my dogs, the laundry, dinner, and snacks are distracting!), it has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for more than just my teaching career: many friends now have better jobs because they have been able to get hired for companies that are working with remote employees.
Am I alone when I say I want the 6-foot rule to always be in effect when I’m in crowds? This might be a holdover from a decade in NYC, but having space to myself in grocery stores, restaurants, the mall – it’s a dream! Who likes being smashed in like sardines in hot, stuffy places? Even in cool spaces, I like having my own space where I have some distance between me and the person I don’t know.
Masks in Crowds
I will be masking on planes and in crowds for a long time. Know why? Every year I get a massive sinus and ear infection that knocks me out for almost two weeks. I have not been sick – not even a cold – in over two years. Sure, I used to travel constantly (will mask) but this whole not-sick-and-allergies-are-ok thing? I can handle that.
End of Hustle
Hustle culture is toxic – why are we working 60 hours a week to pay for things we can’t enjoy because we’re working 60 hours a week? The emphasis on ending work when work is over that had to happen when we were all working from home is something that will stay in my life for a while. Those beautiful boundaries are staying right where they are.
Mental Health Matters
The pandemic brought an emphasis on mental health – we were going through collective trauma, regardless of how it changed or altered our lives. The fact that folks see that – and want people to care for their mental health – is huge. Checking in to see how I am feeling and regular visits to a therapist are now staples.
Too many local businesses closed. Whether the slim margins that they ran on, a lack of need during a global crisis, or whatever, the pandemic brought us a renewed love and importance for local businesses. Let’s remember that when we are supporting the small business down the street, we’re supporting our neighbor. And it matters.