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    December 31, 2020 3 min read


    "Before the Pandemic." Words I never really thought would be commonplace. Now we clearly have a “before,” “during” and “after.” But key to everything is what we do with what we’ve learned.

    Before...Life in the Fast Lane

    My “before” was busy, active, intense, creative and sometimes frantic. What strikes me most, looking at my “pre-pandemic” days, is that I was in perpetual motion. On reflection, it begs the question, was I enjoying my life? Were the moments meaningful or simply a path from one busy adventure to the next? One business obligation to the next? One project to the next? In truth, I enjoyed much of what I was accomplishing and creating, but I was also exhausted. Fully busy, fully engaged, traveling constantly, working, designing…enjoying parts of what was happening but also feeling pressure to achieve more, do more, be more. Being forced to slow down was so frustrating at first, but in reality it was a gift. Slowing down and actually taking the time to enjoy the moments. A lesson in the making.

    During…A Waiting Game for What?

    As we began to create our pandemic pods - the friends and groups we felt safe with - and rethink the way we work and communicate, it started to sink in that this wasn’t going to be a quick fix. We had to make our peace with the realization that the pandemic was bigger, badder and bolder than we initially thought. Face masks were here to stay. 6 feet of social distance became the norm, as did plexiglass partitions and Zoom calls. As spring turned into summer we began to understand that life and work were going to get harder before they got better. As with any life challenge, you can either buckle under the pressure or buckle down and figure it out. My business had been growing rapidly within the cruise industry, and suddenly the date of our next cruise was at least 12 months away. It was time to get creative to maintain income for my employees and myself.
    Rather than waiting for what would happen next, our “during the pandemic” time became busy, focussed, creative and gratifying in ways I never expected. My employees are some of my favorite people and they stepped up in ways I never imagined. Working as a team, the 4 of us sorted, catalogued, photographed and added hundreds of pieces to our website and began the challenging task of engaging our buyers in a whole new way. In-house photography replaced more expensive studio photography. Dropbox photos and documents became our shared workspace. Face to face sales took a back seat to social media and email offers. Our holiday booth at Grand Central Terminal became a virtual sales space. We set new goals based on the reality of a global pandemic and worked hard in anticipation of success. Most of all, we kept an eye out for each other, we shared laughter, we expected the best from each other and delivered our best. We didn’t give up. A lesson learned.

    After...What Comes Next?

    As 2020 turns into 2021, our world is still experiencing much uncertainty and we have a long way to go before the pandemic is in the rear view mirror. We have to take the lessons we’ve learned these last few months and apply them to the future. How can we make the “after” more meaningful based on the before and during times? We have to take stock of what we’ve gained these last few months and apply what we’ve learned.
    Enjoy the moment. Appreciate what we have. Embrace your surroundings. Slow down. Listen more. Believe in yourself. Believe in others. Work hard, then work harder. Ask for help. Don’t give up. Make a concerted effort to let people know we care about them. Celebrate others. Act with kindness.
    When the pandemic is over, The Q Crew will be ready for whatever comes next. Lessons learned.
    Hasta la-bye-bye,
    Drop us a line on Facebook and share what you and your family are discovering during the pandemic. We could all use a little inspiration!

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