BEFORE, DURING & AFTER...LESSONS FROM THE PANDEMIC
December 31, 20203 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
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
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.
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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