In what very much felt like the blink of an eye, our world has changed—seemingly overnight. One day we were traveling to work on crowded streets, thinking about Chipotle and zoning out on the tail lights of the car in front of us, when the next thing we knew, we were staring out our kitchen window at a squirrel pilfering the bird feeder as our laptop lay open on a surface typically designed for nothing more serious than Pop-tarts and junk mail.
It was all a bit jarring, to say the least.
Some of us had home offices, or dens, or maybe an unused bedroom to use, and adjusted rather quickly to what soon became known as remote working. We settled into a new routine of business tops and sweatpants, video calls and group emails, Netflix binges and toilet paper scavenger hunts.
Others however found it a bit more difficult as we scrambled to find privacy and a clean work space while navigating a cast of new workplace associates, some not quite housebroken, and that we never had any intention of working with in the first place. Our new job description closely resembled that of a short-order cook combined with the lifestyle of a WWE referee, yet we were still expected to act professional as we squirmed in front of our webcam.
Everyone talks about the new normal but no one really knows yet what that means. How much of our current saga will become a baseline for how our lives will operate moving forward, and how much is simply a temporary annoyance, like a snow day or an unexpected visit from your in-laws? It’s hard to know for sure, but as the more temporal among us would say, more will be revealed.
In the meantime, we are learning a lot about what we can live with and what we can live without. What technology can do to bring us together and how much we take for granted when it comes to daily, human interaction and simple eye contact. There are a lot of lessons that will come out of this trying time, as we face unexpected hardships, but also discover newfound freedoms. We may have learned, for instance, that we have no interest whatsoever in home-schooling anyone of any age, that Netflix isn’t an endless source of entertainment after all, and that housing a tiger in your backyard might not be a realistic approach to animal conservation.
But we have also come to realize that we will remember this time for years to come because, for at least a not so brief stretch in 2020, we took quiet walks, and played on the floor with pets and kids, and amused ourselves with simple pleasures for a time.
We don’t yet know what the future will bring, but we are hopeful that it will be exciting, new and full of opportunity as we prepare to tackle amazing challenges with passion, perseverance and creativity. In the meantime, we will continue working on keeping that damn squirrel out of the bird feeder, discover yet more uses for Bisquick, and yes, yes, we will get you those reports we promised you, just as soon as we finish reading this silly post someone sent us.