Wow. How the hell did we wake up to this reality? Coronavirus? COVID-19? You can call it what you want, but I’m sitting here vacillating between “I should have taken the blue pill” and putting on my Sheriff Rick Grimes hat and getting ready to kick some ass.
So how are you doing? Personally, I feel like I’m just snapping into my new reality.
For the past two weeks I’ve been so focused on moving my office home and pivoting everything we were doing to meet the needs of our attorneys and firm clients; stocking up on what we needed to stock up on; getting one kid home from her study abroad program in Paris (where she had been to Milan the week before the crisis broke out there), and bringing the other kid in from California (because when shit like this happens, don’t we all want our moms?); helping my siblings as we make sure our parents are set up and stop going out (guess where I get the stubborn from??), that I haven’t really internalized what was happening.
My new reality is sinking in, finally
Of course I’ve had CNN on in the background. I’ve watched as the numbers of people infected and dying have risen. I live in New Orleans, for goodness sake and had gone to Mardi Gras parades. But it hadn’t sunk in. And last night it just hit me where we were and what’s happened in the past three weeks:
In three weeks we have gone from 239 cases to nearly 104,000 in the United States.
This is our new reality, and we haven’t even hit the peak.
Our lives, including our business lives, and the lives of our clients are all now seen through this lens. We are all personally, professionally, economically, emotionally, and psychologically impacted. There is a before COVID-19 and an after. This event will define a world-wide generation.
I don’t know, but you don’t either, and that’s okay.
I wish I knew the answer to what next week will bring and what we need to do to meet the challenge, but I won’t know until I am faced with it. And here’s the secret. I don’t know. You don’t know. They don’t know. But we’ll figure it out together, a day and a challenge at a time.
The best thing I heard this week is this:
“Don’t stop what you’re doing—change the way you do it.” unknown global head of @KPMG #LMAMKT pic.twitter.com/nyE6ccD35Y
— heather_morse (@heather_morse) March 26, 2020
If you’re reading this you most likely serve in a professional service role, whether attorney, legal marketer, or the service providers who partner with us.
We think for a living. We problem solve. We execute on strategies. What differentiates us is how we look at the problem (or is it a challenge, or an opportunity?), how we strategize (I’m an external processor, so lots of brainstorming for me, which is a challenge when you’re working from home), and how we marshal our resources.
I often say that when everyone in the room is arguing over whether the glass is half full, or half empty, I’m over here waving my hands in the air asking if anyone else sees the hole in the glass?
Now is the time to get creative, try something new or different. INNOVATE!!! How can technology help you? Don’t we all regret not buying stock in Zoom?
Take time to reset
For those of us who are working from home for the first time this is one hell of an adjustment.
My workout routine is off right now, along with my eating. I’m sitting down at 8:00 am and not taking a meaningful break until I log off around 6:30 pm. I’m either doing, figuring out, on a call or on a Zoom conference, thinking, taking action. I’m mentally exhausted and physically twisted up.
I have to stop that. Getting up early and working out isn’t the problem, it’s during the day that I have to take that break and eat lunch outside or go for a walk without guilt, shame, or announcing it to the world.
My white collar quarantine v. the world
At this moment, figuring out how to balance my working from home is my worst problem. My family is safe and well. I am fortunate to not only have a job, but that I was able to shift my work environment from office to home (including the Costco run to purchase a desk and office chair) pretty seamlessly. I truly am having a white-collar quarantine.
I have family members who are having working-class or blue-collar (and are facing unemployment or a meaningful loss of work) quarantines. The Sports Dude you wonder? Yeah, no sports = no job, but we do have a bayou outside our backyard and he has a fishing pole.
But that doesn’t negate the fact that as we got into bed last night I leaned over and said my truth out loud: “I’m scared.” And that’s okay. I’m scared. You’re scared. That’s what happens in the unknown.
Stop and feel those feelings
I am really, really good at being busy and getting shit done. This hidden talent is especially helpful when the world is crashing down around me, or a world-wide pandemic. But whether or not I acknowledge it, I am feeling it. So it’s time to slow down and feel those feelings and process what is happening around me. That could be meditation in the morning. A kayak ride along the bayou in the afternoon. Or sitting outside and watching the sunset.
And once all of that is done I can pivot and ask in all sincerity, from a point of balance, “What can I do to help?”