Before and After Covid-19

As 2020 ends, I’ve been thinking about life before and after Covid-19. Specifically, there are things I can’t wait to do and aspects of life since March I want to retain.

More down time than I ever wanted helped me eat and sleep better, exercise more, and get more reading and writing done. We accomplished more strategic initiatives at work than usual, like this expansion of our investment team and relaunching our blog. And I spent more time with my wife and kids.

Most of that wasn’t true when shelter-in-place started. The professional and personal stress created by the bear market and worldwide shutdown led to long days, overeating, dining room happy hours, and not enough movement. I didn’t quite gain the Covid-19, but I tried.

However, as the markets and weather improved, and we understood more about Covid-19, things balanced out. While I cannot wait to get my life back, I want to retain some of that balance.

Before and After Covid-19 Personal Balance

I can’t wait to spend more time with friends and family doing things I missed like going to Celtics games, trivia night, concerts and comedy shows, and traveling.

But I don’t want to be heavily scheduled and lose the down time I’ve had to exercise, walk, read, and write. And I hope all those extra calls people made to check-in on one another don’t disappear.

The same applies for my kids. While I cannot wait for them to be in school full-time with regular sports and activities and fully engaged with their friends, I love the creativity they’ve shown in staying entertained and connected these last nine months. Hopefully, they have more balance in their schedules too.

I love the new ways people spent time with others and socialized outside. I’d love to continue using our patio setup, but be able to invite more people.

And this stretch forced me to get more things done around the house. It’s amazing how when one house becomes your entire world, you get motivated to improve it. I finally got the TV and heater set up in our screened-in porch. We even put in some plexiglass panels to block the wind. It’s a great extra place to hang out, read, and watch TV. I look forward to crossing more things off the list.

Before and After Covid-19 Professional Balance

I can’t wait to return to the office, interact with the team, have spontaneous brainstorming sessions, and relaxed conversations. It builds bonds and leads to great ideas.

But I also want the occasional extra time working remotely provided to learn, think, plan for the long-term, and get things done.

I can’t wait to see my professional network in person again and not through Zoom.

But I also wouldn’t mind if the interactions weren’t over unhealthy meals, or salads that never fill you up. In fact, I wouldn’t mind losing work lunches altogether. Having control over what I eat with the time to prepare meals made me see just how much energy level and sleep quality are driven by nutrition. I still want to eat out with friends and family and enjoy meals I cannot prepare at home. I’d just prefer quality over quantity and planning ahead versus rushed convenience.

I can’t wait to see our clients again and have fun and educational events with them and the team.

But I’m also happy that for those who want or need another option, Zoom exists, is widely adopted, and provides a convenient alternative.

Bottom line: I can’t wait for the world to return to normal, and I look forward to applying some of what I learned this year to make lemonade out of this lemon.

Further Reading:

My Uneven COVID-19 Response

My Favorite Books This Year