The pandemic has been devastating for all of us – especially those that lost loved ones, and even though it seems odd saying this, there were also some positives. With the vaccines, there is light at the end of the tunnel, but we can never forget some of the things we learned during the pandemic. Below is a short narrative of the things I did during the pandemic that was nice and I hope to keep doing, followed by a list of some things I won’t miss, and finally a few things I can’t wait to do again.
Things I never did before the pandemic that I loved and hope to keep doing
- Daily walks on the beach – We live in San Diego but never appreciated the beach. We started walking daily to break up the day and it became a favorite.
- Wearing sweatpants all day on a workday – Not having to worry about what to wear each day was strangely satisfying.
- Binge-watching a Netflix series in bed – The Queen’s Gambit, The Undoing, and The Flight Attendant were my favorites. Streaming services have made television a lot better, and crawling into bed early to see the next episode of a favorite series made the nights more fun.
- Sunday dinner with immediate family – When Marisa and Aaron were in town during the summer, Jaimie and her husband AJ would come over on Sundays. It was a slight breach of COVID protocol, but it was nice. We would have dinner and play cards or a board game. It became a routine that we plan on keeping.
- Helping kids achieve their dreams – My friend George Zedan has a basketball prep school in Los Angeles. Aaron and I would drive there to get shots up when the gyms in San Diego were closed. It helped keep us both sane. Most of George’s students are disadvantaged kids from Latin America. I got to see first-hand the impact he has on the lives of these kids, and it got me focused on something other than my own world. I look forward to being a part of their success in the future.
- Perfecting a few new dishes in the kitchen – I have never been much help in the kitchen, but during the pandemic, I promised Kathy that I would add a few new dishes to my modest repertoire. I got pretty good at a few things like steak with homemade garlic paste and Nobu-inspired hamachi with jalapeños. I hope to be more of a resource and less of a liability in the kitchen.
- Daily Peloton workouts – Our Peloton sits in the middle of our home, only a few feet from the TV and it has been a lifesaver.
- Growing my hair longer – Getting a haircut during the pandemic was hard, and Kathy refused to trim my hair, so my hair got pretty long. I learned to like it…I might keep it that way for a little while.
- Wine appreciation – I never was a wine drinker, but decided it was time. I am still a novice, but now steak and pasta seem incomplete without a good cab or pinot. I am determined to broaden my knowledge and appreciation.
- Appreciate the selflessness of our front-line workers – The term ‘front-line worker’ was not commonly used before the pandemic, but something I hope we never forget. Our infrastructure, food supply, and medical system held up during the pandemic because of the dedication and selflessness of our front-line workers. I hope to never take their work for granted again.
Of course, there are also a few things that I won’t miss
- Daily Zoom calls – I don’t mind them, but when it got up to 10 a day, it became a drag. Zoom calls won’t go away altogether, but I will be glad when they are mostly gone.
- Virtual events – Let’s be honest, we all did the best we could, but most of us got tired of them pretty quickly. For those who thought that virtual events would replace live events, you were definitely wrong!
- Wearing sweatpants all day on a workday – Clearly, I am conflicted on this one.
- Slow Wifi – Who would have thought there would be moments where almost everyone on the planet was on Wifi at the same time. All things considered, it held up pretty well, but there were also plenty of breakdowns.
- Health Care and Politics – Most of us wouldn’t trust a politician with our dog. It’s incomprehensible why so many people started taking health care advice from politicians.
- Wearing a mask everywhere – Nobody liked having to wear a mask in public, especially those of us who wear glasses. It was a pain and an inconvenience, but I’m sure it saved lives.
- Watching another anti-masker throw a tantrum in public – As inspired as I have been by the humanity of our health care workers, I have been equally saddened by the selfishness of anti-maskers. I’ll never understand why so many people weren’t willing to endure a little inconvenience and discomfort for the collective safety of our fellow man.
And there are things I can’t wait to see again
- Restaurants – There is nothing like the fun and energy of a great restaurant. Can’t wait to go back to some of my favorites.
- Live theater – Ever since my kids were into theater, Kathy and I have been fans. We hope to be one of the firsts to see a Broadway show when it opens.
- Airports – Traveling can be exhausting, but it is definitely something I miss. Last summer, I tweeted “I miss the indignity of airport security” and I meant it – who would have thought?
- Hotel bars – Good hotels usually have nice bars. I love a good hotel bar, and it is usually where I have my dinner when I’m on the road.
- Live sporting events – Some of the most fun I have ever had in my life has been watching sporting events, especially basketball. Of course, watching my son play is my absolute favorite, but I also enjoy boxing and football.
- Conferences and conventions – Conventions have been part of my life’s work. The energy of a great business event is something I have missed and can’t wait to get back to doing.
- Hugging my friends – Human contact is something we all miss. The hardest part of the pandemic has been not being able to see my friends and extended family.
- Hawaii – Getting on a plane and flying to one of our favorite destinations is one of the things we hope to do this summer.
Stay safe, and get vaccinated…were almost there!
Almost everyone, including Democrats, were expecting last Tuesday’s midterm election results to heavily favor Republicans. Many predicted a “red wave” where they would pick up 50-60 seats in the House and 3-4 in the Senate. Joe Rogan said the red wave that is coming will be like the elevator doors opening in the horror film The Shining.
When we invited Gary Vaynerchuk to NAHREP at L’ATTITUDE in 2021, I was mostly relying on input from others. Several members loved his content, but the little I saw online left me underwhelmed. However, I thoroughly enjoyed his presentation at our event, particularly his comments about toxic employees, which he says to dump with impunity.
Selling during a downturn required a more strategic approach, but the opportunities for growth and expansion are available to the savviest of companies. Here are some of the best ideas I’ve read about.
A farmer and his son had a beloved stallion who helped the family earn a living. One day, the horse ran away and their neighbors said “Your horse ran away, what terrible luck!”. The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.” A few days later the horse returned home, leading a few wild mares back to the farm as well. The neighbors shouted out “Your horse has returned and brought several horses home with him. What great luck!” and the farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”