The past 12 months have been challenging for everyone. A global pandemic was something that I’ve read about in history books, but I never really expected that I’d live through one.
The biggest thing I’ve learned from the pandemic is that flexibility is critically important both in my personal and professional life.
My wife and I have two wonderful children. My son and daughter are in second grade and kindergarten, respectively. Being a parent is very rewarding, but it is probably one of the hardest jobs in the world. Parenting before the pandemic was never an easy task but we kept it together because we had routines keeping us organized. Our daily routines were well planned and exhausting but we were able to keep life rolling smoothly. My wife and I would often divide and conquer, as we like to call it. She’d take our daughter to dance lessons while I’d take our son to karate or I’d take our daughter to gymnastics while she’d take our son to baseball. Each day had a different routine, but we did a good job keeping it all together.
Enter COVID… COVID entered our lives and caused disruption like I’ve never experienced. All of a sudden, my wife and I became elementary school teachers in addition to working full-time at our day jobs. Whoa. That was never something I ever expected nor wanted.
As a business owner, I was lucky that my business was deemed essential so we could stay open, but half of my staff had to pack up their entire workstations and work from home with almost no notice. Thankfully, we had the technology in place to allow this to happen securely, but it still was not optimal. Again, flexibility is critical. Everyone was stressed out. I was stressed, my employees were stressed, and our customers were stressed because we were all dealing with similar struggles.
I found that being flexible was the only way to successfully adapt to the situation. When the email comes at 7:57pm to let me know that school is transitioning to “remote learning” the following morning because someone in the class tested positive for COVID, I don’t stress anymore. My customers are more understanding now when I need to reschedule appointments or switch them from in-person to Zoom at the last minute because they have to do the same thing sometimes. As a society, we’re learning to be more flexible and that’s a good thing.
There are a lot of changes from the pandemic and I hope that some of them stick around. I could do without the masks and social distancing (when it’s safe to stop) but I hope that the focus on family and the flexibility that we’ve all had to learn to embrace over the past year stays with us. 2020 threw us a lot of lemons but we made lemonade, and a lot of it! Be proud of the way you’ve adapted.
“THE PESSIMIST SEES DIFFICULTY IN EVERY OPPORTUNITY. THE OPTIMIST SEES THE OPPORTUNITY IN EVERY DIFFICULTY.”
There is a lot of opportunity that can be seized by being flexible. You got this!
John Lofrumento, CFP®, FSCP®, RICP®
President, The Lofrumento Agency