Oh My Gosh, Enough Already!
Memorial weekend did it for me, I am officially done with my life being ruled by COVID. I now have a collection of face masks, they are everywhere; in my car hanging from my rear-view mirror, at the front door, on my desk and in my jean pocket. COVID conversations. Did we ever talk about anything else? I reminisce and fantasize about how ‘it used to be!’ What happened to the “Master of my own ship”? Or, as Frank Sinatra sang out, “I did it my way!”
I have been flexible, slept in late, binged on my fair share of Netflix series, worked puzzles, played games and spring cleaning and yardwork, done. Now, I just want to do everything that COVID says I cannot do. I want to hug and handshake everyone, family, friends and strangers. I don’t want to wear a mask, I want to burn them. Burn every one of them! I want a real happy hour at a noisy rooftop bar. I want to toss every bottle of hand sanitizer into the trash. I want to go out to dinner, really go out to dinner with salt and pepper shakers on the table and wait staff that are not afraid of me.
Is there a lesson in all of this? I believe so, but who really cares. Are we ALL in this together, uh really? The curve is flat, unemployment at an all time high, small business going out of business, riots in city streets and I am looking for the silver lining?
Here is what I know. I used to be an optimist. Before COVID I was a leader, a self-starter and innovator. I like it my way, but often cannot have it my way, COVID for example, forces me to look at another way. Change my thinking and everything changes. How can we get to where we want to be differently? I am still an optimist, leader, self-starter and innovator, I’m just lazy. I want it to be easier. What are the opportunities and possibilities? Ugh, OK let’s look, really look.
Back to the way things used to be. Ask, what do I not want to go back to? That was easy. I just discovered that the only thing in my way ‘before’ was me choosing to do it that way!
I think about talking with business owners and often ask what are your fixed costs and what is the cost of doing business? What is essential? Who has the skill but not the will? Are you and those around you surviving or thriving? The opportunity here is to innovate. Connect with customers, colleagues, family and friends. How are you doing this? I know, Zoom! But what else now that many are virtually burned out. Increase performance and cut costs, sounds like a contest to me.
I challenge myself to just be a human being. Be nice. Be kind. Be generous. Be a human being to everyone at home, in business and in the community. Create, innovate and discover opportunity and possibility. Then, in my mind, quietly, I am burning my face mask, tossing the hand sanitizer and hugging and handshaking everyone I meet.
And oh, when I do return to work, I would love a custom COVID mask, pretty hand sanitizer dispenser and a bouquet of flowers on my desk please.