What a Difference a Year Makes…
Reflecting on 2020, I take a pause to realize just how different it’s been than the last decade. I’ve been at Iron Galaxy for ten years. During most of that, my main priority has been working. My focus has been my career. I have been a colleague, boss, mentor, and mom to a fledgling studio. I’ve nurtured it from its terrible twos to its current tween status. I’ve help it grow and mature. I’ve been patient and encouraging.
We haven’t always gotten it right. We’ve experienced growing pains and accidents along the way, but they’ve all come with lessons to learn.
And then COVID came…
We kept growing, but we also stood still. There were no longer the conferences to attend nor flights to visit our partners. Instead, there is the chair in my makeshift office. An office I thought would need to last about a month became my domain the last 38 weeks (about 8 and a half months). I never imagined how long I would be in this chair.
During this time, we have learned new skills. We sharpened our ability to thrive in uncertainty. We honed our remote communication. Home and work and personal and emotional lives have become entwined in a way never seen before. I’ve invested more time into the emotional well-being of our staff. I always cared, but now so many conversations are about HOW people are doing rather than WHAT. We have created new ways to get to know one-another, even when we cannot physically be in the same space.
And I am grateful.
I’m still getting to know each employee… and they me. I’ve eaten WAY more lunches with my kid. I’ve had more lunches with co-workers (albeit virtually). I’ve replaced commutes with dance parties. I’ve become a better listener. I’ve become more comfortable sharing. I’ve played more games. I’ve learned to talk about myself. I’ve met a network of female professionals. I’ve had more calls with my mother and my 91-year-old grandmother.
I would have taken these things for granted before. 2020 has taught me that it’s not work-life balance that we should strive for. Without the physical separation, it is a healthy work-life integration that we need. Time and flexibility to weave our lives and work together in ways that are fulfilling and make sense. In ways that nurture our relationships and grow our souls.
Whether the relationships are near or far, with your nuclear family, your colleagues, or your COVID bubble. It is people that make 2020 special.