The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us in many ways. I’m still in disbelief that we’re here. When I reflect on the first incidences of COVID abroad, I naively believed that we’d be safe here. I didn’t appreciate the real risk that was knocking on our borders, and the extent that the virus would transform our everyday interactions. As each state starts to re-open, and we’re facing a new-normal on how we interact, shop, or do business, I’ve been reflecting on what I’ve learned over the past few months.

– I really miss traveling. I spent the first half of my life (or so) not traveling much at all. Over the past few years, I’ve visited for clients roughly six times a year, plus any travel I did as pure vacation. I was spending a lot of time in airports! Initially, it was a novelty, and then it became tiresome, but now I miss it terribly. I even miss the awkward conversations with the person sitting beside me on the plane (and I NEVER thought that would happen).

-Sheltering at home does not mean extra time. I thought I would have so much spare time to take courses, read books, and do puzzles. Nope. I wasn’t nearly as productive as I thought I’d be unless you count binge-watching Netflix.

-Preparedness was necessary for my feeling of security. Before all of the “Shelter in place” guidelines, I felt the need to stock up on non-perishables and a variety of items to keep my family comfortable. There was a moment when I was shopping for canned goods that someone else in the store remarked on what I was doing, but whatever opinions of others may be, I needed to do what was best for me.

-Although I work from a home office and have for over ten years, I suddenly longed for more personal contact. I was never a fan of video calls but welcomed them. Now, I don’t know if I can give them up. Many of my client “touch base” calls have transitioned to video, and I think I’ll keep it that way.

-Flexibility became important in every aspect of my day. Many of our clients were being pulled in multiple directions, and my schedule needed to flex with theirs. Many plans for in-person events had to be either postponed, canceled, or moved to virtual environments. Very early, we started contingency planning on behalf of clients, which circles back to my point about preparedness. We needed to have back up plans before they were requested and be ready to go with solutions.

-Balance became even more important. When I first started working from home, my children were younger, and I worked around their schedules. Over time, and as they grew, I could work when I needed to. With the pandemic and everyone being home, I had to balance their need for my time, and the overall increase in activity at home.

-I have never reflected on gratitude as much as I have since March. I am thankful every day that my family is healthy and home and that even in the challenges of having everyone home, they knew they were safe and cared for. I’m thankful for those who work as first responders and put the health of others ahead of themselves. I was overwhelmed by the support of communities across this great country, as they cheered health care workers. I’m thankful for my home community for their support of each other, and my professional community who filled in and stepped up as we all were finding our way through this.

By Peggy Murrah, Founder of PMA Web Services

Author's Bio: 

Peggy Murrah is a unique combination of web and marketing savvy, along with dependability and resourcefulness. These qualities have been instrumental in her building a successful business that serves clientele across five continents. PMA Web Services provides marketing direction and strategies for entrepreneurs through mentoring, social media marketing, list building and management, and development/maintenance of their online presence.