At this time last year, I was supposed to be in England. I coached the weekend of Mar 7-9, and was supposed to leave the evening of the 9th for a trip to the Redgate office and then a short vacation with my wife. A little over a week before, with Grant and a few friends in Germany, my wife said we should cancel the trip and not take chances on traveling.
On Mar 11, the next weekend of youth volleyball cancelled in Denver and the city locked down. We had held a practice on Mar 10, and that was the last time I got to work with that group of kids as a team.
In the last year, I’ve tried to help myself and others with my coping tips, and I can’t believe it’s been almost a year. I am proud of how Redgate responded, with meetings in mid March about how we could help others. While we needed to continue to build and sell software, our CEO also said this was a time for us to think about giving back more to others. From our cookbook to the kids coding club, I’ve been pleased by what Redgate has done.
At the same time, I’ve also realized that my life changed in many ways. I haven’t been on an airplane in over a year. I’ve had more family time, but also this was a year of change, with my oldest moving away to teach in another country and my daughter going back to university, leaving my wife and I alone. We’ve had fits and starts in what we can and can’t do in Denver, especially with our hobby of coaching youth sports.
I’ve been able to still go to the gym, but with a mask, something I think I’ll wear in situations for a long time, but something I don’t really enjoy. I had COVID last year, and while I came through unscathed, the illness lingered long enough to worry me. It certainly made me appreciate my health more.
I’ve had more hours of video meetings in the last year than I might have had in my entire career at Redgate before that. And I’ve worked remotely for 12 years before the pandemic. I’ve rearranged my office 3 times, acquired some new hardware, including a new chair, and yet I still don’t quite feel settled after a year.
I’ve given more remote presentations in the last year than ever before. I’ve typically not enjoyed them, preferring to be live in front of an audience. While I’ve gotten more comfortable, and even started to prefer to record things in advance, I still miss people.
I’m hopeful the vaccine will start returning the world to normalcy, though I wonder if that will be this year or next. I also wonder how much we’ll be changed in the future in how we work and gather. I’m hoping for a return to events, celebrations, and entertainment as we had in the past, continuing to embrace some of the good of the last year with flexibility and the freedom to work in different places and at difference times. A bit of a mixed message there, but I do think there have been some good in the last year, with many companies realizing they don’t need someone to dress up formally and go to an office every day.
It’s been a hard year, and I never would have imagined that I’d still be doing coping tips and at home every day at this point in time. Hopefully that will start to change soon.