If you’ve looked at any content over the last few weeks you’ve likely seen memes and headlines hyper-focused on the one-year anniversary of our “two-week” quarantine. If you’re like us, you’re a wee bit triggered by them. It’s hard to believe that it has been 365 shimmies around the sun since we’ve actually danced any place other than our own living rooms.
Any way you slice it, this past year of groundhog days has been far from awesome. We’ve cried plenty of tears, questioned our choices and have longed for any semblance of the normality we once enjoyed. Yet, amidst the “unprecedented” times, we stayed true to form and found a few silver linings that haven’t tarnished.
It’s Okay to Take a Risk
We haven’t talked about it, nor have we shared it on social, but last year on March 17th, we did something that most small businesses only dream of. We bought a forever office. Mere days before the world quite literally shut down, we put pen to paper and found ourselves the proud owners of our very own brick-and-mortar. Under normal circumstances, this milestone would have resulted in cupcake toasts, big ‘ol hugs and an inordinate amount of confetti. Instead, our enthusiasm was quickly tempered and our big plans turned into plans B, C and D. However, this risk reminded us that as scary as it can be, it is okay to take a risk and make a change. Let’s be clear, it hasn’t been a walk in the park. We moved in to move out. We shifted goals and rented for the short-term. But, even as the one-year mark comes and goes, we know that we made the right decision to invest in the stability and longevity of R&R.
Kindness Will Always Matter
One of our friends recently shared the following piece of advice, “You’ll always remember how people treated you during this time,” which resonated with him deeply and has always been a core concept of R&R. To his point, between a raging pandemic and the stark realities of social injustice, 2020 illuminated the human factor. We all became intimately aware of our own behaviors and how they impact those around us. Not to mention stress and unforeseen burdens elevated reactions. However, even in the trough of sorrow, the kindness of another can offer a glimmer of hope, which is what we chose to lean into here at R&R. We didn’t simply preach kindness, we practiced it. We created yard signs to encourage kind vibes only, penned warm and fuzzy postcards, sprinkled surprises and were cognizant that our tone, our voice, our words and our designs could make a difference in someone’s day. Though kindness has always been part of our values, its value is more important than ever.
Things Are Not Going to Be the Same
In this current moment it feels like we just lost an entire year, but the reality is we changed a lot. With 2020 in the rearview, the conversations I’ve had with clients and peers as of late nod to a work environment unlike any we’ve known before. You see, over the last year we’ve all said the uncomfortable things out loud. We’ve had team conversations about racial inequities. We’ve chatted more openly about the importance of mental health. We’ve seen and shared social posts about going to the polls. We’ve talked about all the things generations before us thought were taboo, and now that we have, there is no going back. In addition to pulling back the curtains on hard conversations, we’ve also taken a hard look at the physical workplace. The concept of an office has evolved over the years from cubicles to open floor plans, and now we’re entering a new phase where working from anywhere is likely to become the status quo. Overall, the work world has changed – we’ve breached the fourth wall and seen into the homes of our clients and team members and we’re all looking into a more fluid, hybrid work culture. Is this change the right answer? Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, it is forcing all of us to re-evaluate our relationship with work and understand that life affects work and work affects life.
If there was more time and long-form articles were more appealing, there would certainly be more lessons learned worthy of sharing. For now, though, the hope is that you too can find some positives in the endless loop of the last year. Because even as this blog is typed, there is an end in sight, so now is the time to reflect on those silver linings that may be gilded in the months and years ahead.