Going back to normal. Do I want to go back? Back into an automaton lifestyle of rushing through bumper to bumper stop-and-go traffic to arrive at an office so that I can sit all day in a chair that makes my back hurt, in a room that is artificially cooled with recirculated air, staring at a screen and plucking keys until my mind bleeds? The window by my desk was covered with black bars and faced a cinder-block wall. It felt like jail. A 40 hour jail week.
So do I want to go back to that? What do you think?
Now I’m just as busy, maybe even busier but with perks. The 2 hours a day that I no longer have to spend on a commute opens me up for breaks: dance breaks, gym breaks, siesta breaks, did I mention dance breaks? And I can wear whatever I want. Heck, the other day I worked in my underwear because....well just because. I don’t need to explain that. And my commute is literally 30 seconds to my kitchen table...oh, excuse me, I mean my “home office”.
I do my daily office work but I also manage a building, run a non-profit, co-parent children and occasionally travel. The ‘old’ normal made it more difficult to manage each of these areas, but now all I need is an internet connection and BOOM! I’m there. Well, except for the co-parenting. That’s definitely still an in-person type of responsibility.
On the 4th of July, seeking some normalcy, I checked into a downtown LA hotel to spend time at a rooftop pool with a friend and other random hotel guests. I ended up inviting 2 bored and out of place looking strangers from Pittsburgh to sit with my friend and me at the adjacent area of the pool. We all talked for hours, sipped beer, laughed and almost got kicked out of the pool area for being too loud and staying too long past our time limit. All I can say is that I almost feel sorry for the poor manager who got stuck with the job of having to tell people their 90-minutes by the pool on the 4th of July was up. Almost.
So do any of us want to go back to normal? No, I don’t think we do. We want to move forward to a new normal, but we don't know what that is yet because it's a work in progress. Under construction. TBD.
What we are willing to tolerate now that we know what it’s like not to have to? We shall see.