By Molly Fast
I don’t know about you, but this jump back into “real life” has been a little jarring and unsettling. While I’m unbelievably grateful for the science that has given us the ability to move around with more freedom, I’m finding it’s not as easy as I thought it’d be to just jump right back in.
Life is different.
Honestly, it still seems like everything is different.
I know we’re all trying to find our new normal while a pandemic is still ever-present.
But it’s not easy.
Like everyone, my life changed drastically when COVID-19 struck and the 13 months that followed. With a forced pause on life as I knew it, I changed so many aspects of my life. Without work events to travel to, or any personal travel on the calendar, I stayed in my little bubble at home. With bars and restaurants closed or doing take out only, I didn’t have lunch and dinner dates to occupy my time. So, you know what I did? I took to the streets. I decided to walk, walk, and walk some more. I walked before work. I walked for my lunch break. I walked after work. On the weekends, I got up early and walked 3 – 5 hours a day covering anywhere from 10 – 20 miles. One weekend, I mapped out the route to walk the entire perimeter of my town of Santa Monica and when I was done, I decided to walk every street in Santa Monica. (I completed that challenge in mid-June). I loved exploring my city on foot. I loved starting my day taking care of myself. I loved that as I felt more comfortable being around people, my friends and I met up to take walks instead of getting a bite to eat.
Walking changed my life during the most uncertain year I’ve experienced. It gave me purpose and structure. In the end, I logged 5,217 miles in all of 2020. (I also ended up losing more than 60 lbs.). More than anything, I gained a new perspective on how to take care of myself and how to finally master that elusive work/life balance.
So, as quarantine ended and I considered what habits to keep and what would fall away with my new freedom, here’s what I’m not giving up: I will no longer wake up and start working right away. Instead, as I’ve been doing since March of 2020, I will get up and move my body and get some fresh air before I sit down and start working for the day. I’m a better person and a better employee by putting more into myself and there’s still more than enough to go around—for work, for my friends and for my family.
We asked a few other Event 360 teammates what habits they picked up during quarantine that they’re not giving up:
Teaching myself French. I gave myself a subscription to Duolingo as a consolation prize when the pandemic cancelled my planned 2020 trip to France. But I’ve kept up practicing at least a half hour a day on the app and my rudimentary high school French has gotten so much better. Hopefully by the time I eventually get to reschedule my trip, I’ll be able to avoir une conversation comme une vraie femme française. —Joann Collins
Nurturing my house plants! —Staci Roos
I’m not giving up my “at-home” coffee habit. After some experimentation, I found a great hot and iced coffee style I enjoy so that when I go to a coffee shop, it’s truly a treat! —Jes Schneider
Stand up paddle boarding! —Slade Thompson
FaceTime calls with my niece (6) and nephew (1) across the country. We did this already, but they certainly increased during the pandemic. —Tisho Jessop
Putting less on my calendar! —Janelle Benuska
A habit I picked up during quarantine was cooking. I wanted to learn how to make real, healthy meals for dinner that included all of the important food groups. After investing in and being gifted some great cookbooks and pots and pans, I have now mastered the art of marinating and cooking a chicken breast correctly, as well as roasting, sautéing and pan-frying veggies to go along with it (plus pasta, of course). The amount of experimentation I went through with new flavors has opened my taste buds to so many possibilities and I’m so excited to continue on my cooking journey and keep getting better with every meal I make! —Monica Roos
We’d love to hear from you. Please share in the comments below what quarantine habit you’re not giving up!
Molly Fast leads the company’s local operations for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Series and feels privileged to work with our participant-facing (customer service) team. For more than 16 years with Event 360, Molly has been fortunate enough to combine her love of people with the ability to make a difference in the work she does focusing on exceeding expectations and delighting participants along the way, whether it’s talking them through a fundraising plan on the phone, or giving them a hug out on the route.