Thursday, April 9, 2020

What Do You Miss?

By Cheryl Oreglia

I've been thinking a lot about the things I miss, but also about the things I'd prefer not to return to after this blasted quarantine is over. Dave Hollis asks, "in the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to?"

It seems clear we have the ability to clean up the environment, almost overnight, if we work together. Who wants to go back to wasting precious time sitting in traffic jams, paying exorbitant gas prices, and auto insurance?  Have we've learned anything about conservation? What practices that benefit our environment will we keep?

Do we really need to commute to work everyday when working at home at least some of the time is sufficient? Do we have to fly across the country when a zoom call is enough to share information and strategize? Can we accomplish just as much working remote as we did before sheltering in place became our new normal? I think we can make compromises that allows for spending less time commuting to offices and more time with the people we love. Win, win.

Maybe we don't need to fill in every minute of the day with tasks? We seem to confuse busy with important, busy as a moral issue, busy with our self esteem, but now that my life has powered down, I'm sort of enjoying the pause. Time to sit with my thoughts, a warm cup of coffee, a good book - and not feel guilty. I'm so leaving guilt behind. 

We've learned a lot about online learning, student buy in, and challenging our current educational system. Could this be our chance to revamp an antiquated system of tests, scores, grades into a genuine desire to learn, an enthusiasm for our own development, an education driven by individual needs instead of outcomes?

I'm seeing leaders rise up in places you would never expect. Small restaurants offering a role of toilet paper with take-out because their bathrooms are no longer in use. Grocery stores partnering with hotel chains to hire laid off workers as grocery store staff. Hardware stores hiring laid off construction workers to help assist customers with home improvement projects which have quadrupled. 

Drive thru restaurants extending their hours to meet the needs in the community and the profits aren't bad. 

Thousands of people are volunteering to help organize food distribution centers, establish emergency shelters, and counseling services. Selfless giving is on the rise. 

Zoom has become a overnight success and other than unexpected drop-ins on your zoom calls they have kept pretty good pace with all the demand. Disney plus is releasing children's movies and youth programing as a way of helping beleaguered parents trying to entertain kids while working remote. 

Retired nurses are putting on scrubs and returning to work to help out with the increase of COVID-19 patients. 

Of course I miss stupid things like having my nails done, my hair cut, grabbing a coffee. I miss important things like eye level conversations, engaging with organically inspired topics from my students, reaching out when I know you are hurting or troubled and offering a hug.

I miss grabbing a bit to eat at the local diner, sipping wine with friends, playing card games with the neighbors, spending times with my sister, huge family dinners, holding on to that which is most important - each other. 

What do you miss? What will you leave behind. 


Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

I think you bring up a great point which is so much of our work day could be from home. I do not miss commuting.

I do want to return to kids to in-person school. They miss their friends and teachers and I miss them out of the house.

Cheryl Oreglia said...

Hi Kimberly! I so appreciate your comment, I too am not a fan of congested commutes, but being face to face with my students is priceless. That is where the magic happens, learning occurs, relationships form. All this togetherness is difficult. Having our own schedules, social outlets, activities is a much better way of being in the world. We were not created for a lock-down lifestyle. Hang in there, stay safe, be well, C

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