Yesterday, my company held an optional Zoom conference call with the team. As the only employee who regularly lives and works remotely (I’m in Atlanta, but everyone else is in Israel), I was particularly excited about the call. I haven’t been face-to-face with everyone since I left our Tel Aviv offices on February 26th.

Once we all were online, we “went around the room” and each shared a bit about how he or she is handling working and hibernating at home. (It was nice to see rooms in each other’s homes and even a few kids!) Common themes quickly emerged. There are tales of lots of cooking, quality/creative time with kids, teleconferences (and happy hours) with family and friends, attempts at home-schooling, a lack of privacy, issues with technology, etc. Some are lonely. Others have become introspective or philosophical. A few have abandoned rigid household rules. Many are at their wits’ end. A few miss commutes and time spent in the office. Regardless, the conversations were lively and upbeat.

Since we’re in the travel business, however, we inevitably touched on the issues of our industry. There are many challenges dealing with trip cancellations and postponements. We all recognize that, whether or not we’re on leave or have reduced our working hours, resolving client issues and concerns to the best of our ability during this unstable time is important. And we all pray we can get back to “normal” soon.

It truly was good to see and hear from everyone who joined the call. The optimism and senses of humor were evident. Although the past two weeks are a blur for me — even as they dragged along — I felt encouraged by the camaraderie and team spirit that cut across the distance. I was glad we had connected, shared things that went beyond work, and look forward to the next get-together.

* * *

In the meantime, this new normal has been interesting. Two weeks ago I set forth my “C-Plan“…a kind of “to do” list to maintain elements of sanity and productivity during this isolating period. Like most people, I’m not quite on track yet. I’m still struggling trying to create balance between cooking meals and bringing in; walking outside around the block and using the elliptical in the basement; reading a book and binge-watching a series on TV; staying in PJs all day and getting dressed; doing projects around the house and taking on work-projects that I haven’t been able to get to at the office. Most importantly, I really must make myself take on something new that’s meaningful to me. I really don’t want to wake up at the end of April and feel I somehow wasted a month! 

* * *

Rapid movements outside my window just caught my attention. A beautiful red cardinal is hopping and flitting around the driveway. As I glance upward, I notice my dogwoods and azaleas are in bloom. If nothing else, I find comfort in knowing that, despite everything, springtime is here. Life will go on….

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