My how quickly things have changed. There’s life as we knew it “pre-corona” and life as we’ll know it after. And the defining elements of this new universe will be marked by masks and gloves and colored with phrases like Social Distancing, Self-Imposed Isolation and Shelter-in-Place. Wow…just wow.

Oh, the good old days. Remember when we were free to roam about our planet? Moving around countries, cities, towns, stores, companies, and social events with our carefree attitudes? Unconcerned whether the person in the adjacent airline seat, ahead of us in line at the grocery store or in the next cubicle was unknowingly spreading a potential villain with their breath or on their hands? Yikes. It does have rather sinister and surreal overtones, yet this is life now. With fingers crossed and prayers to our respective deities, let’s hope this isn’t forever, but we do need to prepare for a transition. It seems to be the start of a whole new world for us all – personally, socially and professionally. Yes, there’ll be an adjustment period but seeing as we humans are responsive, creative, adaptable creatures, I sense we’re going to be just fine in the long run.

Professionally speaking though, what can we expect? Work for many people isn’t just a four-letter word, something dreaded and awful. It’s something we love, something we’ve cultivated like crops in a garden or nurtured throughout a lifetime. Something that provides us with not only money, but purpose. How can we continue to do what we love and do it safely and efficiently, yet remotely?

Well, let’s be real, there are still a few jobs that can’t be done remotely at this time. We don’t have robots (yet?) manning grocery stores, caring for the sick, repairing cars, harvesting crops or cooking and serving in our favorite restaurants. These jobs already look different though. Grocery clerks are behind plastic screens. Caregivers are covered head to foot in PPE. Car repair technicians wipe down steering wheels with sanitizer before a test drive. There are concerns there may be shortages of field workers who can’t travel yearly to farms. Fewer tables mean less customers, so less servers will be needed. Chefs are boxing up meals for take away.

But what about those who work in a traditional office setting? How will things be different there? A few months ago, who would have thought so many people would now be working remotely? Well, some did, like savvy tech startups, forward thinking companies and innovative leaders who already knew that retaining some of the best talent means being flexible with space and time. This isn’t a new concept folks. But, for all those who’ve struggled with employers who still maintained a “tush in the cush” (I know one who said this phrase regularly) attitude emphasizing a hard-nose start to finish time in the office, hang tight because there’s change afoot.

As employees, for those of us who have already dabbled in remote work, the transition will be a bit easier. For those who haven’t there’ll be an adjustment period but trust me, you’ll get used to it. You grow to like not worrying about getting home to walk the dog or checking if the kids are ok, because they’re right there with you. This can also present a challenge, well, because they’re right there with you. The dog will to tell you when he or she has to go out and even the quietest of kids need attention. So when you’re struggling to focus without distraction, just think of the money your saving on “work clothes”, commuting, and lunches out.  

For employers, virtual meetings and file sharing have become regular occurrences with staff. With the ability to connect distantly, costs associated with in person meetings, seminars and conferences have diminished. With slashed budgets, this mode of sharing information will be more desired than ever before. And employers now have to do what some find unimaginable, actually trust that their employees are doing their job. 

So, business as usual is now business as unusual. Yet, some business is still getting done. People will find a way. It’s what we do. And work-life in the new coronaverse will be the same as before, only different…a new brand version of both order and chaos, working side by side.


Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash


A few months ago, the word pandemic was a term recognized by many as either from an 8th grade history lesson or a futuristic sci fi book or movie. Yet here we are, stuck at home, learning more than we ever thought possible about viruses, cytokine storms, hydroxychloroquine, and how to make a face mask with a t-shirt and vacuum filter. The rest of us are perhaps sitting around waiting for something (heck, anything!) to give us a sense of normalcy. Admittedly, I waffle between both camps depending upon my mood of the day, hour, or minute.

Those with jobs still intact are adjusting to varied work hours, shared or limited space for a home office and navigating virtual meetings. Family, pets and tense news updates can be persistent distractions.

Those furloughed are navigating the unknown with additional stress and anxiety, wondering when (or if!) they’ll have jobs to come back to. Days are now spent applying for unemployment or deferring mortgages, auto and student loan payments.

Now that the shock of social distancing and isolation has settled in, I find myself contemplating “what’s next”. And yes, for most of us thankfully, there’ll be a “what’s next”. But, with the added uncertainty, what does “what’s next” look like? Particularly in relation to our careers and our work? Only time will tell, but perhaps hitting the “universal pause” button is a chance for us to think about how we really want to continue to spend our time, energy, money, skills and talent.

Maybe it’s time to consider going back to school? With online academics, it’s possible to get that degree you’ve talked about for ages. If not a full degree, maybe a certification or targeted course to expand your skill set and open up new “post pandemic” opportunities. How about beginning to write that novel, paint that picture or start that blog/vlog? Perhaps you’ve been inspired to take action and volunteer for a worthy cause. Or…maybe all this has you thinking that retirement is something that just simply can’t wait any longer.

Whatever it is, let’s take this time – and all the lemons that life has recently given us – to do something extraordinary. Let’s make lemonade. But why settle for making ordinary lemonade when there’s finally time to try out a whole new recipe, something brave and bold? Let’s give ourselves permission to dream, plan and create. To set a new course of action or continue with new direction.

My grandmother (gone, but not forgotten) used to say, “Life is what you make of it”. The same grandmother who survived the 1918 Pandemic as a young 18-year-old woman, so perhaps she had a little experience and wisdom that’s also relevant today. Me? I’m following her advice (and my own) and taking the time to dream, plan, and create. I’m finally taking that course I’ve been meaning to start ages ago. I’m writing again. For myself. Something I put on the back burner for far too long.

See…I have these lemons and making plain old, regular lemonade just isn’t going to cut it for me anymore. So, I’ve decided to make Sweet Lavender Basil Lemonade. Because why not? And because I want my “what’s next” to be extraordinary.


Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash


I think it’s fair to say for many right now, current pandemic events have us feeling like we’ve fallen deep into a glacial crevasse, not knowing which way is out. Or maybe pushed along by the avalanche of life, tumbling through the white snow, yet somehow in the dark, wondering which way is up. Maybe we feel we’re being chased by unseen forces or suspect the only thing missing these days is for the mothership to land and take over. Or maybe the scary clown will jump out of the bushes next. Our finances, homes, personal relationships, jobs, and professional aspirations, not to mention most importantly, our physical lives and the lives of our beloved family and friends, are fragile, vulnerable and in jeopardy.

Excuse the crassness, but that’s some real scary shit. The stuff that good (in a bad way), suspenseful, nail biting movies are made of. The scary kind that leave you with terrible dreams at night for weeks on end. Sometimes I feel we’re all involved in some weird existential, global, interactive play or game we don’t recollect signing up for. At least I don’t.

So, how do you cope? How do you move ahead when the world and life is pushing you down and backwards at the same time? Well, my instinct tells me to dig in deep, don’t let go, and just breathe.

Here’s a few practical things that I’m doing as I dig deep during these unprecedented times. Some of them help me cope, others will hopefully prepare me for “What’s Next”, when the world and our lives get back toward some semblance of order.

  • Limiting my daily news intake. It’s just too much to take at times.
  • Revisiting my small library of books (both actual and virtual), rereading some favs. It’s like visiting old friends.
  • Meditating and self-reflecting – considering what’s important, sifting through what’s worth my time and energy, and decisively eliminating what’s not.
  • Cooking and baking daily and keeping it simple with meat, natural starches, fruits and vegetables. Viruses and inflammation love sugar, so therefore I do not.  
  • Treasuring people I value, personally and professionally, and who value me. Reconnecting through virtual happy hours, long phone conversations, and deep philosophical discussions.
  • Distancing myself from unappreciative energy vampires, scary members in the cast of characters, unrecognized until social distancing and self-isolation became household words.
  • Cleaning up files and going through a major reorg of both finished and unfinished projects.
  • Developing new skills through online virtual training – practical skills I can use when this scary movie is over, and we get back to the art of living.
  • Maintaining an exercise routine and also getting in more outdoor walks. (Mother Nature could be a little kinder though. 30F degree days with fresh snowfall on April 16th in the Great Lakes region is a little much to bear. Then again, the set adds nicely to the scary movie plot.)
  • Connecting virtually with colleagues, professional organizations and associations.
  • Finally, writing again. Something I haven’t had much time to do for myself because I’ve been too busy with other projects and it was pushed to the wayside.

So, when I finally “walk out of the theatre” after this scary movie is over, the practical things I do today, will serve as the credits that roll by on the screen, and I’ll gratefully honor the steps that helped get me through it all.