One Year Later…

By March 5, 2021 Food for thought, Life

…and 20 lbs. heavier!

Who out there hasn’t put on the COVID 19? Bad enough we had the Freshman Fifteen. Now this? (For those of you who’ve spent the pandemic working out – kudos to you. But next time I see you just know I will probably poke you in the eye.) However, while binging on Netflix, food, and wine has added a little pudge factor, our waistlines haven’t been the only thing to change in the last year.

The Outdoors

To know me is to know my love of air conditioning. For someone who sweats while measuring a house in 40-degree weather, the last thing I really want is to be outside. Yet somehow over the last year, I’ve developed a fondness for being outdoors. Even on the summer evening walks when it was still 85 degrees and mosquitos were buzzing about.

Perhaps that fondness developed over the first few weeks when we couldn’t go anywhere so even sitting on my front steps felt nice. Or maybe it was the fun Friday evenings in Tony and Greg’s front yard enjoying Mexican food and margaritas (hello hips and thighs!) while making jokes about their neighbors. Or possibly that we are having more contact with the people who live on our own street. Most of us have probably seen and talked to our neighbors more in the last year than the entire time we’ve lived in our homes. And in the process of walking around, helped us learn more about where we live. Which brings me to…

The Neighborhood

While we don’t live in what I think of as a suburb, I’m sure in the 50s our part of Dallas would have been. We certainly are not considered part of the urban core, although in the past we’ve probably treated our neighborhood that way. Drive out, drive in, go inside for the evening, then repeat the process the next day. Very little appreciation for what was around us.

However, I’m not sure a lot has really changed physically. It’s more my appreciation for it. Until the pandemic, we never really wandered through the neighborhood. As I said – drive out, drive in – and I’ve talked about this in other blog posts and podcasts. But the months of daily walks and through the various seasons and holidays makes you notice all the charm and quirks you’d never see from your car. Whether that’s the bad additions or the varying levels of holiday displays.

But being at home hasn’t been all about walks and what’s on Amazon Prime. We’ve still had to work, and for a lot of us, that means a big change to…

The Office

Is there anything about our office that hasn’t changed, including how we might define our office? For most of us, that’s whatever space we’re able to carve out not being occupied by another family member. I can imagine lots of guest bedrooms have been repurposed in the last year. James and I were lucky in that we both already worked from home when the craziness hit, so we already had our territory staked out.

Not that physical space has been the only change. How we handle meetings. How we support our employees. How we handle productivity. How we keep from going bonkers while also juggling home-schooling and the added distractions of a spouse and/or kids. What work really means has experienced a monumental shift. Just ask the CEO of Zoom. Who knew we’d spend so much time or could spend so much time video chatting?

But with vaccines being distributed and a hopeful end in sight, what changes will stay and what will we toss by the wayside? Companies have discovered they can have employees work from home and save on office space. Even architecture firms are reassessing how they define their work environments, much less how they design someone else’s.

And will we start to forget about our neighborhoods? Will we see less of our neighbors or pay less attention to what’s happening around us? We’ve been walking more and enjoying the outdoors. Will Friday night dinners move back inside, or will we still get to poke fun at the neighbors?

My hope is that we don’t revert to our old habits pre-pandemic. Some change is good. I just hope that’s reflected in a smaller waistline this time next year.

Spotted Dog Architecture